Well fast forward to this year and late April conditions, high muddy water with an approaching storm front. I knew it would be a good day for fishing so I tied on my 5" slow sink Bull Shad and headed to the same river. Which has given up a 4lb+ spotted bass last spring and two so far this spring. This river is so small I hop rocks to get to the other side and you can cast across it in almost every spot on the shoal complex and river. So I had caught a few decent bass on the bull shad as the skies darkened but nothing huge. I then had one about 3-4lbs come up and just slap at my swim bait but didn't eat it. That gave me the drive to fish this hole a little longer before moving on. I crossed the rocks to get to the one area in this pool I hadn't cast to, and slung my bull shad next to a tree with fast current going by. I let it sit for a second to sink, then gave my rod tip a good pop which turns the lure side to side like a spook but underwater, when WHAM, there she was again and hungry. Sally the Spotzilla, as we now named her, began to run and pull then came to the surface and with her big old head I knew it was a good fish. Had no clue it was Sally. The fish was downriver from me, in heavy current, with shallow rocks between me and her. The worst case scenario. So I just leaned on her, and slowly pulled her over and around the rocks until I got her in an eddy below my feet. The fish had the lure perfectly horizontal in her mouth, the tail off of one side and the head on the other, treble hooks all in her face.
So I grabbed the bass behind the head and let out a victory yell. The fish had spawned out already, or else she would have gone five pounds. At the time the thought did cross my mind that it may be Rachael's fish I caught but wasn't sure and released her. On a side note, I hooked her ten feet to the left of where Rachael caught her fish two years ago this spring. In the pictures you can plainly see a black birth mark on the left side of her head on the gill plate. The fish had some sort of infection where it lays it's eggs so hopefully it'll survive that so we can catch her again next year. Catch and Release really works people!!