David Still lands monster bass on Bussey

David Stills with is 13.0 Bussey Brake lunker bass.
David Still with is 13.0 Bussey Brake lunker bass.

There’s an old TV show called “Father Knows Best.” There’s a good chance 21-year-old Bryce Still never watched that show, but at least he knew to do what his dad, David, told him. Especially when it came to going fishing this past Father’s Day. In this case, it was “Father Knows Bass.”

The father-son team went fishing on Bussey Brake and “Father” not only knew best, he caught the best one of the day, a 13-pound lunker largemouth that is the largest one caught in the lake on record. The Stills did not get to weigh the monster bass on a certified scale. The official lake record to date was caught by Randy Howell with a 12-pound, 14-ounce bug-eyed largemouth during the Major League Fishing tournament earlier this year.

“We weighed it several times and it weighed 13.03 the first time and we put her in the livewell and kept fishing trying to figure out what to do,” Still said. “We weighed her again on two different scales and the fish went 13.0, so that’s what we called her at.”

After the second weighing at the main dock in front of several witnesses, they took her back out in the lake and released her. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologist Ryan Daniel said he is handling the fish this way. It will be listed as the largest bass caught on record, but it will have an asterisk beside it because it was not on an official scale.

Third times the charm

The most amazing thing about the story is that it was the first bass that the 50-year-old Still caught on Bussey since it has been re-opened, even though he lives in Bastrop.

“We knew there were some big ones in there and that’s why I wanted to go to Bussey,” Still said. “But I never expected for us to catch a fish like that.
It was a pretty day, with the temperature around 85 degrees and a north wind. I honestly think the reason the big one bit is because there was a cold front coming that night and the pressure was falling.”

If you ever think one cast by a good looking spot is enough, Still says maybe you need to rethink that.

“I had already cast at the brush twice and got nothing,” he said. “But the boat floated up a little bit closer and there was a shadow on the backside, so I threw back in one more time. I let it sit, worked it up and down, and then let it sit again. When I raised it the second time, the line started moving off. She took off and when she busted the top of the water, we both knew it was a huge bass, but not that huge.

“Bryce tried to knock her off with the net twice,” he said, laughing about the competitive nature of their fishing together. “But when we got her in, we knew she was well over 10. And the hook was just barely hanging on the side of her mouth. One more good run and she would have been gone.”

A good decision to go with Bussey

And that “Father Knows Best” part? Bryce had wanted to go to another lake, but the elder Still wanted Bussey. Since it was Father’s Day, that’s where they went. Still works away from home a lot on his job building windmills and wanted to fish his “home” lake. Bryce is a pipefitter for an area business.

The big bass bit a 10 1/2-inch Red Shad Zoom worm fished with a 5/16-ounce weight, 20 pound Seaguar line.

There is now a certified scale at the Main Boat Dock of Bussey operated by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. The Stills did not know about that before they released the big one, but aren’t as worried about whether it’s the official record or not.

“We wish we would have known about the certified scales, but we didn’t and we are confident the scales we used were accurate. It is what it is. We know what we had,” Still said. “The scales are always right on with what weights we catch in tournaments and frankly, anything near that big, they usually weigh a little short. So she could have been 2-3 ounces bigger.”

The elder Still also said it won’t be his last trip back to Bussey.

“I don’t think that fish will go a long way away and I know this coming spring when she’s full of eggs, she’ll weigh close to 15 pounds. I’ll be working that stretch of water every chance I get,” he said.

About Kinny Haddox 597 Articles
Kinny Haddox has been writing magazine and newspaper articles about the outdoors in Louisiana for 45 years. He publishes a daily website, lakedarbonnelife.com and is a member of the Louisiana Chapter of the Outdoor Legends Hall of Fame. He and his wife, DiAnne, live in West Monroe.