florida-strain bass
News Channel 9

14-Pound Florida-Strain Bass Caught in Tennessee Just Misses State Record

This will probably go down as one of the biggest bass caught this year, and it's only January! 

Derek Turner just hit the largemouth bass fishing lottery. Don't be confused, though, he earned this giant Florida-strain bass.

As the story goes, it was one of those miserable days on the water when most decide to stay home. However, Turner and Tennessee bass fishing trial partner Brandon Hembree hit the water anyway. There was a tournament coming up and they needed to pre-fish to get ready. Well, looks like they found there's at least one giant bass swimming around in Chickamauga Lake.

"It sure was a miserable day," Turner told WTVC in an interview. "You might have the best rain gear in the world, but rain always creeps through cracks and crevasses. But like most people, we work during the week. When weekends roll around, we go and make the best of it."

As it turned out, that dedication paid off. After a hookset that felt more like a snag, Turner quickly realized he hooked a giant. At an official weigh-in, Turner's bass came out to 14 pounds, 3 ounces. This happens to be exactly one pound off the state record. Don't worry, though, the Florida bass was released exactly where it was caught.

Since the year 2000, Florida largemouth bass have been thriving in Tennessee lakes, thanks to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency's stocking program. It's just a matter of time before another monster like this is caught in The Volunteer State.