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So I for one had never heard the story of the current state record largemouth bass.... until today. I guess it is the 20yr anniversary so Jarrett Edwards Outdoors posted the story on FB(https://www.facebook.com/JEOTV). Anyway I thought it was very interesting and figured I'd also post it here:






20 years ago today, as a junior in high school I became the youngest angler in the world to break a state record for Largemouth Bass. I never imagined I would hold the record for 20 years! The largemouth weighed 11.6 pounds and was a northern strain bass.
Here is the story behind catching it...My dad said if I wanted his attention to try to forego college and make a living in the fishing industry that I needed to show him something special. So for 30 days straight I drove from my small town of Del Norte Colorado about 50 miles away to Pagosa Springs Colorado each day after school. The drive isn’t very friendly as you have to travel over the legendary Wolf Creek Pass to get to the lake (Pass is a deadly one with lots of curves at about 11,000 + in elevation).
So each day after school I would fish Echo Canyon Reservoir for about 1.5 hours before making the trip back home. On September 18th 1997 I remember reading an article about how to rig a Carolina rig. I was intrigued and wanted to fish it my next time out. So... a few days later I rigged one up with a 1/8oz. weight, a size 7 barrel swivel followed by a 3 foot leader and a 2/0 Mustad Hooks. I rigged it with a six inch hook tail worm.
Keep in mind that I did not have a boat with me as usual so I always fished this lake by shore. On the evening of September 20th I found a deep drop off and made my very first cast with the Carolina Rig. Once the line went slack I knew it was on the bottom so I put my rod tip to the side to begin moving it when all of a sudden my line started taking off!
I set the hook to what I believe was about a six pound bass (at the time Echo Canyon Reservoir had a bunch of 3-6 pound bass in it). It quickly buried me in the weeds and after a short fight I noticed it was a huge bass! I jumped in the cold water to grab it knowing it was the largest bass I have ever seen with my own eyes. I had a large Styrofoam cooler in the trunk of the car and quickly filled it up with water and before leaving the lake I stopped to show off my catch to some fisherman across the bank to me who witnessed me catching this bass. I showed them the fish and I remember then saying how excited they were for me as they saw me hooting and hollering all the way to the car! I wrote down their phone numbers for verification.
Next I had to get this fish weighed on official state registered scales so I figured the best place to that in the evening was a super market. I remember loading up the cooler into a shopping basket (I could barely lift it in but my adrenaline was pumping).
The store manager said no way...get that live fish out of here! I then went to the local City Market grocery store and they weighed it for me on certified scales. I also took down their phone numbers as witnesses. I called the Colorado Division of Wildlife to see what my next steps were (remember this was about the time people started hearing about the internet!).
I decided to go back to release the fish figuring at this point I had photos of it next to a ruler showing weight and girth along with a witness of me catching the fish followed by witness of actual weight on correct scales.
So picture me 17 years old with a cooler in my backseat and my hand behind the driver’s seat in the cooler splashing water trying to create air bubbles for the fish to have oxygen. 10 minutes later I was back at the lake only to find out the fish that I would later name as Bertha had died. I was completely devastated as I wanted nothing more than to release here back to her home.
I drove home that night and after talking with a friend who worked with the DOW decided to put the fish in the freezer to have it officially inspected, identified and weighed. The next day after school my dad and I went to the Monte Vista DOW office and they proceeded to take scale samples and cut the fish open for inspection and stomach contents. I was sick to my stomach that this fish had died on my watch and vowed to never have it happen again.
I remember the next day at school the school staff announced over the intercom a huge congrats to Jarrett and his new state record bass!
After this was official I remember doing interviews over the phone with large magazines and newspapers and was even asked to begin doing seminars etc. at sport shows. This was a very important step as I learned to deal with the media etc.
This fish was a confidence booster for me compete a few years later on the Bassmaster Top 150 trail followed by the inaugural year of the Elite Series. Cancer hit me Hard in 2006 but that spawned the making of Jarrett Edwards Outdoors TV
...we are so blessed as it is getting ready to begin its10th year on air in December!
My only hope is that somewhere in Colorado is a kid with a hungry passion for fishing that beats this record. That my friends would be full circle...Thanks for reading...Jarrett
 

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And then he called me and ask to help him get some sponsors. Great young man who has done well. He and his parents did a lot for youth fishing, as well.
 

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And then he called me and ask to help him get some sponsors. Great young man who has done well. He and his parents did a lot for youth fishing, as well.
You must have done a good job on that! I enjoy watching his show just for the awesome HD camera work.
Thanks Ricky for posting this. Great story!:thumb::thumb:
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Discussion Starter #5
No problem guys!! I knew atleast a few guys on here would find it interesting :)

I thought it was awesome that he was actually wanting to release it!! Obviously that didn't work out but his intentions were good! :)
 

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Kinda funny though. Dude barely knows what a carolina rig is, catches state record, and is asked to do seminar and invited to compete lol. First seminars probably talked about stuff he'd never fished :D Cool story though forsure
 
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