Cook County Largemouth Just Misses GON’s Big Bass List

Brad Gill | April 25, 2020

Isaac Kennedy, 14, with his 12.86-lb. Cook County largemouth caught on a Whopper Plopper.

The last thing you expect to hear a proud daddy say after his 14-year-old stepson catches the largemouth of a lifetime is, “Bummer! Certified scales showed 12.86 pounds! Oh well, he was bummed but still a lifetime fish!

While Isaac Kennedy, 14, of Adel, and his stepdad Bubba Bailey, are obviously ecstatic with the accomplishment, a set of hand-held scales showed the fish to weigh 14 pounds. Isaac and Bubba then had their sights set on making GON’s Georgia’s Biggest Bass of All-Time list, an exclusive list of officially weighed bass 14 pounds and heavier. There are currently 58 bass on that list.

Prior to April 22, Isaac’s biggest bass was a 6-pounder, which is still an impressive fish for anyone. However, it was an evening fishing excursion with his stepdad that shattered Isaac’s personal best record.

“That evening my stepdad decided to go fishing at my Papa’s pond and asked me to go,” said Isaac. “I have been fishing at this pond all of my life, so I kind of had an idea of where the fish like to bite, especially topwater.”

The Cook County pond is 28 acres in size and was dug out 26 years ago by Isaac’s Papa Stanley and Papa Wayne Boyette.

“I was using my favorite topwater bait, which is a Whopper Plopper,” said Isaac. “I saw swirls farther down the bank, so I walked down there, and on my first cast that bass hit my Whopper Plopper,” said Isaac. “I reeled him in the best I could and got him close to the bank, and my line broke, so I jumped in the water, shoved my hand in his mouth and pulled him out.”

Bubba reached out to GON regarding the giant bass.

In order for a bass to be added to GON’s Georgia’s Biggest Bass of All-Time list, it must be weighed on Department of Agriculture certified scales with two witnesses present, and the fish must weigh at least 14 pounds.

Thankfully, Lynn Gaskins at Gaskins Meats in Adel allowed them to weigh the fish. That’s when they learned the official weight was 12.86 pounds.

While making GON’s Georgia’s Biggest Bass of All-Time list would have been icing on the cake, Bubba couldn’t be any more proud of Isaac’s accomplishment.

“I told him I didn’t think he understood just how fortunate he was. I’ve been fishing for 40 years and never caught a bass anywhere near that size,” said Bubba. “It’s a lifetime achievement fish for sure, and there are people who go through an entire lifetime of fishing and never get that opportunity.”

Bubba said watching Isaac catch the fish was way more rewarding than if he’d caught it himself.

“I would much rather him catch it than me, just to see the excitement he showed and to know that he is now hooked for life is worth 10 times more than any fish I could ever catch,” said Bubba.

If you catch a bass you believe to weigh 14 pounds or better, make plans to have the fish weighed on certified scales with witnesses and call GON. Take lots of photos!

And next time you’re in Adel, please stop and thank Lynn Gaskins at Gaskins Meats in Adel for allowing Isaac to weigh the fish. It’s folks like Lynn who allow us to host GON’s Georgia’s Biggest Bass of All-Time list and GON‘s Lake and River Records program.

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