May 9, 2014 by Colin Moore
“Here I am at Lake Fork, one of the great largemouth lakes in the country, wishing I was back in California fishing for spots.”
Who can blame Cody Meyer for feeling that way? Even on the eve of the Toyota Texas Bass Classic, the pro’s mind was on the 40-pound-plus limit of spotted bass that he and a buddy caught while fishing a small lake in northern California a few days ago. The limit, which was weighed on a digital scale, included two spotted bass that hefted just over 9 pounds each, plus three others that ranged from slightly more than 7 pounds to almost 8 pounds.
Meyer and Glenn Lockhart began the day fishing the main part of the lake, but Meyer’s first fish, a 5-pound spot, was obviously spawned out, so the anglers decided to try the riverine portion of the lake where they figured the fish were still in prespawn because of lower water temperature. They were right. While checking points with his electronics, Meyer detected a school of staging females holding about 20 feet deep in 70 feet of water.
“The first fish I caught was one of the 9-pounders. It was the biggest spot I’ve ever caught,” Meyer recalls. “And later I caught the other 9-pounder. All the smaller bucks were running the banks, but the bigger females were holding off main and secondary points. We hit the jackpot.”
Because the water was uber clear, the anglers discovered that they could get more bites by staying off the school and casting to the fish with drop-shot rigs. Meyer used a spinning outfit with 6-pound-test line to cast his drop-shot rig, which consisted of a 4-inch Jackall Crosstail Shad in purple weenie rigged on a No. 2 Owner Mosquito hook and with a 3/16-ounce weight on the bottom. He’d cast the rig out far enough to reach the proper depth, then let it swing down to the fish.
“There is zero cover in this lake, but when I hooked that 9-pounder, it was like I had hooked something on the bottom,” notes Meyer. “I thought I was hung, and the rod was in a rainbow. Then it started swimming off. It took several minutes to get it in the boat. My arms got tired. I mean, a fish that big and tackle that light, there’s literally nothing you can do but wait it out.”
According to Meyer, he and Lockhart threw back at least one limit that weighed 25 pounds or so. The smaller fish included several 6- and 5-pounders, as well as one or two 4-pound-class fish. Other points yielded more bass, but none could match the first point where the big limit came from.
“It was an absolute rodeo, a dream day,” says Meyer. “I’ve never caught a 40-pound limit of largemouths, much less a limit of spotted bass that big. The funny thing is, I sent another buddy up there a couple of days later, and he wound up fishing the banks and caught about 100 bass – but none of them weighed more than 2 pounds. It just goes to show you what’s out there in deep water.”
Check out Cody's Facebook page for more pictures.