An 8th-grader from Rock Hill gave himself a great end-of-school present when caught an enormous largemouth bass last Saturday in a private pond in his hometown.

Austin Brock, a 14-year-old student at Castle Heights Middle School, was fishing with his father, Denny, and a family friend, when he landed a 27-inch bass with a 20-inch girth that tipped the scales at 13 pounds, 5 ounces.

Brock said the fish hit a small, gray and orange crankbait in about five feet of water around noon.

“The fish hit about 7 or 8 feet off the bank,” Brock said. “It probably took me about 2 or 3 minutes to get it in. It was too fat to jump.”

Brock said the fish’s strike felt “like a little bream” and he didn’t have any idea he was hooked into a leviathan until he reached down and grabbed the bass by the jaw – his previous biggest bass being “a 3- or 4-pounder.”

“I was surprised,” said Brock, who said the bass’s tail was “all cut up” and bleeding, probably from having recently spawned.