Father and son land big bass a month apart

Matthew Gantner and his father Tim shared a unique bonding experience recently — the two outdoorsmen each hauled in a whopper of a catch, virtually back to back, while on fishing outings.

Tim secured a 10.21-pound, 26-inch trophy bass on July 19. Less than a month later, Matthew followed suit, landing a catch just short of eight pounds at 7.92 pounds on Aug. 16.

“To go back-to-back like that, it’s kind of ridiculous, honestly,” said Matthew. “There have big some big ones out of that pond in the past … when I caught it, I called him and said he needs to get over here with his scale to see this.

“I wasn’t expecting anything. I was really just going out there to kill some time, so this was pretty cool to have happen.”

A 10-pound surprise

Tim caught his fish during an outing at a private pond on the Northshore with family and friends. As with his son, the big catch came when he was more or less killing some time.

“I had only caught a couple of eating sized bass over an hour or so of bank fishing,” Tim said, noting he used a green pumpkin big TRD Ned rig off the bottom as bait. “I made another cast and let the lure sink … while bouncing it back in I felt the bump of a fish and set the hook.”

He knew immediately this wasn’t like the usual hookup.

“It felt like I hooked a log at first,” Tim said. “Then she started to run.

“Almost immediately she jumped and my son’s friend Korey said ‘good lord Mr. Tim — that’s a 10 pounder!’ Four jumps and a lot of prayers later, we landed it by hand.”

Tim Gantner caught this 10.21-pound, 26-inch trophy bass on July 19.
Tim Gantner caught this 10.21-pound, 26-inch trophy bass on July 19.

Korey was almost exactly right on the fish’s weight.

“And to top it off, after pictures, we got her back in the water and watched her swim away, hoping she keeps passing those big girl genes to more generations of bass,” Tim said.

A family affair

Matthew Gantner landed this 7.92-pound bass on Aug. 16.
Matthew Gantner landed this 7.92-pound bass on Aug. 16.

Matthew, likewise, took to the same pond a few weeks later while fishing with his cousin. That afternoon, he said expectations weren’t high.

“We’d just talked to a couple of guys who said they weren’t really biting, that they’d just caught one, as they were leaving,” Matthew said. “We were just out there about five minutes when it felt like I caught something on my second time casting one out.”

Whatever he’d snagged wasn’t really moving much, but then the prize was revealed.

“This massive head popped out the water. It kind of freaked me out, honestly,” Matthew said. “This huge fish explodes out the water and into the air. I was beyond shocked when I saw it.”

He tried to get the fish to shore as quickly as possible, as to not break his line and before the fish could wriggle free.

From people he’d talked to, it had been awhile since anyone had caught something of that significance in the pond. It wasn’t unprecedented, though — Tim and Matthew can join a member of the family with some bragging rights, actually.

“My grandmother caught two eight pounders,” Matthew said. “It’s funny, because she does the least amount of fishing than any of us. This was a different experience … my dad and I had done something kind of like it while hunting. He shot an 11-point deer and I shot an 8-point in the same year, kind of back-to-back again. This was the first time for anything like that fishing.”

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