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Trophy Interview

Cody Pierce
San Diego, CA

Weight:

17.05 pounds

Length:

28 inches in length

Girth:

Catch Date:

March 22, 2002

Body of Water:

Lake Murray, CA

Lure or Bait Used:

Western Plastics 4 inch worm with a blue vein

Rod Used:

Shimano Catana graphite rod

Rod Length:

6 foot

Reel Used:

Shimano Bantam Crestfire CR200B reel

Line Used:

Berkley Trilene line, 10lb. Test

Scent Used:

Fish Location Before Catch:

6-10 feet about 20 feet offshore

Fishing Method Used:

Texas rigged, Owner hook

Electronics Used:

Preparation:

I'd been practicing 4 years for that day. When I can't be on the water fishing I love playing video games. Not just the fishing games either. We (my dad and I) think they have helped me develop my "lightning fast" reaction time with feel and hand/eye coordination. I had landed my record largemouth bass hundreds, if not thousands of times on Radica fishing video games (even wore out one handle cranking on it) and also caught and landed her in my mind. That was one fish that was not going to get away! At least until I documented and photographed her!!!

Check Weather?

Yes

How Weather Checked:

Watching local T.V. broadcast and keeping up to date on the daily weather.

Weather at Time of Catch:

Bright sunshinny day

Before or After Front?

In between for a few days

Moon Phase:

Were Satellite Photos Used?

No

Stealth Technique:

Sightfishing about 3 hours before I spotted her!

Fishing From:

Shore

Witnesses:

I was fishing alone just before school started but surrounded by anglers. I made a lot of new friends that day!

Scale Used to Weigh Fish:

Fish & Game electronic scale

Bassin' Big Bass Contest?

No

Big Bass Record Club?

No

Member of (Bass Club):

Years Fishing:

6

Introduced to Fishing By:

father

Sponsors:

Hawgman.com, Bigfishtackle.com, fishingcareer.com, Solar Bat Sunglasses, Kickn Bass Fish Attractant, Boss Bait and Tackle, San Diego, CA., WorldRecordBass.Com

Favorite Big Bass Book:

"In Pursuit of Giant Bass" by Bill Murphy, also Jimmy Houston's books.

Favorite Big Bass Video:

I have dozens of videos and if they are bassin they are all my favorite!

Favorite Big Bass Hunter:

I have been able to fish with Mike Long and he is as nice a person as he is a great angler!

Released?

Yes

Email:

[email protected]

Website:

Significant Factor(s):

After setting my hook I allowed the fish to run and tire out while putting enough pressure on her to keep her out of the reeds. I was glad to see her turn and head for deep water! I have caught several bass over 10lbs. so when I saw her surface the first time I knew she was the largest bass I had ever seen. I also knew that she was, by far, over 10lbs. and I only had 10lb. Berkley line on my reel. Talk about pressure! I knew the job I had was to fight her but not to put too much pressure on her. I needed to tire her out or she might break me off. I had just spooled new line on and without fresh new line the outcome may have been just another, "you should've seen the big one that got away story!" The significant thing is to always use fresh and undamaged line because you wouldnt want to lose your fish of a lifetime, now would you?

The Story:

Blurring The Line

On 3/14/00 Cody Pierce and his father, Danny, went to Oshmans Sporting Goods Store in La Mesa, California. ( a suburb of San Diego, CA.) Among the items they purchased that day were a 6 Shimano Catana graphite fishing rod, a bag of Western Plastics 4" worms with a blue vein, and a bag of Owner American hooks. An unimaginable event was about to occur only 8 days later as Cody was trying out all his new equipment. Cody was 14-years-old and a freshman at Helix High School. On Wednesdays Cody didn't have to be in class until 9:30 A.M. so he rode his Sector 9 skateboard to nearby Lake Murray before daylight and bought a fishing permit. Next, Cody found an empty spot he liked and started fishing. It was a normal fishing day for the first three hours, beautiful sunshine and pristine fresh air. Cody was specifically looking for largemouth bass and managed to catch and release a few bass in the 1-2 lb. range.

Cody checked the time he knew he had to be home to get ready for school by 9:00 A.M. As he was leaving he noted that he had 10 minutes to get home and he knew he could skateboard to his house in only about 5 minutes. Cody spied the very first cove at the lake's entrance and thought he had time to throw his Western Plastics 4" straight tail worm in once or twice. Cody had Texas rigged the 4" straight tail worm on an Owner size 2/0 rig-n-hook. Two elderly trout fishermen told Cody they saw a catfish over to their left about 40-50 feet. Cody decided to toss his Western Plastics worm in and see if he could catch the "catfish," although he had been fishing for largemouth bass. Cody was fishing from the shore and he thought he had seen a faint flash of light underwater. He cast his western plastic worm out beyond where he thought he had a glimpse of a fish. Hoping that it would drop directly in front of the fish as it sank 6-10 feet to the lake bottom there was no luck at all as Cody worked the small worm back up the bank and through the rocks. On the second cast, he had just taken up all the slack when he felt his line shudder. Cody had felt this same exact feeling hundreds, if not thousands, of times before. Cody knew he had either gotten a bite or just hung his line up in the rocks. Instantly and with lightning reflexes he tried to set the Owner hook! There was absolutely nothing at all. There was so much slack in the line now, Cody believed he should reel in his Trilene line. As Cody cranked on his Shimano Crestfire Bantam CR 2000B, little did Cody know that his spanking brand new Shimano rod and Shimano reel, Berkley Trilene line, along with one Owner hook, were going to be tested to the maximum on his very next cast!

When he reeled the plastic western worm in, Cody looked to check his hook and worm. He saw that the back 1/4 of his worm was now missing making it just a 3" worm.! Quickly, Cody tossed the worm back into the exact same spot. This time a largemouth bass tried to get the rest of the Western Plastics worm. Cody felt the bite again and with lightning reflexes he lifted the Owner hook, penetrating the upper lip of the huge bass. Suddenly, there was music to any fisherman's ears, as the drag lit up and started screaming as the fish swam out into deeper water. The Shimano rod tip instantly doubled over, pointing down toward the water as the battle was now on! For several minutes the bass fought furiously. The bass swam to its right and back across the lake to its left. Soon Cody had battled her to the surface and she was jumping through the air. She wanted no part of that! The water was splashing and everyone within sight stopped and stood still as the breathtaking spectacle unfolded. She dove back down trying to get away. Anglers watching held their breath because no kid had ever landed a largemouth bass anywhere near the size of this huge bass. By now Codys Berkley Trilene line was zipping out of the spool at an incredible pace and perspiration was rolling down his face. Very gingerly he reset the drag, allowing the bass to run and tire herself out. Cody had to really be extra careful here because the reeds were nearby, only a few feet to his left. If the giant bass could make it to them she might win the battle. Cody had seen the giant bass as she surfaced and he knew she was well over ten pounds. Now Cody had a few moments to gather his thoughts. Cody thought to himself that there is no way he is going to lose this bass, she's a real trophy! Cody gripped the Shimano Catana rod tightly as the bass tried her best to outsmart Cody. On the fishing rod end of the battle Cody kept thinking and hoping his clinch knot would hold out for just a few more minutes. Cody really wanted to win this battle but he began to think about his Trilene line. Cody spooled Berkley Trilene 10lb. test line on his Shimano reel, why didn't he spool on the 15lb. test Trilene like his father suggested? He knew it would take skill to land this giant bass without breaking his line off. At this point in the battle the advantage had switched over in Cody's favor. What the fish didn't know, but Cody did, was that she was Cody's 21st fish in excess of 10 lbs. He knew exactly how to handle the trophy sized bass.

The two trout fishermen, mentioned earlier, witnessed the entire event unfolding. They brought over a net to do anything they could to help. When they saw the size of massive bass, one of the nice men said he had to go get "the big net," so he ran back and got an extra large net! After five minutes Cody had tired the huge bass out and he reeled her to the shore. Once she was out of the water one of the men offered to drive Cody and the bass to the boat dock to weigh the enormous bass. Cody readily accepted the offer. When they arrived at the boat dock Cody called his father on the phone and told him to come up to the lake as fast as possible! Danny Pierce hustled over to the lake but Cody had just released her before he arrived, by only seconds. In the Pierce home, Cody was taught at a young age the importance of catch and release. Cody decided that she should be released after measuring, weighing and photographing her to document his catch. Cody gave "his fish" a goodbye kiss and she slipped back into the depths of the lake. She will live, perhaps to fight another day and make more largemouth bass babies for more anglers to enjoy through the years. Cody was late for school that day by about 30 minutes. Cody's father didn't mind though for two reasons. The first was because it isn't everyday you get to break a world record. The second, because Cody's first class was a study hall anyway. Cody readily admits, it was the best day of his life! Just 30 minutes after school Cody was back at the lake looking for an even larger largemouth bass. You know, it wouldn't surprise me one bit if he breaks his own record someday.

Cody's largemouth bass officially weighed in at 17.05lbs. It broke Clint Grammer's previous record of 9 lbs. 5 oz., increasing the IGFA M-Junior World Record to 17lbs. That is an increase in the record of just over 83%. A largemouth bass record will never ever fall by such a huge margin again. Cody's catch tops the adult state record of about 45 states. Cody's catch has been recorded as the 15th largest largemouth bass officially registered at IGFA! Cody's world record catch has blurred the line between the records of children and adults.

Cody said, "the fish don't care what your age is, if you have the knowledge to seek them out and the skill necessary to handle them you can catch and land the large ones."

At age 11 Cody announced to his father that he wanted to be a pro fisherman when he grew up. At age 12 signs of a supernatural fishing ability started to show. At age 14 Cody has done something that has stunned entire fishing world. When asked what is going to do next, he said that he is not going to Disneyland, he is in the hunt for the adult IGFA world record. He just might be the one to break George Perry's 68-year-old world record of 22 lbs. 4 oz. set on 6/02/32. Cody has proven he can land the big ones! The Pierces are looking for sponsors as Cody's dream continues to come true.

For the world record catch Cody's equipment that day consisted of;

6 Shimano Catana graphite rod
Shimano Bantam Crestfire CR200B reel
Berkley Trilene line, 10lb. Test
Western Plastics 4" straight tail worm with a blue vein
Owner hook, size 2/0 rig-n-hook

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