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The annual road trip to Tennessee in search of large smallmouth bass is one trip I keep in the back of my mind all year long. It is always full of laughs, hard work, and great fishing. And the end of each float, we are usually completely exhausted; so much so that a “ribeye steak” from a gas station seems like suitable nutrition.

On this trip, I lost my personal best smallmouth right at the nose of my Mayfly. When I set the hook on her, I thought I had hooked into a rock. As I retrieved my 5″ Bull Shad back to the boat and after several jumps and a wave goodbye from her, I noticed that in fact my hooks were bent. This fish was pushing 24 inches and had to have been at least 6 pounds (7 pound on Evan’s scales).

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