The Dog Days of Summer are usually not known for big fish, but there’s been some impressive catches in the heat of July and August. Let’s take a look at some remarkable catches, starting with Bassmaster Elite Series pro Hunter Shryock.
The 33-year-old, who just moved to Ooltewah, Tenn., outside of Chattanooga, posted photos of himself with a monster he landed from what shall remain an unnamed public lake on the Tennessee River.
“The biggest thing I take away from it is, when it’s this hot and you get any type of front or storm, make sure you can get on the water when it’s safe, because they’ll be biting,” said Shryock, who finished 26th in the Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings to qualify for his third Classic in four seasons on the Elites.
Catching a 5-pounder right off the bat and then a 4, Shryock knew the day would be productive. At about 10:30 a.m., his second cast at a new 15-foot deep area produced a huge tug on his plum 10-inch Berkley Power Worm. The result was a 9.70 that rivaled his personal best of 10.18.
“It shocked me to catch one that big this time of year,” he said. “I saw them on my graph and there were probably five or six of them, all about the same size. I didn’t see them come back to the boat, but I didn’t get another bite.”
Shryock posted some photos on social media and asked folks to guess the weight, causing a bit of a firestorm. Among the 1,000 comments were cries of “fake” and “photoshopped,” and one telling him to give the arms back to Stretch Armstrong. Yeah, Shryock held out the 25- or 26-inch bass — “I wish I would have measured it” — in front of him some, but the fish-eye lens on the camera added to the illusion of the longest fish he’s ever landed.
“I want to start making T-shirts with a measuring board on them, and I can hold it right against the shirt,” Shryock said. “People just love to have an opinion. 'Guys, I weigh bass for a living. I’m not trying to make it look bigger. I’m trying to show the fish off and not me.’ You can’t explain that to people. Everything’s photoshopped, everything’s deception.”
If some were having a laugh at Shyrock’s expense, he got the last one. The photo teased readers to go to the YouTube video for the weight, which he showed on a Rapala digital scale at 9.70 — so about 9-12 — along with his big-worm tips.