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  • The stories are true

    We all hear about epic battles with a fish from time to time. Iím here to publicly state that I will never doubt what I hear about a fight that a fish has given. Iím going to keep it as short as I can. After a good day yesterday and no nap, I promptly fell asleep in my recliner at about 6:30 and woke up at midnight to go to the bed. I live on a screwy sleep schedule anyway, always up before everyone. 4:15 this morning my eyes popped open, not to close again. Instead of bugging Joan and keeping on making noise and waking her up repeatedly, I did what any self respecting fisherman would do. Left the house by 4:45 and went to Dunkin (I know I know) and got her a coffee and a couple of donuts and me something and dropped them off and went down the street to be the first one at the ramp. A few fish were found before the sun and I wasnít keeping today since yesterdayís fillets were in the fridge. I was using a 5í6Ē Shakespeare micro, Shimano Sienna 1000 loaded with Stren Crappie 2lb mono and one of my tiny jigs with just a hint of floro green maribou. To cut to the chase, I pitched it into a place that I knew I shouldnít have and felt what I thought was a mushy kind of take, not a thump mind you. I lifted the rod and it came tight and the fish was still moving along like I didnít exist. A little more pressure and he reacted in a big way. This was no Crappie and it was a brute. No, not a catfish either. Drag sang a lot, I recovered line, and then he started going back where he came from, and I couldnít have that. With the rod tip high, I grabbed the spool and fought him with the bend of the rod. He surged no less than a dozen times and had me going to the other end of the boat. All this time Iím trying to get a hand on my net. If it was on video it would have been a hilarious Chinese fire drill! Took at least five tries to get him in the net but he had other ideas. I finally got the timing right and got his nose coming towards me at the same time I had the net ready and I had him

    Disbelief was my reaction. Now I know why people go to Arizona for possible world record shellcracker and gills. This thing was huge compared to any other panfish Iíve ever caught. Then I put him on the scales.

    Havenít weighed anything this big in a very long time. Just lipping this thing took concentration. I didnít dare let him start flopping around and get gone. The rod, reel, line and most of all, my little jig with a #8 sickle hook performed better than I ever dreamed it would. I put the fish on the front deck to look at it in the net and the jig fell out and through the net. God worked overtime smiling down at me on this one. An amazing fish, but now, what to do with him. It didnít take long to decide that he was feeding someone and it wasnít me. I had been talking with a gent that Iíve spoken with several times and he was catching fish, but this covid thing had him fishing for family and things were slow for him. I already had 3 crappie in a bucket for him and I just added the tilapia to it. His eyes and grin got real big and he kept saying thanks. We parted a little while later and I headed home, was there just after 9. Not a bad start to a day. As I write this I can barely move after too much yard work, service the mower, and set about 200 sq ft of two inch thick paver stones. Maybe Iíll work tomorrow, not sure. I might be able to wipe this smile off my face by about Thursday. This has been a bit off the usual crappie trail, but what a ride it was. Thanks for coming along and I wish you at least one of these in your fishing lifetime. Until I see you on the water..........Skeet
    This article was originally published in forum thread: The stories are true started by skeetbum View original post
    Comments 13 Comments
    1. Barnacle Bill's Avatar
      Barnacle Bill -
      Great story!
    1. gravelman6's Avatar
      gravelman6 -
    1. "G"'s Avatar
      "G" -
      Good job
    1. Ketchn's Avatar
      Ketchn -
      that's is a huge tilapia bro …..we have a lake here loaded with them
      and we bought never see one that size ….
      KABOOM is the word
    1. Ketchn's Avatar
      Ketchn -
      if your tilapia are like ours , DONT ever open one , its a bit on the outer space alien invasion program ugly ….not kidding
      that black green juice they are full of made me never ever want to help clean another one ….
      kinda like squeezing a plump caterpillar till it pops sort of thing only on a larger episode …..
    1. franklin fisher's Avatar
      franklin fisher -
      Nice job. Cool fish.
    1. hdhntr's Avatar
      hdhntr -
      See big tilapia all the time at some of the Villages lakes but didn't know they would take a bait like this one did or was it snagged? Wow what a tussle that must have been! Thanks for sharing your story and pics! too bad you didn't have your wife or a buddy along to witness this and help in netting. Oh well you have some great pics to share the memory with.
    1. cellis's Avatar
      cellis -
      Neat story. Congrats!
    1. shadow's Avatar
      shadow -
      Awesome story! Thanks for sharing. I wish we could catch those where I live.
    1. tenncrappie's Avatar
      tenncrappie -
      Looks like a crappie/ shellcracker cross.
    1. skeetbum's Avatar
      skeetbum -
      HDHNTR, he was mouth hooked and I have no idea why he hit my jig. I’m told they don’t like things in their beds but they’re so spooky that I can get close enough for a presentation. They are all over this area of the St. John’s River.
    1. Dave and Lynn's Avatar
      Dave and Lynn -
      Nice one Skeet
    1. ET Fish's Avatar
      ET Fish -
      Good un!
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