Californian Catches Record Bass on a Silver Buddy Lure
Larry Kerns of Visalia, California caught a 19.03 pound largemouth bass, the record for Success Lake in Porterville, CA. (about 70 miles from Bakersfield) and the 17th largest on record.
By 9:30 in the morning on Jan. 27, 2001, hairstylist Larry Kerns already had two limits in the boat. He was vertically jigging a 1/2 ounce Silver Buddy in 32 feet of stained 40 degree water about a foot up off the bottom, using his sonar unit to locate fish on isolated rock piles. He noticed a huge arch on his sonar over a large rock and felt something hit his lure. The fish felt so large that he couldn't move it at first, thought it was a large carp and tried to horse it in when it pulled off. He and his buddy had a laugh and shrugged it off as a large carp. He made several casts in the same area, yielding some nice 3-pound largemouth bass. Then again, he felt something big hit again.
This time Larry decided to play it a bit. Even though he initially thought he had another carp, he worked the big fish for a few minutes. "My eyes just about popped out of my head when it came up to the surface." Larry said he saw the red slits of huge gills and a huge green belly. His buddy netted the fish after a 10-minute struggle, which included 5 furious runs and pulled drag by this record setting bass. At first, Larry thought he had the world's record. He and his partner yelled and yelled, and couldn't wait to get back to the dock with this catch.
Even though he feels bad about not releasing this fish, which measured 30 inches long with a 26-inch girth and weighed 19.03 pounds on a certified digital scale, Larry will have this one mounted. Larry got witnesses and had this fish state certified. He even weighed it twice, just to be sure. Even days after landing this fish Larry says catching this 19 plus pound bass still hasn't sunk in.
To make this catch even more incredible, Larry had just started to use Silver Buddy lures last month! He went to his tackle shop and they were out of the Heddon Sonar lure he had always used. He saw a similar lure called the Silver Buddy. He figured he would give it a try and was pleasantly surprised! In two tournaments, he earned a first and a second place. Larry found that while the baits looked alike, the vibration of the Silver Buddy was stronger than anything he had used before. "I was catching ten for every fish my partner caught, then he switched to the Silver Buddy and started catching fish. It feels different and it flutters different."
Larry fishes the 1/2 ounce and 3/4 ounce silver Silver Buddy lures. He matches the size of the shad. His "secret" is to bend the tail of the lure to produce a more erratic action. He also adds a split ring and an Excalibur hook to the back of the bait. He fishes both sizes on 12 pound P-Line with a Shimano Chronarch reel and he prefers 6-foot medium heavy G-Loomis rods.
Larry, Angler of the Year of the Central Valley Bass Club last year, is getting used to his newfound fame. "It has been my lifelong dream to catch a record largemouth, and I know it will come from one of our California lakes."
For a good look at Larry's record setting bass, check out: www.SilverBuddy.com
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