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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