We spoke with legendary fisherman and TV host Bill Dance about the biggest fish he’s ever caught. Let’s see what he had to say:
The biggest largemouth bass I ever caught was surprisingly in Tennessee. It was at a lake about 100 miles northeast of Collierville at a 400-acre watershed lake. We were fishing in the fall and I was fishing a spinnerbait around timber along the creek channel. The fish weighed 14.1 pounds and I caught it free-falling with a spinnerbait in 10 feet of water. It got hung up in deep brush, but I applied the same amount of pressure to the fish as it applied to me. I didn’t reel. I just pulled. If the fish pulls a foot, you pull a foot. The key is to never reel because you’ve got to give it room to swim. If you winch it up on a tree limb, it can’t swim and will break you off. About that time I felt the fish swim out and I didn’t realize how big it was. Oh boy! He came out the top and I looked down at the clear water and I saw the size of the fish. It weighed 14.1 and that was the biggest largemouth I ever caught.
The biggest smallmouth I ever caught was an 8-3 and I caught it at Pickwick Lake in Tennessee. I saw it, the fish jumped about 3 times, and I knew it was a whale. I caught it on a grub with a quarter ounce sled head jig that had a little groove on the back of it.
The biggest ocean fish I’ve ever caught was right outside of Key West in the bay. It was about a 250-pound shark and we were fishing for it when I caught him. It took a long time to get it in. I caught the shark free lining a mullet.
Wow, Bill … those are some great stories!