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 Itís the big one that got caught and got away at the same time. Sound like a fish tale?

While several lakes in Tennessee may harbor a new state record largemouth bass just exactly where has been the topic of conversation among the ranks of anglers for decades.

Less than two weeks ago one lake in particular was verified as the site of a lunker tipping the scales at 16-pounds, 15-ounces. And where is this fertile fishery located where the big hog sleeps?

Is it Kentucky Lake? Perhaps Dale Hollow, Barkley, or Percy Priest? Maybe Pickwick or just a private lake or farm pond? The answer is ďnone of the aboveĒ.

Nearby Brownís Creek Lake is holding the mammoth moss back and guess what: itís a public fishing lake open to you and me. Thatís right. Any backlash Bozo can go there as itís one of several state lakes managed by TWRA.

Tucked away in Henderson Countyís Natchez Trace State Park is where youíll find this 167-acre puddle. Itís been known to have some pretty good bluegill and a hefty black crappie or two but bass of the magnitude? Shucks naw.

The big catch came less than two weeks ago while TWRA biologists were conducting routine electro-shocking to monitor the fishery. They weighed and measured it, took scale samples and released it. Thatís right; they released it!

It measured 28-inches and had it been caught by an angler it was have shattered the current state record of 14 pounds, 8 ounces that was caught way back in 1954, which incidentally is the year I was born. Wouldnít it be fitting for me to catch and break the new state record that inked itself in the record book some 55 years ago?

According to data the recent discovery came within four days of the anniversary of James Burnettís catch, which was taken in Sugar Creek in Lawrence County back on October 17, 1954. Did I mention the state bass record and I share the same age? Okay, Iíll move on.

Personnel from TWRA weighed the fish on two different sets of scales to verify its weight.

I suspect Brownís Creek will now be the destination of every bass club between here and Bangor, Maine. One hint before they get there; the parking lot has only seven spots! No kidding.

Meanwhile, this trophy bucket mouth has lived a long and interesting life swimming the tiny waters and has been smart enough to dodge a lot of hooks so far.

Odds are the sly savage will now see more lures tossed at him (maybe itís a female) than hang on the pegboards at Bass Pro Shop. Sooner or later one will appeal.

Meanwhile, if some of these southern boys---Charlie Bubba in particular---should be fortunate to be on the other end of a rig when Jaws bites Iíll bet there wonít be enough yellow corn meal and grease in West Tennessee to answer the call.

A state record bass caught and released? By a state fish and wildlife agency perhaps but by Charlie Bubba it ainít likely.

State records might end up at the taxidermist for some while others here in the Deep South would find it goes well with fried taters, beans, hush puppies and washed down with a cool one. Better hope oleí Bubba donít get a bit on his custom cane pole and bobber combo.

Should that be the case next stop is Skilletville, TN!

Steve McCadams is a professional hunting and fishing guide here in the Paris Landing area. He has also contributed many outdoor oriented articles to various national publications.



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