Field and Stream - - CONTENTS - —AS TOLD TO JOE AL­BERT

The steep cost of com­pounds, ter­ri­ble fish­ing tips, and a gator at­tack.

On my birth­day week­end, my friend Adam and I took a trip to New Bullards Bar Reser­voir in north­ern Cal­i­for­nia. We knew this lake held some mon­ster spot­ted bass, so we were on the hunt for a real tro­phy. We started fish­ing around 9 A.M., and about an hour later, the fish hit my foot­ball jig with a twin trailer. I could tell it was big. It ran a few times and peeled what it could, but I was us­ing heavy braided line and kept it pretty con­trolled. When the fish fi­nally came out of the mud, I caught a glimpse of it—and it was a beast. Af­ter fight­ing it for a solid minute, I horsed it in. We freaked out, think­ing it might be a world record. I weighed and mea­sured it, then let it go, feel­ing like I’d ac­com­plished some­thing big.

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