There’s a current campaign underway to get kids off the couch and back outside enjoying the great outdoors.
But nobody has ever had to twist seven-year-old CJ Colvin’s arm to get outside and go fishing. And it paid off on June 5 when the youngster reeled in a 13-pound bass in a private lake in Ouachita Parish.
“It was incredible,” said his dad, Michael, who was in the boat along with his lifelong fishing partner, Bubby Brooks. “I mean, we had been catching a lot of small bass with kids and having a good time. The other kids all got tired and went back in, but CJ wanted to stay with us. Bubby caught a small bass and was reeling it in when a huge bass hit it right at the boat. We weren’t catching anything that big, so after a few minutes, we landed a real small bass and decided to try and use it for bait.”
Bubby has caught big bass on live bait before and he rigged up the small bass with a No. 2 circle hook through it’s tail. They threw the bait out, handed CJ the rod and just let the little bass swim around.
The rest of the story played out like, well, like a good fishing story.
Landing the lunker
Within just a few minutes, CJ’s rod started bending and he started reeling. The big fish had taken the bait, but it didn’t want to come to the boat. It didn’t come to the top until it was almost back at the boat. In the meantime, Michael had grabbed his phone and stated videoing because he didn’t know what CJ had hooked. In fact, he said for a minute there, he thought it might have been a baby alligator.
“They thought it was a gator, but I knew it was a big bass all along,” CJ said. “It was pulling just a tad bit for sure.”
It wasn’t long until the big fish swirled, though, and both Michael and Bubby both knew it was a monster bass. It tried to make a jump and then they knew it was a huge largemouth. Both of them have bass fished for years, including in tournaments, and they knew what CJ had.
CJ was excited and he just keep reeling. In fact, he reeled the fish right up the the end of the rod and around to the end of the aluminum boat where Bubby lipped the bass and all of them started hollering at the size of the fish.
“When the fish swam up to the boat, my dad jumped all the way from the front to the back with me,” CJ said. “He was pretty excited. But when Mr. Bubby grabbed the fish and held it up, it was really funny. He screamed like a girl.”
Weighing the big fish
It took a few minutes for things to settle down, then they tried to figure out how to weigh it.
The story got complicated then. They had to pull their aluminum boat through a thicket with a four-wheel drive just to get to the pond they were fishing. They didn’t have a scale of any sorts with them and they weren’t close enough to get to one without killing the fish. They called CJ’s mom, Danielle, and she brought two sets of digital bathroom scales to the pond. They weighed the fish on both, then the fish with Michael holding it, several times on both scales. It came out to 13.0 pounds each time. While that won’t be good enough to submit for the record books because the scales aren’t certified, it’s good enough for them.
The fish was 25 1/2 inches long and had a 19-inch girth. It’s belly was bulging and while it looked like it had eggs, Bubby feels sure it was just full of crawfish. They cleaned several smaller fish and each one had crawfish in the stomach. Several other fish spit out crawfish when they were being landed.
A future pro?
After the big fish was weighed, it was released back into the pond and swam away to fight another day. CJ wouldn’t have it any other way. He plans on being a fisherman for a long time. In fact, this year in school for career day, he declared he wanted to be a professional bass fisherman. He has even been on a trip with professional fisherman Tyler Stewart.
“We work hard to make sure our kids get outdoors and I think this serves as a good example of why they need to put down those video games and go enjoy life,” Michael said. “Bubby and I have been lifelong fishing partners and now our sons Bubby and Tate do the same things we grew up doing. That’s pretty special. And when you take them fishing, you never know what is going to happen.”
That’s even more true after CJ’s big catch than ever before.
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