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Big Bass; Getting hooked on a Lakemonster

The fourth of July cabin trip I will never forget.

My family and I are up at the cabin to celebrate the Fourth of July. It has been incredibly sunny and hot all week. The largemouth bass were feeding like crazy, hitting everything. Several 17-19 inch largemouths had been caught. My dad cast out and got a backlash and as the bait hit the water an 18 inch bass hit the lure and he needed to bring in the bass without fixing the backlash.

July 2nd 2002. The morning was gray, windy and kind of rainy. Instead of going fishing we decided to go into town. A nine year old me goes to Reed's in Walker, MN. I know the store well, I walk past the shoes and hiking boots and stop to look at the polarized sunglasses, none of them fit my face well. I walk past the Muskie lures and look at some Cisco Kids and the bucktails. Weaving through the isles of the fishing lures and rods and reels I find myself looking at the plastic worms. The one worm that caught my eye was solid white 5 1/2 inches long. I find my dad looking at the spinner baits and as it's around lunch time we check out and head back to the cabin. I am very excited to see that the weather has cleared up and that we can go fishing after lunch.

My dad, uncle and I got in the twelve foot Alumacraft boat and headed out across the lake to a spot between a sunken island and shore. My uncle is up front setting up to cast, my dad is driving the boat and casts out a plastic worm to the shore side and I rig up my brand new white worm and cast out to the open water side of the boat. For the first couple minutes there is not much activity, my dad keeps the boat in about 8-10 feet of water and we troll slowly so my uncle can get some good casting in. It starts to feel as though the weather earlier in the day turned the fish off.

Then my fishing pole bent over and there was the weight of something heavy on the other end of my line. I tighten my grip and set the hook. The drag screams as the line is taken out. Dad and Tim hurriedly reel in their lines, and my dad kills the engine. Uncle Tim grabs the net and I stand up to get better leverage. Finally I have the fish coming into the boat, it feels like the biggest fish ever. I try to contain my excitement as I fight the fish. The fish launches itself out of the water and we get our first glimpse of the big largemouth bass. It takes out more line and I feel the need to get it into the boat now. I turn around the bass and get it coming in back towards the boat, it leaps out of the water again, gleaming in the sunlight. Finally I feel like the fish is giving in a bit and I am able to get it close to the boat. My fishing pole bends over as the fish makes a run under the boat and takes out a bit more line. Uncle Tim gets the net ready and I get the fish within netting distance. Within a blink the beast is in the boat and I am asking for pliers and a tape measure. The bass was just over twenty inches long, twenty inches! This is the biggest largemouth bass I had caught, and luckily enough it was just long enough to qualify for Grandpa's offer of paying for mounting a bass over 20 inches or a northern pike over 36 inches.

At nine years old, of course I wanted to have this fish mounted so we rushed back to the dock in excitement to show everyone. I caught my first trophy fish and I was ecstatic. As it was a nice afternoon everyone was down by the dock, enjoying the sun and cooling off in the water. They all crowded around as grandpa took out his tape measure and verified the length of the bass. Sure enough it was 20 inches long and I was over the moon.

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