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paul.

YEEE-HAAA!!!   new spinning tackle pb!!!

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wow!  it's over 5 hours later and i'm still excited. :)  broke my spinning tackle pb today and i am just tore up!  this story actually started yesterday when i drove out to one of my favorite lakes.  i was searching for bed fish.  saw a couple of nests and some small ones up to about 5-6 lbs, but not really what i was looking for.  had almost gone completely around after looking hard for quite a while and then i spotted her.  she was in only about a foot of water, spawning with a 2 pound buck.  she was broadside to me rolling around on the nest with her tail out of the water.  when she flashed her side, i knew instantly she was a 10+, but i wasn't sure exactly how big.  as usual, i just watched, trying to get a read on this fish and how would be the best way to approach in the shallow water.  after a few minutes, i noticed the fish had stopped spawning.  she had turned around facing out toward the deeper water as if something had caught her eye.   then she just started to slowly swim off the nest.  it took a minute, but i eventually saw what was going on.  she had gotten a better offer!  she was swimming away with another buck about twice the size of the one she had been with.  i watched as they swam together, taking turns following one another every once in a while just swimming around in small circles.  he never let this big girl stray too far away though.  every time she seemed to try, he would corral her back in close.  it was really fascinating to watch.  i lost sight of them soon though and figured the best approach would be to leave and come back later in the afternoon when they had settled down on a bed somewhere.  that evening i drove back down to the lake with great anticipation.  i was just worried that the fish would be hard to find in the fading light.  well i got lucky and found them about 100 yards down the bank from where she had been with the smaller male.  but she was far from ready.  she was very spooky and would leave the nest for 5 minutes or more at a time.  the male on the other hand was hot as a firecracker, but i knew better than to fool with him, because my only shot at her might be through him.  after a few casts with a bluegill on the nest, it became obvious that it just wasn't going to happen with her.  all i could do was hope that she'd be there today.

hope faded badly last night as the storm rolled in - thunder, lightning, and torrential rain made me pretty sure i wouldn't see that big fish today.  then, when i woke up and saw the weather calling for strong winds, much cooler temps, and cloudy skies, that really discouraged me.  even if she was there, she would be very hard to fish.  to tell you the truth, i started not to even go after her, but i am not one to let any chance at a big fish slip away, no matter how small.  so i packed up the gear and headed out to the lake around 3:30 this afternoon.  caught about 4 bluegill when i arrived for bait.  got to the nest and just  stared for a while.  not there!  the male was there, but she was nowhere in sight.  i waited for a few minutes and was about to leave when she cruised in.  of course with the cloud cover and the choppy water, she coulda been there the whole time just watchin' me and i might not have known it.  well i settled down to business, and tossed a gill into the nest, on my baitcaster with braid.  the male went nuts, but she only showed signs of half-hearted interest.  this fish was gonna be tough.  after a while, a thought crept into my mind.  could i?  should i?  dare i even try?  well, daylight was running out and the wind seemed to be getting worse instead of better.  i had to either try something different or admit defeat and go home.  so i pulled out the spinning rod.  i was betting the house on one trick i had left in my arsenal, a presentation with a gill so deadly that it has never failed to eventually provoke a strike from a bedded fish for me.  double checked the line and knot on the 10 pound test.  pitched the gill out there, knowing this was going to work or nothing was.  the male was looking right at the gill about to attack again when she came out of nowhere.  no stopping.  no hesitation.  just made a beeline for the poor bream, sucked him in, and swam off quickly.  honestly it happened so quickly that i thought for a split second that maybe the male had somehow sneaked in and bitten without me seeing it.  i struck as hard as i dared with the spinning rig and 10 lb. test, and instantly the reel is screaming for mercy.  this had to be her!  any remaining doubt as to the identity of the fish was erased when she came up and shook her massive head., getting about halfway out of the water.  i loosened up on the drag   determined not to rush this fish, knowing that any mistake i made with this tackle could bring the battle to an abrupt and miserable end.    she took a considerable amount of line off the little reel and seemed to do it almost effortlessly.  i finally turned her and we went toe to toe for a while.  she'd gain, then i would.  i kept on as much pressure as i dared though, keeping a bend in the rod at all times.  finally she'd had enough and i slowly got her within arms reach.  mindful of the potential for a last second line-snapping surge on a short line, i loosened the drag a little more.  thankfully though she was done.  i lipped her and it was time for her to weigh in and pose for a few pix.  10-8 on the digi!!!  a new spinning tackle pb - YES!!!!   :o  released her quickly after that and i've been on cloud 9 ever since.  there's nothing in bass fishing quite like breaking personal records.  i'll remember this for a long time.  well if anyone is still reading at this point, you've been very patient with this rambling story.  here's a picture.  hope y'all are catchin' some too. :)        

 

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Great story, great fish and great pic.

Congratulations on one heck of a day!

8-)

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Wow, those 5lbers is all we have got around here. You wanna catch about 1,000 of those and add them to some of our lakes?

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Congrats on yet another hawg    Man I sure wish I could fish wit you.  I can only dream of hawgs that size around here.

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Don't worry about the length of the story, it was GREAT! I would feel the same way about landing her with spinning gear!!!

                                As Ever,

                                 skillet

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That is just INCREDIBLE!  Catching nice bass on #10 mono and spinning gear is one thing but to do it with live bait is another, IMO.  A definite heart pounding experience.   Now your gonna have to carry the spinning outfit with you on every adventure in case you run into an 11 pounder.  By the way, what is your state record on light tackle?

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thanks a bunch for the nice words y'all. :)  

By the way, what is your state record on light tackle?

that's a good question.  honestly, i haven't got a clue buddy.  hadn't really thought about it and wouldn't know how to go about finding out.  i don't know if they even do line class records per state.  does anyone know? :-/  

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Paul as far as I could tell on TWRA's list of state records they do not have  different classes of state records. I'm not sure if IGFA recognizes state records like that or not. I'm sure it probably is though. Great catch! Was talking about you the other day with Michael Pruett and my cousin Andrew. You need to brag about those fish more!

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Paul as far as I could tell on TWRA's list of state records they do not have  different classes of state records. I'm not sure if IGFA recognizes state records like that or not. I'm sure it probably is though. Great catch! Was talking about you the other day with Michael Pruett and my cousin Andrew. You need to brag about those fish more!

what's up homeboy?!   thanks for looking that up buddy.  like i said, i hadn't even thought about it really.  when you said i should brag more, that just HAD to be sarcasm, right?   to tell the truth, i probably should brag a lot less. ;D.  i really like Michael.  super nice guy.  go to church with him.  what's your cousin Andrew's last name?  Maddox?  thanks again man.

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How do you get the gill to stay on the nest? When ever I try something like this the gill just runs away and the bass stops chasing, if I pull it back onto the nest the same thing just repeats itself, how do you get the gill to stay within the nest? Do you injure it or something to quiet it down a little?

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How do you get the gill to stay on the nest? When ever I try something like this the gill just runs away and the bass stops chasing, if I pull it back onto the nest the same thing just repeats itself, how do you get the gill to stay within the nest? Do you injure it or something to quiet it down a little?

the easiest way is to use a heavy weight either in front of or behind (drop shot method) the gill.  3/4 - 1+ oz.  this makes 'em stay put for the most part unless it's a very large gill.  if a bass does not bite them quickly, they will begin to tire out and weaken from struggling against the hook and heavy weight.  then you can decrease the weight you are using if you want.  of course the other thing is to make sure they do not have enough slack line to get any farther than you want 'em to go.  it's not easy, especially with a bigger gill, but with some practice you can somewhat limit and control where and how far the gill goes.  hope that answers your question.

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How do you get the gill to stay on the nest? When ever I try something like this the gill just runs away and the bass stops chasing, if I pull it back onto the nest the same thing just repeats itself, how do you get the gill to stay within the nest? Do you injure it or something to quiet it down a little?

the easiest way is to use a heavy weight either in front of or behind (drop shot method) the gill. 3/4 - 1+ oz. this makes 'em stay put for the most part unless it's a very large gill. if a bass does not bite them quickly, they will begin to tire out and weaken from struggling against the hook and heavy weight. then you can decrease the weight you are using if you want. of course the other thing is to make sure they do not have enough slack line to get any farther than you want 'em to go. it's not easy, especially with a bigger gill, but with some practice you can somewhat limit and control where and how far the gill goes. hope that answers your question.

Good stuff!  

Thanks for sharing your story and great looking fish by the way.  

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from my original post.

released her quickly after that and i've been on cloud 9 ever since.

i release all the lunkers i'm fortunate enough to catch.  thanks for your concern.  always refreshing to know there are so many folks here who care about the future. :)

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Awesome fish, way to stay after it.  Once again great pic, as well.

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Man what a fish... that's a certified HAWG......

I've never tried fishing with bluegill... but now I think I'll start...

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