In this series we'll be hearing from anglers who've landed trophy class bass and try to unearth a few nuggets of wisdom from their encounter with the fish of a lifetime!
Below is Cole Turner's story of one such bass caught in March of 2019:
We got on the water a little after 3pm on that Saturday afternoon. The weather was perfect and it was starting to warm up after a cold front earlier that week. As we headed north, we continuously hit “cool” pockets across the lake that gave us the true feeling of spring time weather. My buddy, Nathan Dimmitt, mentioned
several times that he “had a good feeling” about that day. As he said that, I asked him if we remembered to grab the net? We both looked at each other and laughed and said “you know what that means, we’re gonna need it”. Turns out we were right. We got to our first cove and were throwing soft plastics in search of some afternoon bass. It was an ideal spawning area that also had access to deeper water nearby. Without any luck, we decided to move across the lake to an area we had fished the previous weekend during the Big Bass Tour . It’s a cove with spawning flats out front and deeper water in the middle of it. We started in the mouth of it throwing moving baits across a point. I was throwing a Zman Chatterbait and Nate was throwing a Strike King KVD 1.5 Crankbait in Oyster color. He picked up a white bass and I had no luck. We slowly moved up in the cove and started to flip docks. I put on a TX Rig Beaver pegged with a 1/4oz tungsten and Nate stuck with his trusty square-bill crank. As we got a few docks in, I made the cast that would be one to remember. Without feeling a thump, I lifted my rod to work my lure. When I did that, I noticed my line running to the right. I immediately knew I had a fish, so I reeled down and set the hook. I knew I hooked her good. She jumped out of the water, desperately trying to shake my beaver out of her mouth and we both knew she was a giant. Nate instinctively dropped his rod and got ready to assist the landing. Without a net, we knew this was going to be tough. I got her near the boat fairly quickly and she started throwing a fit. Nate tried to bear hug her with the first attempt and was unsuccessful. She dug down under the boat, but couldn’t go far because we were only in 3-4 foot of water. When she did that, Nate leaned back and I grabbed my line to lift up and get her to the top of the water again. I only did that knowing I had 30lb braid on and seeing that she was hooked right between the eyes. She came up and Nate got both hands in her mouth and pulled up the biggest fish we had ever laid our eyes on. When he handed her to me, I didn’t think she was much over a 10. Fish that big are hard to tell. He thought it was pushing 11-12. We grabbed the scale and it was jumping from 12 to 14. At that point, we knew we possibly had caught a ShareLunker and decided to take her in to Stowaway Marina in order to get an official weight. We put her on the scale and she weighed in at 13.36. I still couldn’t believe it. We called the ShareLunker program and they said they were on their way to come pick her up. She was very healthy as we transported her from the livewell to their tank. She made it back to Athens and is doing well. After they put her through the program, we will be releasing her back into her home at Lake Conroe. This experience will be something that I will never forget. Catching a shareLunker really is a dream come true!
Follow up big bass questions:
Q: How often do you fish? How long do you fish on an average outing?
A: 3-4 time a month - usually 8-10 hours an outing.
Q: What percentage of your time on the water are you specifically targeting giant bass?
Q: Do you believe a world record is currently swimming out there?
A: Yes, but probably not in Texas. Probably in California or Japan.
Q: What’s your favorite big bass bait?
A: Texas rig beaver.
Q: What do you think is the biggest mistake most fishermen are making while chasing big bass?
A: Fishing too fast.
Q: What purchase of 100 dollars or less has most positively impacted your catch rates in the past couple of years?
A: Garlic spray.
Q: What’s something you believe about bass fishing that most folks disagree with?
A: It's tougher and more challenging than saltwater fishing.
Q: What advice would you give someone trying to catch a double-digit bass?
A: Slow it down - Big girls don't seem to have the energy to chase fast moving baits (Not always the case).
Q: What’s your favorite time of day to target big bass?
A: Late afternoon.
Q: What kind of structure do you favor for big bass fishing?
A: Drop offs.
Q: How deep do you usually target them?
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Have you caught a giant bass over 12 lbs? We'd love to hear from you. Reach out to us at LunkerLore1@gmail.com.
Interested in more big bass wisdom? Check out High Percentage Fishing or Lunker Lore at Amazon.com.