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Best Bass Of The Year So Far..

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Set-up: 7' MH/F Shimano Compre, Shimano Citica 201E, 12 lb Sufix Siege, Lucky Craft Gunfish

Date: today, Time: sunrise (06.00 am)

Weather: 60F, Cloudy, No breeze

Water visibility: stained/ around 3 feet

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This morning I went to my favorite lake for a spot of fishing and reached there just before sunrise. I had two set-ups with me, the all-purpose baitcaster and a swimbait set-up. The water was mirror-like, and since it was dawn anyway, I started with the topwater near the dam. The first spot yielded nothing.

Although it's spawn time in this lake, there's a particular hard-to-reach spot right next to the dam (around 20 feet of water) which is a good summer-time haunt for decent-sized bass. I tried that next. The first cast was just perfect, it landed right next to the vertical concrete wall. I was admiring my cast - it required a good deal of hand-eye co-ordination to not snag a lure, and not make a hopelessly inaccurate cast- while waiting for the splash to settle down. Anyway, that cast was pretty good, as subsequent events would prove.

I twitched the Gunfish, and sure enough, it got sucked down, and a fish was on. So far, for all the decent bass that ever took my topwaters, more often than not, the strikes resembled little explosions. As for this one, well, it just got sucked down without any violence. And a good fish it was too. After a short fight, during which I managed to keep her away from a couple of underwater stumps, I got her to come up on the surface. She was so fat that she didn't even try to jump. And then the real problem arose.

I was standing about 5 feet above the water surface (as will be apparent from the next photo), and there was no way I could reach down into the water to lip her. And the fish, in the meantime, still pretty green (I play all my fish real hard), was trying to make run after run, which I was fending off by dipping the rod tip into water, and doing figure-eights while pondering how to land her.

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The nearest shore where I could actually reach down to the water was pretty far away, and the way (for the bass) lay through submerged brush and stumps. Too risky. I made up my mind. I didn't want to break the rod by swinging her in, so I was going to lift her up by the line. This was still pretty risky, I didn't know if the soft mono got abraded by the underwater stumps. More importantly, I didn't want to hurt the fish. But handlining in it would have to be.

It wasn't half as easy as I thought it would be. The wet line was slippery, and for a precarious few seconds, the fish dangled a couple of feet above the water until I got a better grip on the line. And the fish was darned heavy too. But then, after a couple more attempts, history was made..

I weighed her on my Berkley handheld digital, which I have found is quite accurate. The reading shot up to 8-4, then went down to 7-9, and finally steadied at 7 lbs 11 ozs. What a hog! And I'm sure that fish looks young. I hope she still has years of growth in her, and hopefully another day when the stars line up perfectly again, she'll honor me by biting my lure once more.

In my excitement, I forgot to measure her; my scale didn't come with a tape measure. And I feared she has been out of the water for too long. So off she went, back into the abyss, to guard her nest or hunt for bluegills or trouts. I wonder what she was doing in 20 feet of water, when the other big fish are all spawning. I saw one 5+ class fish, and a few 3+ on beds; though I couldn't catch any of them.

Now for the photos. I only wish I had someone else with me to take the photos.

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I got a pretty cool video of the fish swimming away too... (At least I think it's cool; it's not everyday I get to see a 7+ bass up close.)

P.S. A special thanks to bluebasser86. I got the Gunfish from him as part of a trade.

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nice fish! Awesome story and congrats!!!

Jeff

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Enjoyed your write up. Great bass & landing as well.

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Thanks guys. I was just at the right place at the right time, that's all.

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What a hog!

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That is a fattie there! Glad you're getting some use out of that bait, I think you've caught one more than I ever did with it, I can't honestly say I ever used it though! You're a braver man than I lifting a fish like with a $15 bait in it's mouth! :o

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Nice fish!

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Very Nice Fish and WTG !

Big O

www.ragetail.com

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Congrats on your new PB. Thats a great healthy looking fish!

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