A Great Fish Story by Jim Rumbo


About 4:00 AM on 8/17/13, during a night tournament on Lake Austin, I hooked a 20″ bass. This feisty fish broke the line as I was bringing it into the boat. When the line broke, my partner Tom Clark, felt weight on his line and he started reeling. Oddly, he reeled until he could reel no more when he found his lure at his rod tip and there was still line and a fighting fish beyond.

Well Tom said “maybe the fish is still on this line, I still feel it tugging.” So, Tom hauled the line in and recovered the jumbled mass of my line with the bass on the end of it. As he got it to the boat, I netted the fish and it still had my lure in its mouth.

For you that tournament bass fish, this was a bit of a problem because Tom never hooked the fish, and I hooked it but lost it when the line broke. At the Austin Christian Bass Club we use a paper weighting system that correlates fish weight to fish length in 1/2″ increments. Unfortunately, there was no length correlating to half the 4.38 pound weight assigned to the 20″ fish length. So, as Tournament Director, I made a unilateral decision, halve the weight assigned to the 20″ fish and give this to both Tom and me. While a bit unorthodox, it afforded us the ability to both enjoy the benefit of the catch.

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