Hamburg resident Tom Marks, local Lake Erie Charter Captain, caught a huge 15.61 pound Largemouth Bass near Port Charlotte, Florida, on a lipless Strike King Shad lure.
Local Lake Erie charter captain Tom Marks exclaimed, “You’ll never believe this, I just caught the biggest bass of my life, and I caught it in small pond!” Marks contacted me from Florida with some details.
Marks said, “In the past, I have fished this pond every day for a month and only would get one or two bites, but they would be good fish. Several years ago, I caught a 10-pound bass from it, but I decided this trip I wouldn’t fish the pond much because it didn’t really have good numbers of fish.”
A tournament fishing pro, as well as a Florida fishing guide in winter months, Marks uses three rods for fishing Florida ponds that are rigged with a spinnerbait, a Texas-rigged Zoom worm and a lipless Strike King Redeye Shad.
Marks added, “Last Friday, I fished the Red Eyed Shad first. I was fishing the lure fast, trying to get a reaction strike. I got one of those ‘bumps’ from a fish, but it was not a bite. I quickly switched over to the worm rod to finesse a strike. He hit — it was a big fish, but the way it fought I thought I might have a catfish, so I was horsing it in. When the fish jumped it was a huge bass, but my hook came flying out of its mouth. It was a heart breaker to lose that huge bass. I figured I would try again, but I would ‘rest’ the pond for a few days first.”
On the following Monday of last week, Marks explained he made a trip over to Lake Okeechobee to bass fish, but it was a very windy day, and was only hours after that a line of severe storms passed over the lake.
“So I quit early and headed back to home,” he said. “I got there with enough time to try the pond. I started out again using the Redeye Shad and fished it fast, as I did on Friday. I figured the bass was agitated by the lure, but not enough to really eat it. I got the bump and quickly switched to the worm rod. On the second cast, the bite was so hard it actually hurt my wrist. The fight was on. Stripping line off the reel and several leaps, I could see it was hooked good. When I got it to the shore and gripped the fish’s lower jaw I could not believe it...it was huge!”
“Here I have been fishing Lake Okeechobee earlier, a place where giants roam but a little pond near Port Charlotte proved to be the home of a true giant,” added Marks who released the fish back into the water.
— By Forrest Fisher