Its not every day an angler catches a 17-pound largemouth bass.
Anglers across the nation dream of catching a bass this size, but few ever have the opportunity.
Take it a step further and catch it by hand after the line breaks... now that's a feat that has never been done before! Call it luck or divine intervention, but that's exactly what happened to Matt Allen on a cold February morning.
Matt and friend Bryan Judkins were fishing from a small aluminum boat on Rancho Seco Lake in California when the bizarre situation unfolded.
Rancho Seco's crystal clear waters and deep weed edges are known for producing monster bass, but a fish of this caliber had not been caught in many years.
The duo was just finishing their first pass around the small lake when Matt lined up on a favorite spot. The deep point ran out along the edge of the dam, creating a perfect location for big bass to ambush stocked rainbow trout.
Matt made a long cast across the point with the intent of retrieving a swimbait uphill, but a backlash caused his line to break mid-cast. Fearing the loss of an expensive swimbait, the duo chased down the sinking line and were able to catch up to the end before it was gone.
Matt began pulling the swimbait back to the boat hand overhand without ever considering that this could be the moment the biggest bass of his life would choose to hit. He felt a distinct "tick" on the line, and instinct took over! He pulled as hard as he could to try and set the hooks without the benefit of a fishing rod.
It was an epic battle by all reports that ended with a trophy bass, the likes of none the duo had ever seen before, jumping repeatedly out off the point. The monster bass eventually came in close and made one final jump at the side of the boat, breaking the line. Against all odds Matt was able to get the net under the bass while she was still midair and she landed in it!
What a story! This incredible fish was 29 1/2 inches long and weighed an amazing 17.2 pounds.