Several years ago, Derrick Jackson had quite a fish story about a big one that got away.
He caught a huge bass at Hillsdale Lake and brought it home to put it in the freezer before taking it to the taxidermist. But when his wife was cleaning out the freezer, she tossed the white bag that contained the fish.
This spring, he got a second chance at putting a fish on the wall. Fishing at Clinton Lake Marina on Clinton Lake, he caught an 11 1/2-pound largemouth, one of the biggest ever taken in the state. It wasn’t a state record — that still stands at 11.80 pounds.
But for Jackson, it was a fish to remember.
“I was jigging for crappies, when this fish just slammed my jig,” said Jackson, who lives in Lawrence. “I just had a little ultralight, and at first I thought that bass had taken me into brush.
“But he came out and just started pulling. It took me 15 minutes to get it in. By that time, I had a crowd around me, waiting to see what it was.”
It turns out, it was the dock pet, a bass that fishermen had been feeding for several years with leftover minnows. And some fishermen protested when Jackson said he was gong to have his fish mounted.
But Jackson said, “I wasn’t fishing specifically for that bass. I didn’t even know that pet fish was down there. I was just fishing.”
And he caught one heck of a bass.