Chuck Arno, from Byhalia, had the opportunity to fish a benefit bass tournament at Lake Lamar Bruce on Oct. 8 and enjoyed a morning on the water. Arno has bested his personal best bass at least four times this year as a result of learning to locate and catch monster bass with his LiveScope. While fishing the tournament, Arno felt a thump on his drop shot Robo worm and promptly set the hook. He thought he had caught another keeper bass but when he landed the fish it was a big shellcracker.
“I put the fish in the livewell and brought it to the weigh-in,” Arno said. “The tournament director thought it might be a record, so we went inside the office and checked the lake record for redear. As it turned out, that fish weighed 1.6 pounds, which was only about three ounces from being the record redear.”
Around noon after the weigh-in, Arno gave the fish to the director and decided to go back fishing to try and catch another monster bass.
“I went back out and hadn’t gone too far when I spotted a couple of fish swimming along the bottom, so I pitched a 4-inch KVD Dream Shot rig out to try and cut them off,” Arno said. “I timed it just right as I worked the worm enticingly and felt the strike pretty quickly. It was my second or third cast.”
New lake record
Arno set the hook and battled the fish. When he pulled it up from the depths it was a monster bluegill!
“It was one of the biggest I’d ever caught so I decided to give it to the tournament director who was still at the landing,” he Arno. “The tournament said that it might be a record bluegill as he thought the record was listed on the wall too. We weighed the bream, and it weighed in at 1.26 pounds and was the record for Lake Lamar Bruce.”
What he used
Arno was using a St. Croix spinning rod and reel combo with 20-pound braid with a fluorocarbon leader with a 3/16-ounce cylinder drop shop and with 8-inches between the #1 Gamakatsu hook and weight.
“I was doing a dead presentation almost like a dead shot,” Arno said. “I just let it sit and that bluegill sucked the whole 4-inch worm into his mouth. It was just a lucky catch and good timing because they were feeding up. I was there at the right time and the right place and gave them something they wanted.
“I can’t say it’s a lifetime dream, because I’d like to catch the state record bass but that’s probably not going to happen. But I love fishing and even though I’ve caught several personal bests bass this year, catching the lake record bluegill was fun and something I’ll remember for quite a while.”
Just imagine fishing a benefit bass tournament to raise money for someone and catching a lake record fish as a result of the competition and desire to help someone.
Arno received a certificate and letter of authenticity from the MDWFP recognizing the accomplishment.