Casey Osbon of West Monroe said some of his buddies have been giving him trouble about the 10.25 pound bass he caught Monday, Feb. 6, from Bussey Brake Reservoir north of Bastrop.
No, nobody has trouble with the size of the fish, nor really the quality of the Go-Pro video that captured the brief struggle.
But Osbon admits they’re joshing him a good bit about the last few seconds of the fight, when he said he realized neither he, nor his tackle, was strong enough to land the bass the way he normally does.
“I’m a big guy, and I fish heavy, medium-heavy tackle,” said Osbon, 41. “I’ve boat flipped 7- and 8-pounders, but I didn’t realize this fish was that big. I saw her a couple of times, figured she was a 7 or 8, so I tried to boat flip her. The rod could have handled it, but not the reel. She was pulling line off the reel when I picked up and tried to flip her in the boat.
“I had to put the rod down and get down on my knees and lip her. When I reached down, I realized how huge her mouth was and how big she was. Some of my buddies have been kidding me about me having to do that.”
Of course, when you’ve landed a fish that big – no matter how it came over the gunwales – you can take some joshing.
“I’d caught a 2-pounder before I caught the big fish, and I caught a 3-pounder after, but to be fair, after I caught that big fish, I was mush,” Osbon admitted. “I was shaking like a leaf – the way you do the first time you see a big buck.”
That’s one thing Osbon regrets. He was so shook up, and so interested in getting the big fish back in the lake, alive and in good shape, that after he got a few photos and weighed the fish on a set of portable scales, he dropped her back in the 2,200-acre lake near Bastrop, he realized that he hadn’t taken any other measurements – length and girth – that might help a taxidermist make a replica mount of his personal-best bass.
“I could have kicked myself about that, but I was so scared,” he said. “I didn’t want to hurt that fish. Without thinking, I just tried to get her back in the water. I took some pictures and put her back.”
Things were right
Well, up to that point, Osbon had done everything right. He realized that conditions were good for a bass bite – warmer weather, an approaching full moon.
“We were in the middle of a 3-day warming trend, and I thought they might get active, so I put in between 12:30 and 1 (p.m.),” he said. “I got out there, and close to the ramp, there’s a channel – either a creek channel or a boat lane – and I noticed a lot of bait with small bass chasing them.
“I saw a tree line behind that channel and I thought, ‘I’ll bet there are some bass down there waiting for an easy meal.”
Osbon motored over to the tree line, which stood in 8 or 10 feet of water off the 14- to 15-foot deep channel, and started flipping a Bandito Bug, in Bama Bug color, Texas-rigged with a ⅜-ounce tungsten worm weight. He was within a quarter-mile of the ramp, 30 minutes after his boat hit the water, when he made a 10- or 15-foot pitch to a “little crease in the tree line.”
“I let it sit for several seconds, and when I picked it up, I felt something,” he said. “I let it sit, and when I picked it up again, it felt real spongy, like she had inhaled it and was just sitting there. And my rod tip was behind a little; I felt some pressure. That’s the way they’ve been biting lately.”
The wind was blowing Osbon’s boat towards the trees; he figured he was only 5 feet from where the line entered the water when he decided to set the hook.
“I put the hammer down; I tried to come out of my shoes,” he said.
Seconds later, the battle was over – even if it didn’t go quite according to plans.
“I’m still on Cloud 9,” Osbon said. “It was one of those days when you least expect it that it happened. Bussey Brake is a heckuva place. A good fisherman can go out and get blanked, but you can also go out and catch a 10-pounder.”