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Bass worth 3-hour war of wits

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Bass worth 3-hour war of wits
Bass worth 3-hour war of wits

Gardner Macleod earned every ounce of his 14-pound largemouth bass. Using just about all the lures in his tackle box, and live bait as a last resort, it took him 3 hours to catch her.

"It was a trip," said the 29-year-old Macleod, who lives in Jacksonville.

Macleod caught the trophy fish Feb. 9 on a private lake near Pomona Park where his family has a residence. Fishing from a 14-foot jonboat, Macleod spotted the big female, along with a smaller male, on a bed.

Bedding bass are single-minded. Using their tails, they fan out a sandy area for their bed, then guard it against intruders. They're on the bed to reproduce, not to eat, and anything live or otherwise that enters that hallowed space is quickly picked up and deposited outside the bed.

Anglers sightfish for bedding bass, dragging soft plastic artificials or live baits across the bed. When a bass mouths the bait to remove it, a maneuver that's lightning fast, the fisherman sets the hook. It's easier said than done.

Positioning his boat only about 10 feet from the bed, Macleod flipped a 6-inch plastic worm into it. That didn't work, so he tried a different color worm. Then he went to a 10-inch worm in varying colors, then a tube jig, then a plastic lizard.

"I wanted to use artificials, and I went through everything in my tackle box," Macleod said. "They'd pick everything up by the tail [opposite the hook end], take it out of the bed and spit it out."

The smaller male bass was the aggressor, and Macleod realized he'd have to catch the buck before he would have any chance at the female.

The bass proved too cagey for artificials, so Macleod, becoming frustrated, switched to live shiners. He tossed a free-lined shiner to the bed, but it kept swimming out of the strike zone. Then he rigged a shiner on a lead-head jig.

But again, the bass knew how to play this game.

"If I hooked the shiner through the front or the back, the bass would pick it up by the opposite end, drop it outside of the bed and come right back on the bed," Macleod said.

"I had to try and hook the shiner where they'd have to find the hook. Finally, I hooked it in the belly. It still had some action, but it couldn't wiggle out of the bed."

Voila! Three hours and 15 minutes into this war of wits, Macleod finally caught the buck. Fifteen minutes later, he was fighting the largest bass he had ever seen.

"I couldn't believe the force of the fish," he said. "I was glad I had just respooled my reels with line for a trip to the Stick Marsh."

The fish wouldn't fit in the net, so Macleod had to use his hands to wrestle it into the boat.

"I felt absolute exhilaration," he said. "When I first saw the fish, I thought it was an 8- or 10-pounder. I've never seen a fish that size -- I didn't know how to judge it.

"I've been fishing that lake for 24 years, and the average bass caught in there is probably 1-2 pounds."

Macleod carried the bass for mounting to Tony's Taxidermy in Hawthorne, where on certified scales it weighed 14.24 pounds. It's the heaviest bass reported so far this year to the Times-Union.

A long-time bass fisherman, Macleod considered releasing his prize catch.

"I debated it," he said, "but I figured she had had time to pass on her genes. That was the fish of a lifetime."


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Re: [Guest] Bass worth 3-hour war of wits In reply to
i saw a similer sized bass one day fishing a pond at a collage she was about 3" off the bank just hanging there ( not on a nest ) threw everything in the box at this fish i would even run lures into to her and she would move to the side and let them bruch by finally just left with ever getting hooked up fished that pond many more times after that but never saw her again
CHRIS Everyone is intitled to my opinion
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Re: [Guest] Bass worth 3-hour war of wits In reply to
I'd say the wait was well worth it! I'm still looking for something that big!Cool



Stop in and say Hi in the North Dakota Board

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Re: [Bassmaster-ND] Bass worth 3-hour war of wits In reply to
yeah me to i got two over 10# but that just makes you want a bigger one
CHRIS Everyone is intitled to my opinion
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Re: [Guest] Bass worth 3-hour war of wits In reply to
good story and i bet FUN! HAHA COOL! theres this little pond down to ascutney i use to go to when we wanted to go swimmin, had a ball, well one day took my fish pole and had a big bass come out the water straight in the air. i know it was a goood ten. well he snapped my line like nothin,. well thatfollowin summer us kids went to go down, they posted it so fer 20 years i aint fished it swum in it or nothin. this last summer i took my grandkids down and we was catchin BIG BIG BASS, they had to be anywhere frim ten 14 lbs. and jack hooked onto somethin mr man we have no idea but he had 12 lb test on we used in pulaski, and it snapped it like nothin sittin still. well they did the same thing all over again, were not suppose to fish it,. like were hurtin anythin. its a town pond and its rotthen, the kids were havin fun, ahd us. too bad somebody enjoys themselves. rotten, attitudes.Tongue
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Re: [patches] Bass worth 3-hour war of wits In reply to
one of my favorites things to do is fish large carp on ultra light line ( 4# ) here in salt lake there is a city pond that is loaded with moster carp but there are no fishing signs everywhere my first ticket for said offence was 75.00 so i'm just not going to puch for a second
CHRIS Everyone is intitled to my opinion
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Re: [aquaman] Bass worth 3-hour war of wits In reply to
isnt that funny, i just got done talkin to johnincolorado bout this on our "have the fishin licences gone up in your state," i have a pond here in town,SAME WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111 NO POWER AND CONTROL THERE! HUH?? GITTIN SICKENIN AINT IT?? ticls me right off. i just cant understand how they can do it unless like i was sayin to john there, and he was someone gittin there pockets lined. yessa.its too bad. too bad thee ain,t a way to fight back but they gain power and control when they buy the land. too bad in a way us fishermen could,t git together and buy land fer all too. put our money in and take care of our own. another thing and you mark my words buddy boy, AND I BEEN SAYIN THIS FER A LONG TIME NOW, SOON! FAMILIES ARE GONNA HAVE TO LIVE, TOGETHER TO BE ABLE TO SURBIVE AND GIT ALONG FINANCIALLY, EMOTIONALLY PHYSICALLY! CAUSE IF THEY DONT, THEY WONT SURVIVE. ITS COMIN TO BE LIKE THE OLD DAYS THE OLD WAYS, BUT THEY WERE THE BEST WAYS. THERES POWER ALSO IN NUMBERS MEMBER THAT! LATERSmileWinkAND OUR LITTLE TOWNS ARE GOIN, AND THATS WHERE THERE STARTIN FISRT. IN EACH CATEGORY THEY CAN BY BUYIN OUR LANDS UP. STATE, GOV. AND THE ONES WE DONT WANT HERE. ya know what i mean by htat./Tongueto them!
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Re: [patches] Bass worth 3-hour war of wits In reply to
WHAT THE ^$#$#% WENT WRONG WITH THIS COUNTRY 22 years ago when i was 17 i had no problem moving out on my own my daugther finish's high school this year and the way i see it she will probably be living at home till she gets thur collage where did it all go wrong
CHRIS Everyone is intitled to my opinion