But it took quick reflexes for the 14-year-old to keep the Florida state record bass from getting away.
A new state-record bass has been reported in Florida, caught by a teenager fishing from a kayak.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Tuesday that it has certified a new record shoal bass, a 5.95-pound fish caught by Sheldon Grace, 14, of Headland, Ala., in the Chipola River, near Altha, Fla.
The record fish measured 22.4 inches long.
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It breaks the previous record of 5.2 pounds, caught last year in the Apalachicola River by Jimmy Ray Tice.
Sheldon, who often fishes for shoalies with his father on the Chipola, told Florida officials it took quick reflexes to boat the record fish.
“I fought him for about 30 minutes and then when I got him close to the kayak, the jig popped right out of his mouth,” Sheldon said in an FWC news release. “I quickly reached into the water and grabbed him because he was the biggest I’d caught all day.”
“You can definitely tell that the quality and quantity of the shoal bass in the Chipola River are getting better,” he continued. “I had caught about six or seven 2- to 3-pounders and then right at the end of the day, I caught the record.”
The state agency said the spring-fed Chipola River is the only body of water in Florida that has a population of “naturally reproducing, genetically pure shoal bass.”
Click here for current state records in Florida.