A Texas angler pulled in quite the haul with this massive largemouth bass. After a bit of a struggle, the fisherman pulled a catch longer than his arm.
CJ Oates had been fishing out in Lake Austin, Texas when he hooked his rare catch. The bass was a big boy indeed. At 13.02 pounds, the bass was in the upper end of the scale, what officials call a “Legacy Class.” This class of fish tops the scales with a weight starting at 13 pounds.
“She was so massive that I could barely reel to get her in,” Oates told For the Win Outdoors. “She was built like a mini school bus.”
Oates’ fight started with a slight tick that soon turned into an ultimate tug of war. Oates described the battle of wills as complete “madness.” But ultimately, the victory went to the angler, not the bass, in this bout.
“For a moment I thought I was hung up and then I felt her head shake,” Oates said. He confessed that prior to the catch he and his friend weren’t having much luck out on the water. Oates soon found his night turned around. “At that point, things started to get really serious. During all this madness we didn’t have time to turn the headlamps on so we didn’t have much of a gauge of how big she was.”
The Angler Donates the Largemouth Bass
Fortunately for the creature, Oates decided not to deep fry it or bake it in the oven. Instead, he donated his catch to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
The Wildlife Department has a breeding program that encourages future generations of bass. The program runs during the spawning period from January through March. Researchers help encourage the fish to thrive for future anglers to catch. The 13 pound bass will be sharing its genetics, hopefully giving way to future monsters.
Oates is only the second fisherman to donate a “Legacy Class” largemouth to the organization. Previously, angler Travis Moore caught a 13.44 largemouth during a tournament. Among millions of fish, a 13 pounder is a rarity.
The Wildlife Department congratulated Oates on his catch on Facebook and thanked him for his contribution.