Father-son team bag record bass at Lake Tom Bailey

The dog days of summer are upon us and everybody knows it too hot to fish, but father and son duo Trey and Rhett Tanner from Meridian, don’t believe it. The Tanner’s fish Lake Tom Bailey several days a week and they’re very successful.

“We got out on the lake just after sunrise,” Trey Tanner said. “We started fishing and then decided to pull over to the bank and fish in the shade a while since it was getting hot.”

Rhett Tanner is 7 years old and loves to fish about as much as his dad Trey. The Northeast Elementary student joined his dad last Sunday morning, Aug. 16, for a memorable fishing trip.

“Things were really slow due to the heat, but we didn’t want to quit so we kept fishing (in the shade by the bank),” Tanner said. “I’ve caught several lunker bass at the lake, so we knew there were some big bass in there if we could just coax one into biting.”

Tanner practices catch and release so that he can feel that thrill that only a trophy sized bass can give you.

“About 9:15 I cast a Carolina Rig worm out and let it sink on the bottom,” Tanner said. “I picked up on it and it felt like it was hung so I gave it a tug and felt it move. I set the hook and knew it was a big fish and thought it might be a big cat.”

The big reveal

Trey Tanner and son Rhett caught a 10.1-pound, lake record bass last Sunday at Lake Tom Bailey.
Trey Tanner and son Rhett caught a 10.1-pound, lake record bass last Sunday at Lake Tom Bailey.

As soon as the fish felt the sting of the hook it exploded through surface soaring towards the sky. The bass tailwalked and thrashed back and forth on the surface as Tanner fought the fish. It was nip and tuck for a while and Rhett was afraid they were about to lose the monster bass when they finally wore him down.

“I laid down across the boat and grabbed him with both my hands when he got close,” Tanner said. “Rhett was speechless for a few minutes and we were both excited!”

When the excited father and son learned that it was a “lake record” for the largest bass caught on Tom Bailey they were overjoyed.

Conservation Officer Bud Loper said the bass was the Lake Tom Bailey record, and it weighed in at 10.1 pounds, was 24-inches long and had a 17-inch girth!

There’s nothing more exciting and gratifying than catching a monster bass with your son. But it was even more meaningful to set a lake record together. For Trey and Rhett Tanner it was an exciting trip that will be a lifetime memory!

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Michael O. Giles
About Michael O. Giles 284 Articles
Mike Giles of Meridian has been hunting and fishing Mississippi since 1965. He is an award-winning wildlife photographer, writer, seminar speaker and guide.

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