Big fish hit a small lure
Stephen Flook, Jr. of Unashamed Adventures caught the biggest bass of his life earlier this month while fishing a small community lake in South Carolina’s upstate. He estimates the bass weighed between 10 and 10 1/2 pounds.
And he did it while finesse fishing. To top it off, his fishing partner captured it all on video.
The Greer, S.C. angler caught the fish on a Z-Man TRD CrawZ in bloodworm color on a 1/10-ounce Finesse BulletZ weedless jighead. He was using 10-pound test PowerPro braided mainline with an 8-pound test Seaguar fluorocarbon leader. After the bass hit the lure, it made several drag-pulling runs as Flook worked it to the boat.
Luckily, Flook had a friend who was able to video the fight, and scoop the fish into the net. After measuring the fish’s length and girth, Flook released it to fight another day. The fish swam off strong. The common length/girth formula that’s widely accepted as fairly accurate for largemouth bass puts the bass in double digits.
“The bass measured 25 inches long by 17 inches girth. The various calculations I ran ranged from 10 to 10 1/2 pounds,” he said.
Properly set drag, presence of net man pays off
Flook’s catch shows some fishing elements that are necessary to land a big fish on light tackle. He had his drag set properly, allowing the fish to pull line off the reel each time it made a feisty run. Many anglers in this situation will try to land the fish as soon as possible, or tighten the drag, which is the wrong move to make. Flook lets the fish run, keeping a bend in his fishing rod. And when a fish pulls against the action of a fishing rod like that, it tires out quickly.
Having a net man also helps, usually. Although the fish dodges the net on the first try, the net man came through the second time around.
Had the drag on Flook’s reel been set too tight, a fish that size would have popped the line on its first surge.