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Now, thanks to Scott Flitcraft, Southern California is getting a little love this year as well!
Sometimes It Pays to Switch Species
On Monday, April 25, Flitcraft headed to Lake Isabella, which is situated northeast of Bakersfield, around 5:00 a.m. What may seem surprising if you area reading this article after seeing a photo of a giant largemouth, though, is that Flitcraft actually hit the water that morning in search of crappie that morning.
Flitcraft loaded up his kayak and headed out toward some trees that were protruding out of the water. He noted that the water was particularly low that day, so he approached the spot and tossed out a crappie jig he uses regularly.
A couple days earlier, Flitcraft’s son has borrowed one of his rods and rigged it with a plastic worm. His son caught a couple bass during his outing, so Flitcraft decided to mix things up and throw the worm as well.
After about two dozen casts, Flitcraft believed he was snagged on a tree after bringing the worm in on a slow retrieval.
It soon became clear, however, that there was a fish on the end of the line.
Big Fish, Big Fight
When the “snag” started running, Flitcraft knew he was hooked up with something with sizeable.
Flitcraft recalls that the fish started pulling harder, so he pulled harder to compensate and there was no give. Eventually, he was able to get some traction, reeling with little resistance. He knew there was some size on the fish, but did not realize just how big yet.
Once the fish emerged, though, Flitcraft knew it was special.
He noted, “Suddenly, it appeared at the surface and broke the water, shaking its head violently and then it immediately dove back down, pulling line back off my reel.”
In Flitcraft’s words, “now the fight was on!”
He continued, “We went back and forth several times getting the fish to come towards the kayak, only to surrender her to going back down, taking line back off my reel.”
“After what seemed like an eternity and thinking the fish was going to break my line,” Flitcraft said, success was on the horizon!
Landing a Fish, Getting a Weight
Flitcraft was able to bring the fish up to the side of the kayak, hauling his massive bass into the craft. When describing the size of the fish, Flitcraft stated that “this fish was huge! My whole hand could easily fit in its mouth. Lifting it up out of the water and into my tiny boat, I was in shock!”
Once Flitcraft secured the fish, the next thing he wanted to do was get a weight. After all, it isn’t every day that someone lands a fish this big.
He noted, “I really didn’t know know how big this fish was and, luck have it, a bass fisherman was passing by in his bass boat, so I flagged him down. As he approached me, I asked if he had a scale. He said, ‘of course.’ I then asked him if we could weigh this fish I just caught. I held up my fish, and his eyes got so big!”
And for good reason…
Flitcraft’s lunker weighed in at an enormous 16 pounds, 12 ounces. The bass angler snapped a couple photos for Flirtcraft, who also mentioned that the fish was a pregnant female full of eggs. The angler encouraged Flitcraft to release the fish, which he did.
“An Experience I’ll Never Forget”
Flitcraft noted that people were shocked that he was able to land such a massive fish on a rig normally used to catch panfish. He mentioned that his pastor James Ranger stated that he was highly blessed and favored by God to be able to catch a once-in-a-lifetime catch like this.
Over the past two weeks, Flitcraft has been told just how significant this catch was. He is thankful for the opportunity to have such an incredible experience.