Huff releases 17-inch bass

Mike Huff has three bass weighing approximately 10 pounds, including the 7-pounds-plus "heart attack" bass. He's near the tournament lead, unofficially. But he undoubtedly needs to finish with a heavy 5-bass limit today after starting five pounds behind Day 3 leader Lee Livesay.

Largemouth and spotted bass must be a minimum 15 inches long, and smallmouth must be 18 inches at Chickamauga Lake. When Huff landed a bass that measured 17 inches at 11 a.m., he was in a quandary. It looked somewhat like a spotted bass and somewhat like a smallmouth.

So Huff did the right thing. He settled the issue on the spot, first calling tournament director Lisa Talmadge, who directed Huff to a Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officer. Through a FaceTime cell phone call, the officer determined it was a smallmouth. Actually, it was probably a "mean-mouth" cross between a spot and a smallmouth. But that's a smallmouth under the regulations, so it had to be released. With that problem solved, Huff could get on to the task at hand - filling out his limit.

By the way, there are some big smallmouth bass, well over 18 inches, in Chickamauga Lake. Koby Kreiger weighed-in a 5-14 smallmouth on Day 2.

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