January 20, 2016
As humans, we love to make excuses why we don't want to do something. Fishermen, of all people, are all too familiar with these excuses. "The fish weren't biting yesterday," or "The cold weather has probably turned em' off," are cliches used all to0 often. I know I've used these very excuses more than once. But more times then not, when I did go fishing, the day turned out to be totally different than expected.
That's exactly what happened to one Texas angler who chose to go against his conscience.
Texas angler Josh Helmstetler was fishing on the 2,880 acre Lake Alan Henry near Lubbock, TX, when he caught what has been certified by Texas Parks & Wildlife as the new Texas State Record Spotted Bass. The Texas record spotted bass weighed in at a whopping 5.98 pounds, and is also the new lake record.
Helmstetler, who fishes the lake about six to ten times a year, almost didn't go on that day. "Yeah, it was supposed to be very cold, about 37 for a high, so my buddy had to talk me into going," said Helmstetler.
"We fished for about an hour and caught about 10 fish, then the bite died. We moved out over some flooded timber in a creek channel that had been productive for me in the past, and that is where the big one struck. I thought it was going to be a double-digit largemouth it pulled so hard," said Helmstetler.
Right away Helmstetler identified it as a Spotted Bass via inspection of the tongue, which was later confirmed by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.
The Texas angler was fishing a small local bass tournament, which he was able to win with his total creel, and his partner finished in second place.
With certificates from TPWD already presented for the record catch, Josh Helmstetler has started this year's fishing season off to a great start.
And there will always be one cold weather morning he'll never regret getting up for.