I had never caught a fish on a Zara Spook. My dad bought me and my brother each one back when we were kids, but I never got the hang of "walking the dog." I was in a sporting goods store in Marion, IL, on Friday, Aug. 24, and saw them hanging on the wall. I thought I ought to buy another one and try to master the lure.
That evening, I went to a neighboring farm pond to try it out. I caught a one-pounder on a Rebel crawfish crankbait right off the bat before switching to the Spook, which has the Black Shiner color pattern. I cast toward the only snag in the pond, where my 10-year-old daughter caught and released a huge bass back on March 1.
I walked the lure back somewhat more easily than I had when I fished it years before, but had no strikes. I cast it closer to the corner of the pond, again with no action. Then, I cast back toward the snag and was a little frustrated that I left it about 10 feet short of my intended target. I started walking it back, got about 10-15 feet from where it landed in the water, and suddenly, something exploded on it.
I set the hook, started reeling, and felt the drag start to slip slightly. I had the drag set fairly tight, so I knew it was a big fish. I bumped it up a hair with my thumb and started reeling as fast as I could, trying to keep the fish from surfacing. When it got close to the shore, it really started to fight and it took a couple more minutes to land it.
As soon as it was landed I knew it was the biggest bass I'd ever caught. I measured it while my wife took photos. It had a length of 24 inches, maybe slightly more, and a girth of 16. My wife snapped a few more photos before I got it back in the water. My only regret was not smiling for the camera, but I was really concerned about getting the big fish back in the water promptly.I have more photos available.