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  Go back to the News List! Two unforgettable June fishing days 07/16/2005 Document  
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  Two unforgettable June fishing days 

06:50 PM CDT on Saturday, July 16, 2005
By RAY SASSER / The Dallas Morning News

Summer isn't exactly the season when bass fishermen expect to catch the big ones. A West Texas youth and an East Texas school teacher overcame the odds in two very different lakes last month. Both anglers enjoyed fishing days they will never forget.

On June 10, Kenny Schuette, 11, of Slaton (near Lubbock), set a Texas junior angler record for largemouth bass with a 13-pounder from 2,880-acre Lake Alan Henry, about 45 miles southeast of Lubbock.

Despite its small size, Alan Henry made waves this year by edging perennial big bass champ Lake Fork in producing entries to Texas Parks and Wildlife's ShareLunker program.

Alan Henry this season yielded nine ShareLunkers (fish weighing 13 pounds or more); Fork had seven entries. Kenny Schuette's fish would have qualified, but the ShareLunker program ended in April.

Kenny was fishing with a live perch when he caught the bass, which measured 25.75 inches. He weighed and photographed the fish, then released it. Kenny's catch tops the previous junior state record by more than a pound.

The previous record fish was caught April 24 by Taylor's Brandon Adams, also 11. Brandon's 11.57-pound record may be erased, but he has plenty of reminders of his catch, which won the Sam Rayburn McDonald's Big Bass Splash tournament. Brandon's big bass earned him an H2 Hummer and a Triton bass boat.

There were no prizes at stake June 29 when Gerald Hobson and his wife, Linda, launched their boat at Cooper Lake, north of Sulphur Springs. Hobson is a 10th-grade biology teacher in the East Texas town of Atlanta. The Hobsons spend their summer vacations fishing for big bass, usually at Lake Fork.

Nothing, however, prepared them for what happened at Cooper, a 22,000-acre reservoir on the Sulphur River. The Hobsons had fished at Cooper several times and immediately went to one of their favorite spots, near a submerged creek channel.

"The very first cast that I made with a plastic worm, I caught a bass that weighed 10.1 pounds," Gerald Hobson said. "We weighed the fish on digital scales and photographed it before we released it. The fish had wrapped around a log and my line was frayed, so I cut off the frayed line and retied the lure before making a second cast."

Hobson's second cast to the same spot resulted in another bite and another big bass. This one weighed 10.6 pounds. Hobson urged his wife to cast to the magic spot, which she did repeatedly without getting a bite.

The couple made a little circle through the area, and Linda caught three fish, including a 6-pounder. After about 40 minutes, the Hobsons returned to the original fishing hole. Gerald made another cast into the spot and caught a 9.5-pounder.

"It was awesome," Hobson said. "We could not believe what was happening. In 2003, Linda caught an 8.5-pounder and an 11.2-pounder on back-to-back casts, but we'd never seen anything like this. It seemed like the big bass were really biting. The fish finally quit at that first spot, and we moved to a different area."

That's where Linda Hobson caught her best bass of the day, an 8.5-pounder. Gerald caught a 7-pounder and a 6-pounder. Linda hooked two big fish and broke them both off, despite the fact she was fishing with heavy line 25-pound test.

Just when the Hobsons thought their fishing day couldn't get any better, it improved slightly. Gerald Hobson caught a bass that weighed 11.9 pounds. It was a personal best and, while Hobson teaches biology, he's pretty good at math, too. He figures the five best bass he caught at Cooper Lake that day totaled 48.2 pounds.

That's certainly one of the top days of big bass action anyone has experienced in Texas.

In January 2001, bass pro Dean Rojas was fishing in a Bassmaster tournament at Florida's Lake Toho. The big fish were on shallow beds and Rojas selectively fished for the biggest bass he could see.

On Jan. 17, 2001, Rojas brought to the weigh-in a five-fish limit that totaled 45 pounds, 2 ounces. The top five heaviest one-day catches recorded in Bassmaster history were all made during that particular tournament, and Hobson's five biggest bass from Cooper Lake on June 29 topped them all.

"Linda and I just looked at each other in awe," Hobson said. "It was the fishing trip of a lifetime."

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