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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I backed down the Holiday Inn ramp in the pre-dawn darkness and dropped the Pond Prowler off the tailgate. I was rigging the boat for a full day on the water when I was blinded by the headlights of an APD patrol car pulling in front of my truck. He thought the hoopty looked suspicious with no interior or exterior lights, driver door open and me and the boat hidden behind the truck. He asked what I was doing and I used my finger to describe a circle around the Tackle Warehouse fish on the front of my shirt and said, “Fishing.” He asked if I needed any help and I told him his headlights were compromising my night vision. He kindly cut the lights while he radio’d HQ to call off the SWAT team. I thanked him for his patrol, wished him Merry Christmas and shoved off.

I like to start with moving baits, so I cast crankbait and chatterbait for a half-dozen casts each. I mean, I bring ‘em, might as well throw ‘em. I trolled the crankbait for a bit. I reeled it in and tried to cast it back out. My line snapped halfway to the shoreline target, the line must have been zebra mussseled. The reel birdnested and I watched the severed line flutter down following the crank to the water’s surface. I set the rod down and twisted the stern drive troller tiller throttle to retrieve the crank. The sun was barely up, the sunrises are coming earlier gentlemen, and I could plainly see the “turtleback” of the crank floating amongst the leaves.

Now that I was closer to shore, I decided to deploy my bow mount troller. That’s right, I’m really liking the two troller set up. I reached into a old GYB ziploc with a smorgasbord of O-ring waisted, waterlogged, dyed, ripped, and faded senkos. I’m kind of frugal when it comes to soft plastics. I continue to use them well after their expiration date. I pushed the 000 octopus point past the o-ring of the pastel green/stained denture laminate senko. When it was purchased seven years ago, it was watermelon/cream. I made a short cast under an overhanging branch. I got that familiar “bump”. I was shortline so I just went and r’ared back.

In the super clear water I saw a huge bass swim under the boat. Oh man, this thing is one of the biggest I’ve ever seen. My rod was bent double and my heart began to race. The bass fought hard, close quarter battle with jumps and surges. I got her in the boat, shivered and screamed “Yaaaahhhh, Merrrrry Christmas!!!” I knew she was over eight, but I needed to make sure. I parked the boat on the bank and pressed some old men into photography service. I weighed her and she was all of 9 pounds 6 ounces of big beautiful bass. My memory is not that great, but I’m pretty sure that is my second biggest bass all time. I know what you’re thinking, “Really? On a senko…”

This is why winter time fishing is the best. This is the time to catch the giants. I was all discombobulated, gobsmacked and delighted. I went ahead and made the rounds. I went up to Lamar and back, the fish were on the chew. I did the most damage with the shakeyhead at Seaholm. I caught four senko fish within sight of the Stevie Ray Vaughn statue, always the best. I wound up catching sixteen bass, most of them solid two-and-a-halfs. Off at noon.
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Damn boy! that one surely qualifies as a BIg Un! Did you get a length on it at all? ( just for curiousities sake ) Always knew there were still some big girls swimming in there, and you are one of the ones who deserves to get that bite. Great job on an awesome fish!
 

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That's a great christmas gift to yourself!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Unfortunately, I did not measure the length of the giant bass. I love these largemouth so much that I prioritize the health of the fish over everything else. Like MLF’s “fish landing” protocol, I’m all about proper care of the bass. I do not carry an ice chest or have a livewell installed and can’t imagine putting the giant on a stringer. When I pull the bass from the water, the only thing touching it is air, fingers, and the steel of the weigh scale hook.

I do not care to lay the fish on its side, even on the relatively smooth gunnels of the Pond Prowler. I’m not an icthyologist, but I believe the scientists that say the slime coat is the bass’s first defense from infection. The best part of catching one of these giants is watching it swim away as strong as when I caught it. But I do think I know why you‘re asking…is that half an inch the difference from a double digit weighing fish?

This BOW PB is one I consider to be a legit trophy fish. I’m still on cloud nine. Here’s a pic of the senko that caught it.
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I am not convinced there is a specific measurement of what a double digit fish is, except for the scale. Was just curious, as I know for a fact there are some 26"+ fish swimming those waters.
 
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