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Big Northern Strain Largemouth

Catching A Big Northern Strain Largemouth

By Warren Wolk

Warren Wolk Caught This Northern Strain Largemouth In February

Warren Wolk Caught This Northern Strain Largemouth In February

2002 Warren Wolk, licensed to About.com
OK, it was great just to be out fishing yesterday. Up here in SE PA we don't often get out in mid February. So when the weatherman called for near-60 degree temps yesterday AND my wonderful wife called me at work and suggested I go fishing in the afternoon, well you know what I did! So I headed over to Jersey with my pal John, my little Grumman in-tow, to go do some casting- IN FEBRUARY!

I fished for about 3 hours, just going through the motions (which felt GREAT) & not expecting any activity as the water was 38 degrees & crystal clear. After working steep drops down to the 20-25 foot zone I decided to back off even more.

With the boat sitting in 45 feet of water my X-85 lit right up. There in 35-40 feet I saw several good sized arches about 10 feet off the bottom. I cast my Little Critter Craw & waited patiently as it sunk. A 1/8 ounce plastic lure takes FOREVER to sink 40 feet!

On about the tenth cast, and just as I was becoming convinced that my arches were carp, it happened. It seemed to me that the lure made it to the bottom just a tad too fast. I tightened up slowly & felt dead-weight, so I did what any other clueless basser should do, I set the hook hard! My rod doubled over & whatever was down there started pulling drag steadily from my TD-X which was loaded with green Stren 10#.

I keep my drags fairly tight, and after this guy pulled 25 yards off without stopping, I decided to lighten the drag just a notch. So we battled for about 5 minutes before my victim came up towards the surface. It was a bass! And not your typical New Jersey bass either. This was a DUDE! She never jumped but I did have the pleasure of watching her finish out the fight in the clear water.

When I finally got her boatside I lipped her & lifted her over the side.

Now I've caught lots of big Northern strain bass, including one over 9# and several over 7#, but this gal was bigger than all of them. Sadly I didn't have a scale but I did have a measuring stick. She was 25 inches long & FAT! It was cold & late & I knew if I tried to bring her to be weighed that she would surely not survive the trip. No dilemna there.

My hands still shaking, I gently released her & watched her swim off. What a great sight!

Oh, did I mention that we DID have a camera present? Thank God for 1 hour film joints! ENJOY...

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