By Gerrit Viljoen (April 2013)

On a recent outing I managed to land my first 20 pounder Largemouth Yellowfish on fly and all I can say is boy everything about it was epic!

It was nearing 4pm in the afternoon and I made up my mind that I would continue fishing for another hour or so I mean the day was made already two hours earlier when I landed a beautiful specimen of 14.5lbs. I was working this nice little section carefully with pin point accuracy, cast for cast hitting the spot and not long after I got a vicious take. I struck but boom off! Turned out I was a bit too quick on the draw. I was in two minds at this stage whether or not to move upstream and try another section for 30 min or so before coming back or to continue at the same lie. I decided to stay and work it some more and it turned out to be an excellent decision.

I would say after about 15-20 min after hitting the same spot time after time it happened!!! I got picked up again and I mean picked up properly by this brute of a fish and I was in for one hell of a fight….She first ran me downstream but I immediately applied immense pressure and managed to turn her into calmer water. She must have shaken her head or something because the next moment she almost like “kicked” again and wham there goes the rod out of my right hand (my left hand was occupied trying to keep up with slack) into the water…Luckily I managed to grab the fly line (I had some left in my stripping basket) which enabled me to reach the rod and within a split second I was back in business fighting this submarine. Soon after I had all the line on the reel, which made the fight slightly easier. That reel sang like a canary I promise you!!!! I could feel she was trying everything to get rid of that hook, running over and around rocks it was unbelievable how she ran.

I just kept up with the fish, pulled as hard as I could and within a short time I had her close to the boat. Funny how it turned out this time round, I first saw the tail, almost a meter to the right from where the leader was entering the water and it was at this moment when I realized that this is one serious piece of meat. Eventually I saw the head and that awesome hump what a pretty sight!

I made my way upstream to shallower water for the photo session and it was then when I burst into tears realizing I just landed a mother of a bus, my first 20lber! (20.5lbs / 9.3kg)

Girth: 53cm
Fork: 83cm
Total: 93cm