Adam’s miraculous catch

Matt Adams, 4th (17-9)

As a Tackle Warehouse Bassmaster Elite Qualifiers pro, Matt Adams has a good handle on bass fishing.

Fortunately, when an unexpected entanglement threatened to rob him of a key opportunity, the pro from Oxford, Ala. parried disaster’s attack and kept a good handle on a 3 1/2-pound bass that helped propel him to a fourth-place performance.

After weighing 17 pounds, 9 ounces, Adams described what he called a “surprisingly lucky day,” that included one amazingly fortunate catch.

Relevant clarification: Because landing nets are not allowed in Bassmaster competition, anglers either “boat flip” their fish — swing them aboard with the rod — or grab them at boat side, either by the lip or with a forearm scoop. 

For this particular fish, Adams chose the latter.

“About 9 o’clock, I hooked a good one on a reaction bait, and when I leaned over to try and grab him, one of the hooks got caught on the cuff of my sleeve,” Adams said. “To say that I panicked would be an understatement.

“I thought, ‘Any second, he’s gonna shake.’ I didn’t want to get a hook in my arm, but I didn’t want to lose the fish, so I just got my arm around the fish and made one big (scoop). Thankfully, the fish stayed on, and I was able to get the hook out of my sleeve before it stuck me.”