One day a friend ask me if I had any fish. I said I had one in the freezer, 4 lbs., that you can have. Just ask my wife to give it to you. Well, my wife ended up giving him my 6 lb. Bass and I was furious. I had to go back and fish more until I finally caught an 8 lb. Large mouth on a Rattle Trap. I was so happy that I mounted the fish.
The more and more I fished the better and better I got. In less than 15 years I reached pro status. In the end, I have caught over 40 Lunkers and have 30 Lunker of the Year awards in the State of Georgia. I have caught two Large-mouth weighing in at 14 lbs. and 14.1 lbs. They are both mounted. I caught a 10 lb. Bass at Paradise Lake in Tifton, GA in front of the game warden. I released her back into the water because she had eggs and had not yet laid them. The Game Warden realized that I was catching more Large-mouth Bass than most Anglers in a boat. He admitted my story and it was placed in the Georgia Outdoor Magazine.
Now my arthritis has set in and I don’t fish as much as I used to, but when I can, I still enjoy Bass fishing and catching Lunkers (it's not as hard as people think). Catching a Bass around 17 or 18 lbs. is hard and I will tell you why.
The biggest Large-mouth Bass I lost in my career as an Avid Angler happened in 2007 at Victory Pond, Ft. Benning, GA. I was fishing early one morning around 8:00 am and it was foggy. I cast my rattle trap called Pinky. This trap is one I designed myself the color that is. I painted it with Pink nail polish - Hot Pink. I put about three coats and made it thick. I painted the entire trap and hooks all Pink. Large-mouth love these Pink traps, but they don’t sale them in stores so you have to modify a store bought trap and paint it yourself. As I was reeling in this trap I noticed a huge swell of water behind the trap about 2 yards. This swell of water was so huge and I had never witnessed anything like it before. I knew it was going after my trap so I slowed it down so she could catch up to it and take it. She did and I felt the trap completely stop and my pole was tight as if I was hung up on a log.
I pulled on my rod, reeled the line tight and leaned back. My pole just bent and nothing was moving. For a split second I thought I was hung up and then it happened. The rod began to bounce like a rubber band and a Bass came out of the water like thunder and literally shakes that trap loose! As I saw this I completely froze.
I said to myself, "My God that Bass had to weigh at least 18 lbs. or more!"
I was in complete shock and could not reel in my trap. I paused, grabbed a cigarette, and lit it. I went back for the next two years to this pond which is about 12 acres and to this day I have never had another shot at that fish. I know she is still in there. But, If I don’t ever catch her, at least I was able to hook her and see her when she broke water and that I will take with me to my grave.
I have learned a lot about Bass especially fishing for them at night with a Zara Spook, now that’s a blast. Just get a Jon boat and troll out in the middle of the pond about 2:00 a.m . It’s dark and peaceful. Just cast out a ZaraSpook and watch what happens. You will be shocked at how many Lunkers you will start catching.
Most of my Lunkers were caught early in the morning because that is when they feed before the Sun comes up. Midnight is even better. Fish for five hours. Lunkers are Large-mouth Bass that weigh 10 lbs. or more. Always catch and release because it preserves fishing for years to come and please try not to take Bass off the beds. Let them lay their eggs and this way you can always be sure there will be plenty of Bass in the future.