It was a big fish and a nice catch for Surry County angler Terry Trivette. It was not, however, the new spotted bass state record.

Results from genetic testing conducted on Trivette's catch came back last Friday and determined that the fish he caught from Lake Norman on Feb. 11 was not a pure spotted bass, but rather a hybrid from a largemouth bass female and spotted bass male.


Because the fish, which currently swims in Bass Pro Shops' 23,000-gallon freshwater tank in Concord, is a hybrid, it doesn't qualify for a state record.


Trivette caught the fish on a Rapala DT-6 crankbait. He contacted Commission staff for a verification of the species. Kin Hodges and Brian McRae, biologists with the Commission's Division of Inland Fisheries, met with Trivette on Feb. 12 and 13. After careful inspection of the fish, both biologists determined that most of the fish's characteristics were consistent with a hybrid between a largemouth bass and a spotted bass - an increasingly common occurrence, particularly in larger reservoirs where spotted bass have been introduced. 


To confirm their identification, Hodges took a small piece of the fish's fin and shipped it on Feb. 15 to Dr. Joe Quattro, a professor in the Marine Science Program and Biological Sciences at the University of South Carolina, for testing. Genetic analysis on a fin clip takes a few weeks; however, it is the best method of determining a fish's genetics that does minimal damage to the fish and keeps it alive.


The Wildlife Commission received results of Dr. Quattro's genetic analysis of Trivette's catch on April 13.