On September 10, 2000 my wonderful wife Summer and I loaded up the boat around noon and headed up to San Pablo Res for a relaxing afternoon of fishing. Neither of us had ever been to the lake before but the weather was nice and I had heard there were some good 'uns in the small lake, along with year long trout plants. Now the best part of this story is that we ALMOST forgot the camera and I mean we were driving down the road and Summer says, hey what about the camera? I was feeling anxious to go and was this close to just keepin on keepin on but my brain luckily kicked into gear and we swung back and picked it up. Whew!
We were on the water about 1pm and I ran up towards the dam just to check out the lake. We fished some points and wood at that end of the lake but nothing was happening. Water clarity was 3 feet or so, there was 15mph winds and bright sun. At 1:45 we moved down the lake to some wood I had seen earlier. There were two big trees that looked good so I moved up slowly on the first one. I was throwing a 9 inch MS Slammer with the new trout tail on 25lb Triple Fish Camoescent line with a 9 foot Sabre 190 and a Calcutta 400s. Hey I was loaded for bear but you gotta be when the big girls are known to be where you're fishing.
So here's the juicy part ... I made one cast to the outside of the tree before throwing the plug right up the middle of the branches. I worked the plug about 10 feet out towards the tips of the branches on a steady retrieve about 2 feet down and all of a sudden wooosh it disappears in a huge flash.
I knew the fish was a giant and I was whooping and hollering at Summer for the camera. At first I thought the fish was maybe a 10 pounder but as I worked it up slowly I was thinking 12. The fight was not all that spectacular. I had the fish on the long rod and after a few dives she came up and I lipped her as Summer shot away with the camera (too cool!!!).
We took a few pics and weighed the fish at 15-10 on my stren scale although we were rocking and rolling after we beached the boat.
I was thinking of letting the fish go there but since we weren't far from the marina, Summer emptied out the cooler and we used it to fill up my livewell for a quick run back to the docks. The folks there were very helpful and to my suprise had a very nice digital scale on which the fish weighed 15 pounds 12.8 ounces. What a bass!!!!!!
After a quick photo there I ran her back down to the docks and released her. I would have liked to have taken her back to her tree but my livewell is not aerated and I didn't want to keep her in it any longer. When I released her she moved slowly down then opened her mouth wide, closed it and in an instant was gone. That was an amazing moment. The whole time there was no question that I would let her go and it felt great to see her swim off.
I really have to thank Summer for being so on the spot with the camera and the cooler and everything, I am so incredibly stoked to have all of the great pictures that she took. I also have to thank Mike Shaw who makes the MS Slammer and who is a good personal friend of mine. This is the largest largemouth bass ever taken on a Slammer and believe me, we have talked about catching monster bass on the plug many many times. It was really a day to remember.
In the following pages you can check out the whole sequence of photos taken by Summer. I told her we are going jewelery shopping after today =)