Sherry Vann, of Valdosta, was one of the first anglers to drop in at the newly opened Tired Creek Lake in Grady County on May 26. Being there on the second day the lake opened to the public paid off with a monster catch, a 14-lb. largemouth.
Sherry and her boyfriend, JT Vickery, hit the lake around lunchtime in their Javelin bass boat and started fishing. The lake opened just the day before the pair went fishing. She went prepared with an Abu Garcia bait-caster with 12-lb. test line. She quickly reeled in a nice 4-pounder at the beginning of the trip, along with a few other decent-sized bass.
They eventually took the boat to another part of the lake that Sherry had been eying, and after going through a variety of different-colored Zoom worms, she decided it was time for a change. A Zoom bubblegum Trick Worm has proved its loyalty since an 8-pounder she caught on one when she was 6 years old, so Sherry threaded one on her hook.
“It’s the kind of worm that my dad and I used religiously whenever we bass fished,” said Sherry. “My boyfriend was picking at me saying, ‘You aren’t going to catch anything on a pink worm.’”
She tossed the pink worm out into some thick grass. As she began to work the worm back toward the boat, it got hung on something, or she thought so. That is when the line took off, and Sherry realized she had a massive fish on. The fish dove down into deep water, and Sherry worked to get it back toward the surface. It finally came back up and leaped out of the water.
“It was just amazing how pretty she was jumping out of the water,” said Sherry. “Something like you see on Bill Dance or those TV shows.”
At this point, JT reached for the dip net, which Sherry was extremely grateful he had decided to bring in the boat with them.
“We never take the dip net out on the water, but he took it out and said, ‘We are going to need this,’” said Sherry. “He was panicking, and I immediately just started shaking. It was just an indescribable feeling.”
Sherry realized she had a angler’s dream fish on the line. Sherry has killed several deer, hogs and even a bear, but she said none compared to this thrill. She did all she could to keep the line tight and the fish from tangling itself on the trolling motor or other structure in the water. The fish was pulling drag and trying to dive to the point she thought the pole was going to snap.
“After what felt like 30 minutes, I think I finally tired her out enough we could try to get her in the dip net,” said Sherry. “JT reached down and tried to get her. She saw it and spun around, and she was gone again.”
Another intense fight followed, ending with Sherry getting the fish back to the surface and JT finally getting the net up under the fish. The two sat back exhausted and in amazement.
“I fell down in my seat and couldn’t believe what I had caught,” said Sherry. “We were both shaking like a leaf. Words cannot describe the excitement we both had.”
She could not get her scale to work, so luckily a few guys who were watching in a canoe nearby, cheering her on the entire time, had a scale for her to determine at least the wheelhouse of how much the fish weighed. She then went to Hi-Way Bait and Tackle in Cairo to get her fish weighed on a better set of scales, and it came out to be a whopping 14 pounds even.
Although the scales are not certified by the Department of Agriculture and the fish can’t be added to GON‘s Biggest Bass of All-Time list, photos reveal this largemouth to certainly be in the 14-lb. class, the minimum weight for making GON‘s exclusive list.
“I never in my life thought I would ever catch a 14-lb. bass,” said Sherry. “It was truly a once in a lifetime catch, and I am so happy that I got to share that moment with my best friend.”
Tired Creek Lake is a new 960-acre lake in Grady County, located between the cities of Cairo and Whigham, at the convergence of three creeks that come together to form Tired Creek. The lake is located at 263 State Park Road and can be contacted by calling (229) 762-4558.
Note: GON will have feature article in the July magazine profiling the fishing opportunities at Tired Creek Lake.