I've lost some big fish in my day, but there is one that stands out the most.
I was throwing the rago rat, just covering water down a bank. It was a misty, overcast morning around 8 am. Right over this huge boulder my rat is wakng and all of a sudden I see this massive bass rise up behind it and follow it in. She turned away and then swam back to her spot.
It was July, so this was very unlikely a bed fish. I backed up, and got in perfect range to offer her one more thing before I knew she would probably spook.
I finally decided on a crawdad bait, a small mad man.
I did a under hand pitch so that it wouldn't splash up near the boulder where she was near. It fluttered down perfectly and settled on the boulder flipping up a lil sand as it landed.....She darted right on it, put her tail towards the surface of the water and inhaled I set the hook and she turned on her side. Then it just slipped out. She was 16-17 lbs. I was shaking so bad, and I was truly heartbroken.
I ultimately just needed bigger tackle looking back.