Last weekend, Ally Welch reached two important milestones in her life. The first was her seventh birthday, which she celebrated on Saturday, June 5. The second was on Sunday, when she caught her first bass, a 6 1/2-pound, 21 1/2-inch largemouth that she hooked in her grandparents’ pond in Clinton, where she lives with her parents.
Time will tell which of these important experiences will leave the bigger impression on Ally in the years to come, but the betting man’s money is on catching the bass.
Ally was fishing at the pond with her father, Austin Welch, when she caught the fish.
“I was complaining about how hot it was,” said Kayla Welch, Ally’s mother. “It’s funny: I was telling them that it was time to go because I have to cook.”
The last cast
Dutifully, Ally started to pack up, but when she picked up her father’s rod to reel in his line, she discovered a surprise out there in the water.
“Daddy, I have something!” Ally yelled. “Daddy!”
She set the hook, and the fight was on. Of course, the fish was a lot for her to manage, but she was able to land the fish with only a little help from her father.
She caught the fish on a Zoom Super Fluke in smokin’ shad (color) fished from a Shakespeare and Shimano bait casting rod and reel pairing.
“It was crazy,” Kayla Welch said. “It was the last cast, and we were getting ready to leave.”
Although Ally was “in shock” after landing the bass, she still had the wherewithal to show it off to her grandfather, an uncle, and an aunt.
“Look, look, look! I caught this!” she said as she made her rounds.
The Welches are having the bass mounted, both to celebrate their daughter’s birthday, and to commemorate a foundational family experience, memorializing the joy of a perfect moment in their shared life. Ally plans on having more outdoor adventures at Grand Isle this summer, and in the woods, hunting in the fall.
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