Crowville angler’s lunker bass, which weighed in at 12.52 pounds, was released.
Ken Chapman of Crowville had initially planned to fish a bass tournament on Saturday, but the 30-year-old angler inadvertently turned off the alarm instead of punching the snooze button.
“Well, guess I’ll be going to Delhi this morning,” the angler said to himself when he did finally wake up.
In retrospect, the angler admitted that was one of the best turn of events that has ever occurred to him.
Chapman launched onto Poverty Point Reservoir’s waters and began bass fishing at approximately 11:30 a.m. He said the sun peeked out every now and then under mostly cloudy skies above the lake.
He stayed on the same pattern all day — casting 9/16-ounce, tequila-skirted Crawgator jigs into submerged trees, in and around docks, and near structure along the banks.
After awhile, he hooked a good bass that weighed 6.08 pounds on a scale he had packed with his tackle in his boat. He released the fish, and continued fishing.
“Later in the day, I saw a good friend of mine, and I idled my boat near his to chat,” Chapman said. “I asked him if he had fished a specific area, and he told me that he caught three fish there. I told him I was on my way over there.”
The angler pulled up to the location at about 4:30 p.m. He knew there was a submerged artificial structure placed in about 8 feet of water before it opened to the public.
“It was on my second cast when I felt a fish load up on the jig, and the line started moving,” Chapman recalled. “I set the hook and thought that the fish had me wrapped around the structure.
“But it was the weight of the fish.”
It wasn’t until the fish rose to the surface that the angler realized he had a monster on the end of his line.
“When the fish was coming up, I could see the water boiling, and then I knew it was a big one,” Chapman said. “I was hoping it was a 10-pounder because I had just told my friend I had yet to catch one.”
“When I saw her — especially the big belly – I knew she had to be 10 pounds, at least.”
He brought the fish to boat as quickly as possible, but the bass still had some energy left.
“When I was attempting to grab the line to lip her in the boat, she started a tail walk,” he said.
Fearing he would lose the fish, Chapman made sure he lipped her tightly when she came up the second time.
“I knew I had the largest bass of my lifetime,” he said. “My scale read 12.5 (pounds), and I immediately started up the boat and motored straight over to the marina to officially weigh her.
“But on the way there, I met up with my friend and we placed her on his scale too and came up with the same weight.”
Upon arrival at the marina, Park Ranger Tim Colvin weighed and measured Chapman’s bass.
“It was determined to be a Florida bass, and it weighed 12.52 pounds and measured 24 inches in length,” Colvin said.
The bass’ girth measured 21 1/2 inches, Chapman said.
Chapman’s bass was released after it was officially logged.
Chapman’s Poverty Point Reservoir lunker comes on the heels of a 12.24-pounder taken by Delhi’s James Bryan on Feb. 6.
For more information regarding Poverty Point State Park, visit their website.