Fishing report: A bass to remember

Jaxson Capella with his big bass
Jaxson Capella with his big bass
Courtesy of Gary Simpson

Like most kids, Jaxson Capella went back to school on Tuesday, Aug. 8, following summer vacation. For Jaxson, it was the first day of eighth grade. 

That evening, no doubt pondering events of the day, the 14-year-old Keystone Heights student decided to fish a while from his grandparents’ dock on Bream Lake, near Hawthorne. 

Darkness was closing in when the young angler’s Senko worm was taken by a fish. This was no small fish, pulling like a train and testing the 15-pound test monofilament line on his Zebco 33 outfit. 

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After wrestling the big fish through a stand of weeds, Jaxson had to jump down off the dock to guide the big fish to shore, and finally beach the giant.

Excitedly, he called out to his grandparents in the house. His granddad, John Capella, knew that Jaxson must have caught a big one. He scooped up an electronic digital scale and headed down toward the water to see what all the fuss was about. 

When he got there, he saw that his grandson had, indeed caught a very large bass. The weigh scale showed the bass to be a rare double-digit specimen at 10 pounds, 5 ounces.  After a few pictures, Jaxson released the whopper back into Bream Lake at dusk. 

This fish won’t be easy to top…but the young fisherman has a long time ahead to try.

The season-long series of Wednesday night bass tournaments on Lake Santa Fe came to its pinnacle this week with the lucrative Wednesday Night Classic Tournament. Twenty seven teams gathered as rainy weather threatened. Fortunately, they had to fish in nothing worse than a drizzle. 

The heaviest single bass of the evening weighed 7.20-pounds and was caught by the team of Jacob Houk and Mike Mackenzie. Jason McClellan and Clint Sheppard finished in third place with a 13.18-pound total catch.  Derrick Manning and Dylan Robinson nailed down second place with 13.55.  The winners, Tyler Griffis and Dusty Reddish, got the right bites in the Santa Fe shallows, bagging five bass for a total weight of 14.08.

Open season for Gulf red snapper was already hailed as the longest since the state assumed management of the popular offshore beauties’ harvest.  The 46-day summer season had passed, but deep-water enthusiasts looked forward to the fall season that included every weekend in October and November.

Those offshore anglers were surprised and pleased last week when it was announced that the 2023 season would be extended yet another 17 days, adding every (Friday through Sunday) weekend in September….plus, Labor Day and Thanksgiving Day.

Fish management regulations have a strong tendency to work like a tie wrap -- tightening but almost never loosening.  The surprise addition of significant Gulf red snapper-harvesting time gives sport fishers good reason to celebrate.

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