Searching for the 10-pound bass
The State Journal-Register
The 10-pound bass is to many fishermen what the 140-inch buck or the 22-pound gobbler is to hunters.
It’s nowhere near the top of the trophy scale, but it’s a benchmark and an achievement worthy of note. You won’t build on a room addition to house the mount, but you are likely to find a place for it on your wall.
Most deer hunters will never see a 140-class buck in their hunting lifetime. The same is true for those hoping to land a 10-pound lunker.]
A 10-pound bass is going to be about 2 feet long, with a mouth big enough to hold half a dozen Whoppers. It’s going to take two hands to hold it up for the camera. You will estimate it to weigh at least 14 pounds, then hold your breath hoping the scale doesn’t stop at 9 pounds 15 ounces.
One big difference between the big buck and the big bass is that you can document your catch and release it. Take pictures, weigh and measure it, then turn it loose for the next guy. Nobody is ever going to know that fish on the wall is a replica unless you tell. Just in case it happens, do a little research ahead of time to find out exactly what a replica maker needs to re-create your catch.
Like that big buck, it’s possible that your trophy bass can be living in an out-of-the-way place. He, or she, can be in a farm pond, in a lake or in the backwaters of the Mississippi River.
People who know far more about fishing than I do say that you can increase your chances of catching that double-digit bass by heading south. Lakes in Oklahoma, Alabama, Florida and Texas give up a lot of bass that size. One guide says he has led more than 50 clients to their 10-pound catch on Lake Fork in Texas.
The experts say your best shot at a 10-pound bass, wherever you’re wetting your line, is in the spring, when pre-spawning females are at their highest weight of the season. Some say those fish will be in water 2 to 8 feet deep as soon as the water temperature gets into the mid 50s, and will be attracted to red lures because the female bass at this time are fond of crawfish.
With all the books and magazines full of tricks of the trade, a boatload of electronics and a tackle box the size of a deep freeze, fishing remains unpredictable. Fisherman’s luck still comes into play.
A kid fishing the pond down the road, throwing out one more cast before dark, might run into that fish when all he was really hoping for was one more channel cat to add to his stringer.
It is possible to simply be in the right place at the right time.