Bekah’s Big Bass
GON Kids - October 2017
By Rodney Mull
There’s just something about hearing the zing of line spooling out of a reel and watching a rod tip bend on a warm Georgia morning that makes fine memories. All the better when your child is the one holding the rod and just able to keep up with the prize pulling on the other end. Just such a memory was made for me and my daughter one early June 2017 morning on Lake Varner.
Right off, we got into a few slabs, and I knew the day would be a success. Then another slab and another, and then something interesting happened. Our rod bent into the water with something snapping the line. A few minutes later, after a short fight, another line snapped. I suspected hybrids were in the area feeding, so we put some live bream on the bottom. After a while, we decided to pull in the lines and move.
“Dad, it is not snagged,” she said.
“Child, the line is snagged in those rocks. I will get it in just a minute.”
“Father, there is something on the line,” she said calmly.
The line suddenly, and with great speed, traversed radically to the right.
Set the hook!” I said.
As she closed the distance between fish and boat, I realized I hadn’t brought the net. And then we saw it. This was no hybrid. This was the largest largemouth bass I had ever seen.
The beast swam for the boat and went under. Bekah wheeled the fish to the side, managing to keep the line out of the trolling motor. Then, in a slow-motion moment, I gazed upon my daughter’s face. My baby girl. All grown up in her 14 years and wrangling this hog like a boss. She was focused and intense, determined to land this massive fish. I will savor that image forever.
The fish swirled again as Bekah strained against the force of the fish’s desperate efforts to dive deep. At just that instant, his mouth broke the surface, and I was able to grab him.
I was one proud papa. We rejoiced and admired the amazing fish at our feet.
At the end of the day, it’s not about your quarry. It is about the time you spend together. Trapped side by side in a deer stand, facing each other in a small boat, beside each other in the blind. The conversations in between the action are what really make a trip successful. Keeping those lines of communications open with your teen and investing time wisely in your children’s lives makes all the difference, for as we all know, they grow up too fast.
As for “Gilly,” my daughter named the fish, she was 23 inches long and our old kitchen scale indicated 6 pounds and some change. Several friendly posters on the GON Forum indicated they believe this bass to be north of 7 pounds, even close to 8. The stats don’t really matter. That June day spent with Bekah, watching her face as she caught the biggest fish of her life is what I’ll remember.