0%

Watch: Fisherman Risks a Ticket, Catches Giant Bass in Front of the Cops

May 31, 2024 - Blog

Would you risk getting a ticket to land one of the biggest bass you’ve ever caught on your last cast of the day? So would current bass pro Matty Wong. A few years back (and before he went pro), the Elite Series angler was fishing a lake in Southern California with a buddy. They were approaching closing time, as the privately-owned reservoir has strict rules requiring all boats to be off the water by 5 p.m.

Around 4:45 p.m., with 15 minutes to spare, the two fishermen were approached by a sheriff’s boat. An officer got on the bullhorn to remind them the lake would be closing soon, but Wong chose to make one final cast with a glide bait and hooked an 8- to 10-pound largemouth. Then he landed the bass right in front of the cops.

“I’m just being the punk fisherman and I’m like, ‘Well, I can make on more cast.’ And a quarter way through the retrieve, it absolutely slack-lines,” Wong says of the odd bite, which was caused by a bass hitting the bait while swimming straight at him. “It was the last cast that every fisherman dreams of. When you make just one more cast and you know you gotta go, and then you hook a giant.”

The whole episode was caught on video, and Wong uploaded the footage to his YouTube channel in January 2021. He also posted an abbreviated reel that went viral on social media; The TikTok video alone has nearly 2 million views.

After his buddy nets the bass, Wong loses it, shouting: “OH MY GOD! IS THAT MY 10?!” Then the law enforcement officer, still speaking through the bullhorn, doles out a classic buzz-killer of a line: “OK, you want your ticket now or later?”

At this point, the reel ends. But Wong tells Outdoor Life there’s a little more to the story.

“Immediately after that, I nervously laughed. And then [the cop with the bullhorn] goes, ‘How big is it?’ And I said, ‘I don’t have a scale. Do you?’”

They didn’t, but Wong held up the fish anyways. And after seeing the bass, the officers gave him a thumbs up and left without writing him a ticket or even a warning. Wong and his buddy then snapped a quick picture, released the bass, and headed for the ramp, where they pulled out the boat just before 5 p.m.

Read Next: Glide Baits for Bass: How to Catch a Giant on a Glider

In hindsight, Wong says that even though he wanted the bass to go 10 pounds, he thinks it was more like 8 or 9. Still, it was “pretty darn close” to his personal best largemouth at the time, and the best possible way to cap off a slow winter’s day.

As for the “law” he risked breaking, Wong says there are similar rules and time constraints on other lakes in the area. Most of these are owned and operated by hydroelectric power companies, which have their own liability concerns. The closures also help keep boaters in compliance with state-mandated invasive species regulations (including mandatory boat inspections) for Quagga mussels and other invasives. And they’re a pain in the ass for bass anglers trying to fish the magic hour — especially at certain times of the year when it doesn’t get dark until after 8 p.m.

Does Wong understand and respect these rules? Of course, he does. He’s a law-abiding citizen. But was it worth risking a ticket to catch that giant bass at the buzzer?

“One hundred percent.”

The post Watch: Fisherman Risks a Ticket, Catches Giant Bass in Front of the Cops appeared first on Outdoor Life.

Play Cover Track Title
Track Authors