I don’t often fish tournaments but when I do, I like to watch my teammates land double digit bass from a kayak. Let me explain.
Usually I am working behind the scenes at tournaments. I like the atmosphere, the urgency but I enjoy it more when I am in more control, like at the judges table. I find it’s a nice balance of fishing and tournaments that works for me and keeps my fishing time fun rather than constantly prefishing. This weekend was a little different. Our team of five was fishing the Team Toad Slam event on Lady Bird Lake in Austin so we could represent the Ft. Hood Chapter of Heroes on the Water.
The event format was five person teams and one fish per teammate for the best five fish. One of our teammates decided to set the bar not once but twice. Early in the morning Stevie Nicole landed a 15 inch fish followed by a 22.5 inch fish before any of us were on the board. That was a great start for her and we were focusing in on the pattern she was using and the area to try to land some fish ourselves.
I paddled up beside her and she told me she was going to change up baits. I watched her switch out, make one cast and then it happened.
“I got a hit!”
“What? Already?” I asked.
“Yeah.” And then she set the hook.
Her spinning reel starting screaming and the sleigh ride was on.
One of the rules of the tournament stated no additional help could be given to the angler while landing or measuring the fish. I kept yelling at Bryan, her husband, to resist the urge to help. Stevie had lost her net about half an hour earlier fighting the 22.5 inch fish. She would have to land this fish on her own.
Once it breached the surface we all knew this was a monster. It had a mouth like a laundry basket. I kept saying “Don’t lose it. Don’t lose it.”
She lipped the double digit bass, a 10 pound two ounce beast that measured out at 25.25 inches. Wow!
The best part of it all, her husband captured it all on video. Want to see it? Look below: