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Dreams DO come true!
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I know, I know...it's not an "Ohio" bass, but regardless, it is still the biggest bass that I have ever caught! (my biggest bass in Ohio is a 6.3lb Smallmouth for those of you who are wondering :) )
Anyway...I caught this beauty on my very first day of prefishing Lake Dardanelle (in Arkansas) for the upcoming Women's Bassmaster Tournament.
Unfortunately....and yes, I mean VERY unfortunately, I happen to be prefishing alone the day that I caught her....therefore, this is a "self taken" photo, that doesn't do a great job capturing her true size.
Just to give you an idea, this fish was pretty much laying against my body in my attempt to get as much of her in the picture as I was able. Just look at the size of her eyeball!!!! I'm telling you, I could have easily placed two of my fists side by side in her mouth and have room to spare on both sides!!!
I did not weigh her, as I just wanted to get her back in the water ASAP. I've caught lots of 5lb fish, and a few 6lbers...But, this fish dwarfed the 6 pounders....I think its safe to say that she was at least 7, and possibly even very close to 8 pounds.
2 casts later, (while I was on the phone with Rob sharing the news of this huge fish), I turn around and catch a 5 pounder on the same bait. Needless to say, I left that area alone until day one of the tournament. Unfortunately, they had dropped the water level quite a bit between my first day of prefish and the first day of the tournament, and those big fish had moved out :(
In case you are wondering what I used to kick some major Bass A** on Lake Dardanelle, it was Lake Fork Tackles newest (and greatest) soft plastic bait, the LIVE Magic Shad (rigged weightless on a 4/0 EWG hook.)





I ended up placing 18th at Lake Dardanelle :D I would have ended up with my highest finish yet of 16th, but unfortunately, my livewell decided to get moody on me, and two of my fish died on the way back to weigh-in :-(
10 ounces were deducted from my total weight because of those two fish, and that unfortunately moved me down two places, and reduced my paycheck by one hundred dollars!!!!
But, I'd have to say that the highlight of my tournament was fishing on day three with CoAngler Laura Elkins. After day two, she was in 11th place, and had a lot of ground to make up to move up into first. Me, being the incredibly optimistic person that I am knew that if she could just weigh in a limit of fish, that she would have a pretty good chance of winning as a CoAngler. She on the other hand was not quite as optimistic....lol
Well, I knew that we were in a good area where there was a high concentration of decent sized fish. I told her to make herself at home here because this area is where we were going to stay for the remainder of our day.
Laura had 4 nice fish in the livewell with only 5 minutes left until we had to head to weigh-in. Someone was on her side, because as we were literally idling out to the channel, she landed her fifth keeper of the day!!! WE were both very excited.
She ended up winning the CoAngler division with that final fish of hers! Not only that, but she won a 35,000 boat!!!! I was so proud of her, you have no idea! And I feel great that I was able to contribute to her success. I swear, I'm still on cloud nine, remembering the moment that they announced her as the winner. :)

 

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Great Job, Marcia! Both on the bass and the tournament. It is so exciting to catch a fish of that size, and a paycheck to boot. Keep up the great fishng.
 
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