DAYTON, Tenn. – In January we shared the story of one of the biggest bass ever caught on Chickamauga Lake. Derek Turner was a pound away from Gabe Keen’s state record catch (15.3) in Feb. 2015.
At the time Turner shared that his partner, Brandon Hembree, was rolling video on the catch. But they were practicing for an important Tennessee Team Trail tournament and they were understandably reluctant to release the video.
But now it’s public for all to see.
FYI, Turner and Hembree did not fare very well in the tournament. Turner probably wasn’t surprised. At the time of his monster bass catch he said, “Between now and Feb. 2, with the weather coming, [the fishing] is definitely going to change. Having so much success in practices recently, it’s just enough to scare you.”
But on January 18 Turner hooked a bass that most anglers can only dream of.
“With the rain coming down we were thinking it was setting up to be a good day, before that front moved in,” said Turner. “When we got to our first spot we got to looking around and saw some bait moving.”
Turner was throwing was a 3/4 ounce Rattle Trap, obviously imitating the baitfish swimming in the area.
Turner said within five casts in their first spot he caught a 3-pound bass in about six feet of water.
“I put my Power Poles down to hold us in place because the current will move you around in a hurry,” he said. “We know in those types of spots if you catch one you can catch more.”
Turner was right. He said only two casts later another fish hit.
“I hooked one and it didn’t move,” he said. “I was just kind of holding it.”
Hembree asked, “Are you hung?”
Turner answered, “No, I can feel the head shake.”
Then suddenly it started screaming drag, the 17-pound test Seaguar fishing line peeling off Turner’s reel and the real fight was on.
“It felt like an eternity,” said Turner. “You’re thinking, ‘What is it.”
The fish never jumped so they wondered if Turner might have snagged a big carp. He said it took about three long minutes before he got it close enough to the boat to see it.
“She rolled and I saw that belly and realized how big the fish could be,” said Turner.
Turner and Hembree carried the bass to Dayton Boat Dock with more accurate scales. Afterwards they returned to the exact spot where he caught the beast and released it. Click here to see video of the release.
It’s still out there waiting on someone else to throw the right lure, or bait, in the right place at the right time.