A couple of decades ago, I had the opportunity to join my outdoor writer buddy, Keith Sutton for a bass fishing foray south of the border on Mexico's Lake Guerrero.
I had cast a plastic worm next to a bush when I felt the tell-tale "tap..tap" on the line. Setting the hook, it because obvious I had tied into something big. Around the bush the fish went and to my dismay, the line went slack; the fish had broken off.
As I was searching in my tackle box for another hook, sinker and worm to tie on, I heard Sutton exclaim, "Good grief"! I looked up just in time to see a wash-tub sized swirl. "That's the biggest bass I ever saw and it had your bait in its lip," Sutton remarked excitedly.
It was undoubtedly the biggest bass I ever hooked and I never got to lay hands on it. However, fast forward a few years and my luck changed. Well, I didn't actually catch a big bass but I landed a 12 ½ pound Caney largemouth for Jonesboro's Larry Pardue.
The day before our trip to Caney, I had served as tournament director for the annual big bass tournament on the lake and weighed in Pardue's winner at just over 9 pounds. As I was looking for a story, I arranged to meet Pardue the next afternoon for a fishing trip so I could get photos and interview him on his bass fishing prowess.
We launched at Brown's Landing and Pardue headed his bass boat for a particular spot.
"There's an old creek bed running through here with a ridge just off the creek and the bass will periodically move up on the ridge to feed. That's where I caught the 9 pounder yesterday," Pardue told me.
After half an hour without a bite, Pardue moved to another spot he knew about. Fifteen minutes or so after parking on the second honey hole, I heard him grunt.
"There's one, and it's a pretty good one," Pardue said as he played the 5 pounder up to the boat for me to slide the net under. It was mission accomplished for me. I had the interview and now I had my "picture fish".
After taking photos, I assumed our trip was over until Pardue headed back to his favorite spot to give it one more try.
It didn't take long for his plastic worm to attract attention. I saw him intently watching his line that was moving off to the side, watched him set the hook on what was obviously a good fish.
After a tussle where the fish went under the boat, testing the line for all it was worth, Pardue finally brought the big fish alongside the boat and I slid the net under it.
After getting the lunker in the boat, Pardue carefully placed the fish in his live well, cranked the big motor and remarked, "We need to get this one weighed; it could be a state record,"
At that time, the state record for bass was around 14 pounds and this one seemed to be somewhere in that range.
Placing the behemoth on the scales at Brown's, the weight topped out at around 12 ½ pounds, less than two pounds shy of the record.
After the fish was placed in the giant aquarium at Brown's, I finished my interview and drove home, still excited at what I'd witnessed and helped accomplish.
Then it hit me; in my excitement, I never picked up my camera again, totally forgetting to take photos of the heaviest bass I ever had my hands on. Rookie mistake; dumb me.
Glynn Harris Outdoors is proudly sponsored by DSK, Ltd. of Minden.