10

Field and Stream - - ON THE COVER - By PETE ROB­BINS

EV­ERY BASS AN­GLER DREAMS OF LAND­ING A DOU­BLE-DIGIT LARGE­MOUTH. THESE PROS CAN MAKE THAT DREAM A RE­AL­ITY—WHETHER YOU WANT TO TRAVEL FOR THE TRO­PHY OR TRY HOOKING THAT MON­STER FISH CLOSE TO HOME

TEN. AMER­I­CANS OBSESS OVER THE NUM­BER. We com­pile top 10 lists; you need 10 yards to get a first down; and in 1979, Bo Derek starred in a movie about phys­i­cal per­fec­tion with the ap­pro­pri­ate ti­tle 10. Only the Spinal Tap guys worried about turn­ing it up to 11, but we were all in on the joke: Noth­ing’s bet­ter than reach­ing 10.

When it comes to large­mouth bass, that same num­ber plays an out­size role. The bass is the most Amer­i­can game­fish of all, and a 10-pounder is the undis­puted bench­mark. “I’ve caught a lot of 7- to 9-pound bass, and you can usu­ally get them on the pat­terns that catch 3- to 5-pound fish,” Texas bass pro Keith Combs told me. “But at 10 pounds, some­thing changes.”

I talked with some of the great­est big-bass an­glers in the U.S. about their strate­gies, se­crets, and fa­vorite lo­ca­tions for catch­ing 10-pound bass. De­pend­ing on where you live, a 10-pounder may not be an op­tion—but don’t let that stop you from read­ing, be­cause these tips will still help you catch the big­gest bass of your life.

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