Pipkens samples a big one

Chad Pipkens has been working a big flat, grinding through chain pickerel to find bass. And it just paid off in a big way with a 4 3/4-pound largemouth.

“Get ready,” he told me, just before setting the hook.

He first thought the fish was another pickerel, but then he doubted himself.

“Be a big bass. Be a big bass,” he said while taking in line.

When the bass broke the surface, the angler quickly got serious. He worked to keep the fish down before lipping it.

“I’m just sampling things right now,” Pickens said. “The samples are good.”

That catch was huge, replacing a 2 1/2-pounder and moving him to the lead with an estimated 21-3, according to Basstrakk.