Chad Johnson knew Clara West had caught a heck of a fish on Crooked Creek yesterday. He Clara and Melissa Carter were on a heck of a bite, the Creek rebounding in spectacular fashion after the recent floods. Melissa scored an impressive 18″ Smallie but this was something even rarer. It was a huge specimen of the unique local Ozark Bass at 10″ long and fat as a tick.
It was only when the crew arrived back at the shop and started talking about all the fish including the bass that Michael Schraeder, who has his own history with monster Ozark Bass, that the world record Ozark Bass stands at 1 pound and 1 ounce.
The more we investigated the more we discovered this was really close to a world record Ozark Bass. Our fisheries biologist Paul Port, who fills in between shifts at the fly shop with a gig as AGFC warmwater biologist for our region, said he thought Clara’s fish was up there.
I mentioned that in context even if Clara’s fish didn’t top 17oz it was still the equivalent of catching a 40lb brown trout on fly. “That gives you a shiver” she said, as the thought sank in.
If you haven’t caught an Ozark Bass, often known as Goggle-eye this bass is only native to the White River drainage. One very special fish.
Update More Pictures added 5-18 thanks to Clara & Melissa for the pics