Huge bass surprises farm pond angler

Phillip Bridges of Snow Camp, N.C. caught this 10.69-pound bass in a farm pond on March 23, 2019.

Snow Camp man catches lunker bass on non-lunker tackle

Phillip Bridges of Snow Camp, N.C., wasn’t fishing exclusively for bass on Saturday morning at a farm pond near his home, and certainly not for big bass.

But he caught a huge fish anyway, a 10.49-pound lunker that was the biggest of his life.

Armed with a 7-foot, medium-action Berkley Lightning rod and an ABU Garcia Silver Max reel loaded with 8-pound test line, he was fishing for just about anything that might bite. He regularly catches crappie, shellcrackers and bass up to 3 pounds there. To top it off, he was using a 1 1/2-inch, black/chartreuse Charlie Brewer Slider jig.

But he was still prepared for the bite he got about 11:55 a.m.

“I try to use small baits there, because it’s a small pond. I want to use what they’re feeding on, whether it’s little branch minnows or something else,” Bridges said.

Bridges thought he’d snagged a stump

He’d caught one 2 1/2-pound bass on one side of the pond, and he decided to head to the other side, even though he had to wade through a briar patch to get there.

“I’d been over there earlier in the week and did pretty good on shellcrackers, crappie and bass,” he said. “I went over there Saturday in the corner, and there wasn’t any action, so I went up to this one other spot I’d never fished before.

“My first cast, I really thought I had snagged a stump or a log; it just stopped,” he said. “Then, it started running.”

Bridges said he only had about 25 feet of line out, but he kept the line tight on the fish, which made two or three good runs before he was able to get the fish to the bank and slide it safely out of the water.

“I wasn’t gonna try and horse the fish,” he said. “So I just tired it out. I got it turned around and got it to the bank.”

The big fish was 24 1/2 inches long.

Dan Kibler
About Dan Kibler 792 Articles
Dan Kibler is managing editor of Carolina Sportsman magazine. If every fish were a redfish and every big-game animal a wild turkey, he wouldn’t ever complain.