Almost 16 years ago, I caught what was to be my largest bass for years, until I had a few crazy days on Fork and Falcon (last year).
I was fishing a cypress stand right at sunrise, on a hot late August morning. I saw a school of nervous shad under a single tree, and threw my black Jitterbug a few feet past them. I let it sit for 30 seconds, then crawled it into the middle of the shad. About 3 seconds later, a small "ploop" sucked it out of sight. I reeled in my slack, then waited until I felt the fish. When I did, I hit her hard ... she hit me back! I fought the fish for several minutes, keeping her out of the roots and lilly pads. When I finally got her to the side of my boat, I got to see how big she was when she turned to surge away again. Huge! When I finally got her to a point where I could land her (no net, of course!), all I could see was that giant mouth, filled with what looked like dozens of big Jitterbug trebble hooks! I slowly lowered my hand to the mouth, and found a hook-free section of lower lip to grab.
The bass was a very long fish; 25 1/8" long. She weighed in at 8.5#, much too light for a fish that long. She was healthy, but with a big head and not "fat" as it was late summer and the water was 99 degrees.
Unfortunately, she died in the livewell, as I was trying to get her weighed for a replica. Since she had died, I had a skin mount made and it looks really beautiful next to the 10.8# and 9.75# replicas I put on the wall last year.