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In 2012 I caught the biggest bass of my life (to date) – this is an email I sent my Grandpa later that day. It’s a lot of fun to look back at this now:


So Sunday Vaughn and I fish all morning with so-so results. On the way home I stop by a local pond just to check my homemade minnow traps. One has been stolen… I am not amused. Steaming I check trap #2, and somehow a 5″ golden shiner has crammed itself into the trap. I didn’t even know we HAD shiners in this pond. As I am getting into my car to go home and pop the shiner in the new fish tank he starts to do the ‘ol half-float, and not wanting to waste him I slap him on a haphazard live bait rig with a rather big bobber I was using earlier that morning.

I throw him out 50 feet or so about 8 feet off the opposite weed edge set around 2 feet deep, and not 5 minutes later a bass comes up… backs off… then comes back and starts peppering the shiner. “Oh great, he’s so small he can’t get it in his mouth”, I mutter…

My bait starts swimming tight, frantic circles and the bass gets more determined. He starts hitting so hard the force is knocking the shiner up out of the water.

“Wait… that’s a big fish”, I realize… “Oh please, grab him you pig…”

WHOMP…… bobber drops.

AJ Hauser Largemouth Bass

AJ Hauser – May 20th, 2012

God I love summer.

Wish the pic quality was better, but I had to set the camera up on “auto” to snap a few off one handed – quite the struggle!)

Much love to you and Grandma. See you soon.


The best part about this story? The pond is about the size of a basketball court in a park that receives heavy traffic – both visitors and fishermen. This guy managed to stay under the radar to grow to this size – must have taken YEARS – which has a lot to do with why I’m so interested in Modifying a Jon Boat to fish those hard to reach places… I had to cast live bait a mile and a half to reach this dude, then haul him in over thick vegetation to my shoreline – keeping him up and out on just 10LB fluorocarbon.

Scary stuff. I was was not well equipped.

He (she?) was released unharmed.


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AJ Hauser is an outdoor enthusiast located in Illinois. He guides for fun in his free time and is always looking for new friends to go on trips with. He is also a partner at The Hauser Design Group - a web development and branding firm, and he would love to hear from you.

  1. Profile photo of Andrew Threadgill Andrew Threadgill says:

    What a catch!

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