Catch Analysis – Big Ned

Trying something new with a post that delves into the details of a specific catch. I call today’s post “Big Ned,” an oxymoron with a small lure presentation fooling a large catch. Read on for the data, background, play-by-play, and video that put this bass in the log.

Tale of the Tape
April 7, 2023 at 2:49pm
Island Lake – Knox County public strip pit
1/4 oz./3” Lunker Hunt Finesse Swimbait (perfect pumpkin)
Length: 22”
Weight: 5-3

Previous lake record of 2-3 caught by Brent on April 12, 2021

The Lake
We have taken to naming the unnamed strip mine fishing holes that we have prowled for years. This one goes by Island Lake as it has an island or two in it. Prior to this catch, the lake record was a 2-3 landed by Brent on April 12, 2021. Not being one of our more frequent stops, my wanderings had only resulted in 28 bass in 4.75 hours of fishing over the last ten years.

The Lure
Brent and I elected to invest in a lightweight, low key, finesse bait on this outing, generically called a “Ned rig.” Our unassuming stubby worms, grubs, or swimbaits were fished on light jigheads and crawled or hopped slowly along the bottom in the cold-water conditions we encountered.

The Catch Chronology

7:17pm Thursday – A plan develops.

11:28am Friday – First Ned rig catch of the day.

12:06pm – Brent scores on the Ned rig

2:32pm – “Since we’re this close, I am going to give Island Lake a shot.” No luck on my first spot along the bank.

2:42pm – “Since we’re here, I’m going to fish down this finger.” Turned out to be a good decision.

2:48pm – I spot the silhouette of a large fish in roughly three feet of water.

2:49pm – I gently pitch my Ned rig out past the fish, hop it back, and then kill the retrieve about a foot in front of my target.

A puff of sediment appears as the bass nears the lure. Instinct, vision and feel all tell me that the fish has inhaled the bait and I set the hook.

The fight is on, and I quickly realize that the fish I estimated in the three-pound range is considerably larger than I thought.

As I am perched on a rise in the bank, I must now figure out how to land the bass. I plop down on my backside, slide down the slope, dangle my boots in the water, and successfully manage to grab the bass near my left knee.


2:50pm – I half crawl/half climb back up the bank without losing or grounding the fish and it’s time for the measurements. The bass comes in at 22” and I guesstimate it going 4-6. To my surprise the scale reads 5-3. I guess I don’t catch enough that big, so my eyeball calibration needs some more practice.

2:51pm – After a few pictures, the bass is released to grow up. With a little luck, I have just boosted the lake record by three pounds.

2:57pm – After catching my breath, bragging time is on as I shamelessly text Brent, my wife, Mom and Dad, and my friends, John, and Jim. Hey, that’s all part of the fun, right?

The thing that stinks about the catch is that my GoPro video was somehow corrupted. The original clip was fifty seconds long but for some reason I was only able to salvage thirty-four seconds of video without sound. It is what it is, I guess although no such thing as making a fishing video was possible for me until I got some technology in 2017. The salvaged clip is below and still hoping that I can find a way to recover the entire clip.


We’ll see how the rest of the year goes and how the GoPro holds up to determine if I revisit any more catches. Any feedback on whether you find this feature worthwhile is appreciated as well. Talk to you later. Troy

2 thoughts on “Catch Analysis – Big Ned

    1. Sounds good, thank you for the feedback. I have a stack of ideas for the blog just not enough time to put them into play. Lots of options within this post to have the Catch Analysis, Island Lake, or the Ned Rig make some future appearances.

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