Peter Vican of East Greenwich, RI landed this 76lb. 14oz. striped bass while fishing the 4th Annual Block Island Volunteer Firemen's Tournament on July 19th 2008. The fish became a State of RI record.
Then on June 16, 2011 Peter caught an even bigger striped bass. This one weighed 77.4 pounds.
Peter's 1st Fish Story: " Don Smith and I had been fishing different spots around the island since sundown looking for a bass over 40 pounds. We had come close to that weight but felt we needed something over 40 pounds to be in contention for the winning fish.
We moved to one of our tried and true spots that we nicknamed the "Nest". We made three or four drifts over the Nest with mixed results. If we drifted towards the inside of our mark we didn't get any hits at all. If the drift were to the outside of the mark one of us would get a hit. By 1 AM the water was as flat as glass, the drift was just about nonexistent and the bite fell off. I had an eel on my rig that was almost dead from being taken by three bass on previous drifts. I put my rod in the rod holder and picked up a bottle of water from the cooler for a drink. All of a sudden the rod bent over and line started screaming off the spool at an alarming rate.
It took some effort for me to get the rod out of the holder and I held the rod tightly while the fish stripped off line. We fish with rods rated for 12 to 25 lb. line, and I use a Penn 560 Slammer spinning reel. By the time the fish stopped her run my reel was almost empty of line. For every ten yards of line that I reeled in the fish took back five with very little effort.
I was surprised how easy the fish slid into the net. Don rested the handle against the side of the boat, holding it with one hand while he grabbed the rim of the net with the other so he could lift the fish into the boat. He couldn't lift the fish because the rim of the net started bending and had to use both of his hands on the rim to keep it from bending under the weight of the fish. As he struggled to lift the fish into the boat I grabbed the handle of the net and helped to lift the fish out of the water. As Don swung the fish onto the deck he said to me that the fish had to go at least 60 pounds. I looked at it and said it was probably closer to 50. Don noted that the fish was as big around as my waist and I quickly replied "Maybe yours but not mine. I'm a lot thicker than the fish is." My observation turned out to be correct, the fish's girth measured in at 34 inches. Don glanced down at his watch and said the entire fight had lasted just over 30 minutes.
The fish was too big to fit in the fish well so we wrapped it with wet towels. We weighed it in at 7 AM the next morning at Twin Maples Bait Shop on Block Island. The fished weighed 76 pounds 14 ounces; measured 54 ¾" long and had a 34" girth. It was a new Rhode Island state record and the second largest striper caught on rod and reel according to IGFA records."
Above photos and story courtesy of Peter Vican.
Peter Vican also caught his 52 inch, 77.4 pound striped bass while fishing with his friend Don Smith around Block Island. He caught it from his boat while fishing with eels at about 3:30 AM on June 16, 2011.
Peter's 77.4 pound striped bass is the third largest striped bass caught on rod and reel.
Don Smith and Peter Vican and Peter's striper.
Photo courtesy of Don Smith.
To see the largest striper ever caught, follow this Link:
World Record Striper.
See photo of Block Island below.
To see more about Block Island follow this Link: Block Island