January 19, 2016
Although Texas is known for its bruiser largemouths, some of its lakes harbor world-class spotted bass as well, as Josh Helmstetler discovered when he caught a 5.98-pound spot Jan. 9 at Lake Alan Henry near Lubbock.
Helmstetler’s catch has been certified as the new state record for that species. He caught the fish on a LIVETARGET BaitBall Glass Minnow jerkbait in silver/natural while fishing with a friend in a local tournament at the 2,800-acre lake.
“We fished for about an hour and caught about 10 fish. Then the bite died,” recalls Helmstetler, who adds that the air temperature that day ranged from the mid- to high 30s. “We moved out over flooded timber in a creek channel that had been productive for me in the past, and that is where the big one struck. I thought it was going to be a double-digit largemouth it pulled so hard.”
Once he boated the bass, Helmstetler recognized it as an unusually large spotted bass and decided to contact Texas Parks & Wildlife officials after the local tournament he was fishing had ended. He placed first in the event and learned that the fish was a potential state record.