The Big Bass of 1978


The Bass Club

Story by Charles Philipp('80)

6 1/2 lb bass
Charles Philipp ('80)
with his 6 1/2 pound bass
March 1978

Sun, Jan 14, 2001 2:37 PM

I do like the pictures of the lake and thanks for posting that picture of the bass and me.

I remember it as if it were yesterday. In fact I skipped church services on that Sunday to go fishing at Lake Mary and caught it on the little peninsula that protrudes out in the middle of the lake. I even remember that it was a black and yellow striped plastic worm that I caught it with. It is the biggest bass I have ever caught even to this day and I believe it broke a record for that lake at the time. The bass was sold to one of the cooks for $5.00, which to me, was a lot of money and it really was back in 1978.

Col. Wesley Smith gave me the bass fever as I was in the bass club he headed at the time. A few other students and me would sneak in on his private pond behind his house to go fishing at night. To this day I don't think Col. Smith ever knew we did this.

Well, the next time I visit LWMA I will probably have to walk the flagpole for a few hours after admitting all of this. It's funny how some of the little things are what you remember the most.

Mon, Jan 15, 2001 5:36 PM

You are more than welcome to publish the story, even though it may lead to future capture of students sneaking into Col. Smith's lake at night.

Col. Smith had a dynamite lake and was full of bass. We would use top water lures (hula poppers and jitterbugs) which ironically we got from the Colonel himself. Those lures made a lot of noise and it's a wonder he never caught us. We never kept any of the fish we caught in his lake, we always threw them back. We just enjoyed the adventure of sneaking into his lake and of course catching fish.

Sneaking into his lake gave us a slight advantage on the closing day of the last bass tournament, which was held at his lake, as we knew where the hot spots were on the lake ahead of time. Col. Smith was a good host on this final tournament. Not only did we get the chance to fish a great lake, but he also ordered loads of fried chicken for all of us at the end of the day. He was somewhat tolerant of our mad outburst when a big one would get away. It was always hard to control our tongues under heavy competition. Col. Smith is a great man and a wonderful role model. I think that's why most of us stayed in his bass club year after year.

Charles Philipp
LWMA 1980

Lake Mary 1988
Lake Mary's Peninsula in July 1988

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