New Washington State Record Largemouth Bass
OutdoorHub Editor: Keenan Crow 08.12.16
This is just a good old fashion bass story that, as a fisherman, you can appreciate wholeheartedly. It’s the story of an experienced gentleman, who just like all of us, enjoys trolling around the lake, getting a line wet, and catching fish. He’s just like any ordinary older guy. Note, however, that this story has no ordinary ending.
Bill Evans, and his wife, Vickie, moved from their hometown of Portsmith, Ohio, about 4 years ago. They made their home in the town of Bothell, Washington, to be closer to their grandchildren.
Bill is a longtime bass angler, highly regarded and well respected in his native stomping grounds. However, prior to this year, he hasn’t fished for bass a single time in his new home of Washington. Instead, he has pursued salmon and crab, which are considerably more abundant and sought after in the western portion of the state.
The couple spend their winters in Florida where Bill, naturally, spends his time in his Ranger boat flippin’ vegetation for largemouth bass while most of us are bundled up in hibernation eagerly awaiting spring. He gets his bass fishing fix and then heads back home to the Pacific Northwest.
Bill decided he would bring a few spinning rods with him on this trip back out west, and try his hand on some of the smaller public lakes in his area. This would later turn out to be a very wise decision on his part.
On a very normal Tuesday, Bill took out a boat and trolled along the banks of a small lake about 45 minutes from his home. He caught a couple small bass before moving into a part of the lake that transitioned into deeper water. After a stress-inducing fight on light line, Bill landed a 7-pound largemouth. Although it would be considered a big fish anywhere, this one was merely the beginning.
After about 4 hours of fishing and a change in lakes, Bill skipped a wacky-rigged Green Pumpkin Strike King Shim-E Stick up under a dock. Upon letting it settle to the bottom, he reeled up his slack and detected weight on his line. He instinctively set the hook, and in his words “the bottom started moving.”
After a long and nerve-wracking fight, Bill led the fish out from under the dock and chased it with his trolling motor out to deeper water. He managed to wear the fish out, get it up alongside the fish with his boat and lipped her. “My first instinct was to let her go as usual. But when I picked it up, she just kept coming out of the water.”
Bill never made another cast; instead, he raced toward the dock, where he then called his wife and asked her to do a little research on Washington’s state record largemouth. The couple met at the local Safeway, where the store manager, the meat department manager, Bill and his wife watched the store’s meat scale settle at 12.53 pounds, a weight that would eclipse the current state record of 11.58 pounds set back in 1977.
Bill has been fishing for over 40 years, and tournament fished for at least 30 of those. He’s caught numerous 10-pounders in Florida, but says “nothing I have ever done fishing has been more exciting than catching that big bass. I have to give a lot of credit to the Strike King Shim-E Stick. It’s my go-to bait.” For more information, check out Strike Kings Facebook page