After years of coming so close — including catching an 8.3-pounder just three weeks ago — Broc Corcoran got the shock of his life Monday afternoon when he reeled in a certified 9.3-pound lunker near Scout’s Island that broke the record and became the biggest largemouth bass ever caught in New Orleans City Park.
But a different kind of shock almost prevented the 29-year-old New Orleans resident from even getting the chance to catch the giant bass, which measured 24 inches long and had an 18-inch girth.
“It was a miracle of God because Wildlife and Fisheries came Monday, and they shocked all the fish and scooped them up. So I ran over to the dock and said, ‘Please don’t shock over here,’ and they said, ‘We’re sorry, but we have to.’ My heart sank, and they came over to right where I was fishing and I saw them shock a big fish and scoop it up,” he said. “So I ran and jumped in my truck and met them at the boat launch and they let me watch them count the fish and weigh them and get the lengths.
“They said 5 pounds was the biggest one they caught — and I knew right away they didn’t get the fish I was after. It was still there.”
So he headed back to his spot, and saw a smaller male bass about 8 feet from the bank — but didn’t initially see the big female he had been targeting. However, it didn’t take long for the giant to hit his soft plastic minnow around noon.
“I set the hook too fast and it came out like a bullet and got stuck in a tree,” Corcoran said with a chuckle. “I was shaking so bad it must have taken me 10 minutes to retie that lure. As soon as I threw it back in, she hit again and I set the hook and ran down there and I thought my pole was going to break in half.
“I drug it up on the bank and just holding it in my hand, I knew it broke the record. When I put the scale on it, I just said, ‘Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God - I must have said that 90 times.”
Corcoran’s scale pegged the hawg at 9.41 pounds, but he had to wait for his girlfriend to arrive with a 48-quart ice chest, and then headed out to Captain Sid’s Seafood in Metairie to put the bass on state-certified scales. During the wait, Corcoran used alligator line as a stringer and tied the big fish to a log to keep it as healthy as possible.
“It was stressed out, and it took me an hour to get it to the truck and it started pooping like crazy and burned an ounce off,” he said, noting the official weight at Captain Sid’s was 9.3 pounds.
They returned to the park office, where fishing buddy Dennis Galeas had also arrived to check out the monster bass. Park officials saw the fish and reviewed the photos of it on the certified scales, and several noted City Park bass anglers watched and shot video of Corcoran releasing the fish back into the pond.
“I had to let her go,” Corcoran said. “It was a blessing from God. To kill that fish or take it away from its nest would be a sin.”
Anthony Mike was the previous record holder — he caught a 9.1-pounder in February of 2017 that edged out a 9.05-pounder caught by Tim Zissis in 2013.
"It hasn't set in yet," Corcoran said, about finally landing a record fish he's dreamed about catching for years. "Until I see it in print, I don't think it will really register."