Monday, October 29, 2012

October Behemoth and the Bassin' the Midwest Prize Pack!

It is creeping closer and closer to hard water season and the dropping temperatures are definitely putting the pressure on to get the last bass of the season.  A few weeks ago I posed a challenge to the members to guess my final bass total for the it has been my mission until November 5th to catch as many largemouth and smallmouth as I could...and hopefully without freezing my butt off in the process!

At the start of the challenge I had a total of 664 smallmouth and being October 29th, I have a grand total of 684.  Only 20 bass in the last couple of you know that this weather has definitely put a limitation on my catching.  Although this is the case, the few bass that I have caught have been big!  The highlight of those big fish came last week when I locked into what could potentially be my biggest fish of the season.  I was fishing in a shallow lake that only a few souls know about which held the potential for a behemoth bass.  I threw a crankbait first for a little while without any luck so I switched it up to a new confidence bait of mine....a NetBait Paca Craw.  I rigged this puppy up on a 3/0 EWG hook along with an 1/8 oz bullet weight.  Since the water clarity wasn't the best I dipped the claw tips in a chartreuse dye that I have to make them stand out a bit.   First cast, let it sink...hopped it a few times...and repeat all the way back...nothing.  Second cast, let it sink...hopped it a few times...and let it sit.  Went to go hop it again and it just felt different....just a heaviness.  Usually on a weighted plastic the classic "thunk" of the weight getting sucked in is a tell tale sign of a strike...but this was not the same.  For some reason I instantly thought it was a fish and laid into rod stopped half way up on the hook set and she was off to the races.  A couple boils swelled to the surface and she took off to the right.  I kept pressure on her, reeling in as quickly as I could.  A few good headshakes and I finally saw her....HOLY CRAP!  I lipped the monster and just stood there in awe.  Nobody around to witness the fish....and then came the oh crap moment when I realized I didn't have my scale with me.  With only a bump board and a camera I snapped a few pics and tried my best to guesstimate the length and girth.  She was roughly 20.5" long and 15.5" around.  According to some calculators she could have been anywhere from 4.5 lbs to 6.4 lbs.  If I had to guess, it was easily 5.25 lbs.  A lot of people don't realize that these fish are just flat out heavier when the water gets cold.   As a point of comparison, Parker and I went out to the same spot a week later and he caught a 19.5" bass that was 4.5 lbs and not as fat as the one I had.  

Here is a picture of the monster!

If you guys get out in the coming week here are a few baits to have with you....
- shallow diving square bill crankbait in a shad pattern
- Small 4" shad swimbait on a swimbait or jig head
- Spinnerbait
- Rat-l-Trap
- Jerkbait
- Weighted Plastic
- Football Jig

The season is getting close to the end and the 700 fish mark is just in range...let's see if I can get enough fish to pull it off.  If I don't, no big deal...the fishing this year was remarkable overall and I couldn't have asked for more.   To go out with a bang with this big bass too was a bonus in itself!

Good luck to the participants on DA, your prize pack is going to be sweet!  For those who haven't joined DA....what are you waiting for???

Tight lines, and thanks for all the support this year!  Next year will be even better!