Most people don't reach for their cell phone when they're knee-deep in running water, especially when they only have one hand free.
But James Moore didn't even want to waste the few seconds it would take to get him to dry ground.
"I googled 'Kansas record wiper' and it came up 22.39 pounds," said Moore, of Junction City. "When I saw that I figured I was probably holding the new state record in my other hand."
He probably was.
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The wiper he caught last Sunday at the outlet below Perry Lake officially weighed 25 pounds.
While it's a surprise anytime someone catches a potential state record, it's no surprise Moore went fishing last Sunday.
Raised in the Bronx, he started fishing on the Hudson River when he was about 10. Joining the military in the mid-1980s broadened his angling horizons.
He's been at Fort Riley since 2002, with the exception of three deployments to the Middle East and training in other areas.
He makes the best of his time when he's home.
"I try to go fishing about every day," said Moore, 44. "I live on the west side of Junction City, so Milford's only about 10 minutes away. Sometimes I'll head out over my lunch hour."
Bass are his favorite fish, and he fishes for largemouths and smallmouths at Milford.
"But if they aren't going I'll fish for walleye, hybrids (wipers) and stripers," said Moore, a sergeant major. "I like them, too."
He also takes the occasional road trip, exploring new lakes or fishing spots at others he's fished before. When on his own, Moore fishes from shore. Outlets below dams are some of his most productive waters.
"They've been letting a lot of water out at Milford and the hybirds (wipers) have been going and I knew it'd be packed with people," Moore said of his decision to go to Perry Lake last Sunday. "I try to avoid the crowds."
He also tries to avoid fishing techniques that aren't working for others.
"I'll spend a few minutes and see what everybody's doing and how it's working," he said. "If they're fishing down on the bottom with jigs and not catching anything, I'll fish the middle or top-water. I keep trying until I find something that works."
Last Sunday he went a ways down the outlet, where rip-rap met regular shoreline and started casting a Zara Spook.
Using rod twitches he "walked the dog," meaning he got the lure to retrieve in a zig-zag pattern. He occasionally stopped the lure and let it sit still.
On about his second cast he caught a wiper of about six pounds. Three casts later he'd just paused the lure when it disappeared "in a pretty big boil."
Using a stout bass fishing outfit and 17-pound test line, he fought the fish for about 10 minutes, then waded in and grabbed it by the lower jaw and reached for his phone.
With the fish in a plastic bag, he soon headed to a nearby park office for advice. They gave him ice for the fish and put him in contact with Kirk Tjelmeland, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks fisheries biologist for Perry Lake.
They met at a bait shop about four hours after the fish was caught, where the biologist knew the fish could be weighed on certified scales.
"The thing was monstrous," Tjelmeland said of when he first saw the fish. "It was really impressive."
He then witnessed the fish weighing exactly 25 pounds on certified scales and measured it at 33 1/2 inches with a 24-inch girth.
Tjelmeland confirmed the fish is a wiper and not a striped bass. The current state record of 22.39 pounds was also caught at the outlet at Perry Lake.
Moore recently mailed the needed application materials to Wildlife and Parks headquarters. It usually takes about 30 days and sometimes a bit of a confirmation process before a record is certified.
He rated the experience of a probable state record fish as "being like a dream come true." But he'd gladly settled for more.
The current world record of 27 pounds, 5 ounces was caught in Arkansas in 1997.
"That's not that much difference," Moore said with a chuckle. "I kind of wish my fish would have done a little more eating just before I caught him."