“American BeheMouth” tells the story of a fisheries hobbyist who raises and catches the world-record bigmouth bass in the “Area 51 of Bass Fishing,” a secret 70-acre lake.
“Everyone dreams of landing a world-record fish, and some have even tried to raise the record, the author, Jason Covington, says. “However, the 27-pound bass was not submitted to the International Game Fish Association for record certification because of the circumstances by which it was caught.”
Covington’s new book details the years of research that solves age-old fisheries questions with a methodology for growing fish to these proportions. The formula includes a new fish-to-food ratio as well as the baitfish used and the environmental conditions required to raise the behemouth. The book tells several other true stories (fictionalized) along the journey, including a Castaic Lake record fish and state-record Missouri bass.
In his blog, Jason Covington discusses the “monofilament differentiation between truth and fiction,” and the fishing story appears to be in fact true, but the journey has been fictionalized to protect the innocent.
Covington, the literature professor, seems to be using this factual story veiled in metaphor to talk about the pursuit of the American dream and turmoil in Washington, Wall Street, and Main Street. The protagonist’s moral lapse is reminiscent of sports heroes and politicians we all know. He uses his credit card to finance the dream, hand feeding his behemouth thousands of bait fish. He also sprays chemicals on the lake to increase the baitfish size.
The reader can only think of the Fed and its money printing, quantitative easing, and $15 trillion deficit. The behemouth bigmouth bass is clearly a representation of what America has become.
Other themes in the book include achieving great accomplishments while staying balanced, marriage and the complexities of modern American families, along with many ethical dilemmas, including allusions to economic troubles in American society.