One summer morning in 1977, fisherman Frank Smith caught a huge striped bass in the Colorado River, about 10 miles south of Bullhead City, Ariz. The fish weighed 59 pounds 12 ounces, a record that still stands as the largest land-locked striper ever caught.
For a few more years, stripers in the 30-pound class were commonly caught in the 15 miles of river south of Davis Dam. But beginning about 1980, catches of leg-size stripers in the area began declining and biologists still aren't sure why.
This week, however, big stripers are reappearing at Bullhead City weigh-in stations. Todd Gray of Bullhead City caught one weighing 30 pounds 12 ounces this week.