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...