A Florida record breaking Shoal bass caught by angler reeling in a fish while at the Chipola River two weeks ago.
Stewart Mayeaux, 41, brought in the four-pound, 14-ounce shoal bass while fishing in the river on Sept. 19, JC Floridan reports. The record was announced by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
“When the fish hit, at 8 a.m. Saturday morning, it dove for the bottom, trying to rub the treble-hook loose. After a nice fight, Mayeaux reeled her in, called the FWC and placed her in an aerated tub until fisheries biologist Chris Paxton arrived to verify the species and weigh it on certified scales,” the FWC stated in a release.
The previous record was jointly held by Tucker Martin and Jamie Coleman, who reeled in 4.49-pound and 4.50-pound bass respectively. A new record must be at least ¼-ounce more than the previous one, which is why the previous two men shared it jointly.
Biologists said the water levels and lack of fishing pressure is probably what lead to the strong catches at the Chipola River, Outdoor Hub reports. “Shoal bass year classes on this river are largely controlled by spring water level,” FWC biologist Andy Strickland told Florida Sportsman.
“Low-water years produce big year classes while high-water years can result in poor year classes. All the big fish we’re seeing are likely 7, 8 and 9 year old fish from the low water years of 2006, 07, and 08.”
To read more and catch up with all the Florida freshwater fishing, join the newsletter at Bass Online