If only this largemouth bass would have eaten a one-pound crappie the day before it was caught, it probably would have been the new state-record bass for Tennessee. As it often goes, fate has other plans. Instead, Todd Beaty caught a bass so close to the state record, it’s probably going to haunt him the rest of his life. Missing the mark by only 11 ounces, this 14.53 bass is still one heck of fish.
“When the fish hit, it just stopped the bait and then a few seconds after I started reeling it came up on top and I knew it was a good one,” Beaty said in an interview. “I didn’t know it was a 14-pounder, but I knew it was a double-digit fish.”
Beaty reportedly caught his near-record bass on Lake Chickamauga with a Tennessee-legal Alabama rig. For those who aren’t aware, a Tennessee-legal rig only allows three lures instead the typical five like all Alabama rigs.
Beaty is no stranger to chasing giant bass. In the same interview, he said he normally only throws big lures for big bass during winter. For the most part, it’s 11-inch, shad-style swimbaits or the Tennessee rig.
Beaty decided to keep his bass and and get it mounted. After all, catching a fish like that may never happen again. Catch and release is the name of the game, but for one that big, who can blame him?
Congrats, Todd. What a fish!