ORLANDO, Fla., — During a lifetime of bass fishing, I’ve reached several personal benchmarks.
I’ve topped the 5-pound mark with spotted bass several times — and yes, I know they grow much larger than that out West. But as a guy who grew up on the Coosa River in Alabama, a 5-pounder has always been huge to me.
I’ve caught smallmouth that eclipsed the 6-pound mark. Living for a while in Tennessee with quick access to Pickwick Lake and the tailrace below Wheeler Dam helped those efforts.
But in all my life — despite trips to Mexico’s Lake El Salto, La Perla Ranch in Texas and numerous other largemouth paradises — I still haven’t put a 10-pound largemouth in the boat.
So, this year, I decided to walk the floor at ICAST (almost 18 miles in three days, according to my iPhone) looking for the baits that are best suited to help me get there.
Here’s a look a glimpse at what I found: