Catch of the Week
Coulter Allen knew there were some big bass in his family’s farm pond in northern Missouri.
But he never imagined it contained bass this big.
Retrieving a Hula Popper topwater lure along a patch of lily pads, he watched as a fish rose, sucked the bait off the surface and then retreated for deep water.
“I thought it had to be a big catfish,” said Allen, 19, who lives in Lee’s Summit. “It didn’t come up and try to jump like a bass normally does.
“It just stayed on the bottom.”
Allen was in for a big surprise when he got his catch to the surface. It was the biggest largemouth he had ever seen.
He and his dad, Don, teamed to lift the bass into the boat, and they both were in awe. They later measured the giant at 26 inches — unusually large for a northern-strain largemouth.
Thinking that Coulter might have a state record bass, they quickly called the Missouri Department of Conservation. They found that the bass, which was unofficially weighed at more than 12 pounds, was still short of the record fish, 13 pounds, 14 ounces, caught in 1961 at Bull Shoals Lake.
But it was still a day the Allens will never forget.
“We fish up at our farm pond almost every weekend,” Coulter said. “I’ll take a sack lunch and I’ll stay out all day.
“We catch some big bass, but nothing even close to this one.”
Sporting clays master
Derrick Mein of Edwardsville has continued his dominance in the Kansas Sporting Clays State Championship.
Shooting last weekend at the course at Michael Murphy & Sons in Augusta, Kan., he hit 190 of 200 targets in two days and took the title. It was the 10th consecutive year he has won the state championship. His father, Rick Mein of Walnut, Kan., also won state honors in the past.
Mickey Lynn Roberts of south-central Missouri finished second in the main event with a 187.
Team USA member Gary Walstrom of Kansas City finished second in one of the divisions after breaking 91 of 100 targets.
Smithville Lake is becoming recognized as big-bass country.
In a Burton’s Bait and Tackle tournament last weekend, two bass weighing more than 8 pounds were caught. Jeff Stout of Shawnee brought in a bass weighing 8.56 pounds, and Joe Dorcy of Smithville had one that went 8.02 pounds.
That makes seven bass in the 8-pound range that Gary Burton, a guide, tackle-shop owner and tournament director, has weighed this year at Smithville.
“The big question is, ‘Where have all these bass been hiding?’” Burton said. “We knew we were seeing more keepers, but these big bass have been a surprise.”
Most of the big bass have been caught in the shallows, along flooded vegetation. Burton and fisheries biologists theorize that several big shad spawns have helped, providing plenty of food in the lake.
Not to bug you, but…
This is for all of you who aren’t afraid of spiders and other creepy-crawly things.
The Missouri Department of Conservation will hold its annual Insect-O-Rama from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at its northwest regional office on the Missouri Western State University campus in St. Joseph.
The event will feature a close-up look at different insects, exhibits and a question-and-answer session with experts.
The event is free and open to all ages. For more information, call 816-271-3100.
▪ NOW OPEN: Dove season in Missouri and Kansas.
▪ NOW OPEN: Teal season in Missouri.
▪ SATURDAY: Opening day of teal season in Kansas Low Plains Zone.
▪ SUNDAY: Last day of Kansas deer season for youths and hunters with disabilities.
▪ MONDAY: Opening day of Kansas archery and muzzleloader deer seasons.
▪ MONDAY: Opening day of Missouri archery deer season.
To reach outdoors editor Brent Frazee, call 816-234-4319 or send email to email@example.com.