15 Pound Bass Caught In Wilkinson County
Springtime hawg hunting at Woods-N-Water.
Editor’s Note: Longtime friend, advertiser and GON Youth Big-Buck contest sponsor Blaine Burley with Woods-N-Water recently caught a 15-lb. largemouth bass in a private pond in Wilkinson County. Blaine snapped a few photos, weighed the fish on hand-held scales and turned the fish loose to hopefully get bigger and produce some more bass with the same powerhouse genetics. Had Blaine taken the fish and weighed it on a set of scales certified by the Georgia Department of Agriculture, and if it would have held a weight of 15 pounds, it would be tied for No. 35 of all-time on Georgia’s Biggest Bass of All-Time list. This listing of Georgia’s biggest bass of all time is owned, produced and updated by GON. Below is the story of Blaine’s giant catch. Congrats buddy!
When March finally arrives here in middle Georgia, my focus immediately shifts from wild hog and predator hunting to bass fishing and turkey hunting. We are truly blessed to have some of the best bass fishing and turkey hunting in the country.
These are my two passions during the spring. During this time of year, I always struggle to make the decision of whether I should go bass fishing or turkey hunting during my limited time off from guiding my Woods-N-Water clients.
On this particular day, the decision was easy. It was March 14, and only youth turkey was in, so I felt the urge to go bass fishing. For the past 40 plus years of my life, I have made the annual pilgrimage to one of my favorite fishing holes in search of a monster bass. From my past experience, I knew this was the best time of year to catch a double-digit bass.
I had been watching the weather and environmental changes for the past week, and I knew the time was right to hit the water. The dogwoods were blooming, and the turkeys were gobbling. The temperatures had been in the high 70s all week and a cold front was in the forecast, which meant the barometric pressure would be dropping. These are the perfect conditions for catching big bass.
Under these same conditions last year, I had caught one of my largest bass to date in this particular lake. This particular hawg weighed in at 13-lbs., 8-ozs. My oldest son Brandt, who was fishing with me that day, also caught his largest bass to date—a football-shaped 11-lb., 8-oz. big bass.
Almost a year to the date, I was back again fishing with one of my close friends in this same 70-acre private lake in middle Georgia in search of another hawg. My lure of choice during this time of year for catching big bass is a 3/4-oz. double willowleaf bladed spinnerbait. The color of the spinnerbait and blades that I use depends on the lake conditions, amount of sunlight and the clarity of the water in the lake.
I always target the south-facing banks with sandy bottoms and relatively shallow water that is 2 to 4 feet deep. I also like to fish in the afternoons due to warmer water temperatures this time of year, and I know that the warmer, afternoon water helps push the big bass up close to the shoreline as they prepare to spawn.
Within the first hour of fishing that day, I had caught two big bass— one weighing 9 1/2 pounds and the other going 7 1/2 pounds.
It had already been an incredible day of bass fishing by most fisherman’s standards. However, I was on a mission to catch a hawg. Trophy bass fishing is a lot like trophy deer hunting, it requires lots of planning, perseverance and patience.
On this day, after what seemed like a thousand casts and numerous snags along the bank, I felt an unusually strong tug on the end of my line and a huge whirl to boot. I immediately knew that I had hooked into a hawg! After a long fight and several out-of-the-water, unnerving head shakes, I could barely lift the monster bass into the boat. I was shaking so bad (I had serious bass fever) that I could barely hold on to the fish scale and measuring tape to document the size of this hawg!
After a few quick photos and measurements, I released the huge female bass filled with eggs back into the lake so not to harm her. She weighed in at 15 pounds and had a girth of 23 inches and a length of 28 inches! It was a new lake record for largemouth bass and my largest bass to date.
After I released her, my friend and I just sat there in awe over the size of this monster bass and what had just happened. We both felt truly blessed to have been able to share this experience with each other and to land a fish of this magnitude. It was definitely a day that I will never forget and will forever cherish.
Editor’s Note: To book your very own dream bass fishing trip with Blaine and Woods-N-Water, call them at 478.864.9108 or check them out at www.woodsnwaterinc.com.
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