Launched at Otay Lake (Chula Vista, Ca, south San Diego by the border, a 'big lake' for our area, but a pond in Texas, about 2 miles long, two arms, about an 1/8th to a 1/4 mile wide) parked boat/trailer with the other 50 or so there, and started fishing at 10 a.m., directly across from the ramp. Started fishing the frog right off the bat. Didn't land any of the ones that hit over the past 4 weeks of getting exploded on, the bite has been sporadic at best, so didn't spend too much time with it. Really felt like it should now, as they had been hitting other topwater for the past two weeks at Otay (had one frog blowup at Cap on Monday, no sticky).
I worked to the buoy line by the dam, getting one blow up that entire stretch. Came up to a young man in a tube, he asked why I'd throw it, as he'd heard, and read, it was an early morning lure. I agreed, it is, but it also works just fine the rest of the day.
I continued on, heading over to Harvey's, near a honey hole where I'd been getting some good jerkbait fish. Had another two blowups, and it was really looking positive at this point. But I decided to get the stripe off my boat a tossed the jerkbait, and got three about 1 pound in short order. I then went back to the frog. Had another hit (more of a slurp, indicating two possibilities usually, a dink, or a lunker) and immediately I reeled down to see if I'd connected, I had. But it was ripping drag. Must have forgotten to button her down I thought, my 65# braid usually is, but as I tried to I realized it already was, strange!!!?
Then I realized why as a fairly large bass came to the surface, but as it did not jump I didn't know how large. It ran again, to deeper water (as in 7'), across the area 20 yards from left to my right, then surfaced, going full airborne, shaking a humongous head and thrusting it's body back and forth causing a ton of water up with it. GOD HELP ME, she's GIANT and she's beautiful, such a giant head! GOD HELP ME again I thought.
My first thought was to yell HELP, but just as instantly realized there was no one to yell to, and even if there was, what could they do anyways? This was to be mano a mano (or fish a mano) I've been in this situation before, but so far, all monsters over 10 have always got off, one at least 13 in trees at El Cap. I went into full stress mode and prayer mode too.
After jumping I reeled her over and grabbed the net, figuring I'd make short order of this fight. She almost was guided into to but was so heavy I could not guide her like I wanted, and she/I missed. OH NO!
She then realized what was up and muscled herself back down, and under the boat towards the other side. I decided to relax and not force her in, babying her instead, as I visualize what she was doing down there. Looking for big bushes no doubt, more prayer sent up. She tore line out again (65# braid, was not afraid of her breaking off, more likely the frog to tear out), and slowly I gained ground and brought her back up, but she tore to the left and tried to jump again, getting more tired.
Again, I thought SHE'S HUGE and even though the net is also, I missed her again on the next try, she hit the rim, but slowly brought her back around and in she went! YIPPEE, she's mine.
BUT how big? I hoped like crazy over 10, I'd bet money she was, and I flashed how my men's group at our church had prayed I get one over 10 the night before (but they pray that every Tues. night, for years now, but hey, I kept the faith it'd get answered finally), as my PB to date was a 9.96 from the Calif. Delta last year at this time (I make the 10 hour run up there about 3 times a year, God's gift to bass fishermen, that and Clearlake, another 2 hrs. north).
I was so nervous I was shaking, and as I lay her and the net down, I realized she might flop out of the boat, but I was not thinking clearly and decided to still dig out the scale and put her on it. It fluctuated around 11.5, but as the boat was moving, and my heart beating so hard and my nervousness shaking my hand, was not exactly sure.
I then let out a yell heard around the cove at that point, not the 'agony of defeat' one, as I'd let out many times from fish so big you could put a gallon paint can into their mouths that had got off on that initial jump, but one from FINALLY being landing, attained by very few. I set up the self timer, and it was not working properly, and not wanting to hurt her, thru her into the live well while I figured it out. Did so, then sent some photos to a couple of fishing buddies, then the wife, then more fishing buddies. All the while wanting to run to the docks to weigh her officially. Then the lake staff gentleman came by a few minutes later, asking how many I'd got so far. Let's see, three dinks on the jerk, and one lunker, I reported '4'. 'Any big ones' he followed up? Uh yeah, an 11.5 or so I reported. He looked and smiled, not believing me. Do you still have it? Yep, reached back into the live well, that it barley fit into, and lifted the beauty back up for us both to marvel at. OH MY GOD he exclaimed, we haven't seen a lunker like this in weeks. 'Can I take a couple of photos' he asked.
You bet I replied, so proud of her. 'Take a coupe with my phone please', I added. He did, and a video too of me explaining the whole thing in 30 seconds. I continued with the frog, getting two more out of the four blowups, then after an hour or so I could not wait any longer, and ran to the docks for the 'official' weight. It only measures in tenths, and read 11.6! I take it. Thank U Lord, and that worker wanted photos too.
I kept fishing till dusk, getting a couple of more frog fish, but nothing of size. Lost a nice one on a blade in the back of Otay arm, praying for a miracle of a second 10+, why not?
Well, yesterday was one of the best bass fishing days of my life, thank U Lord.