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James River Striper!

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I was fishing the James River/Aunt's Creek area Tuesday evening. The water was very muddy, but there were a lot of shad and loons around so I was launching my A Rig trying to entice something to bite. I started to get frustrated and questioned my sanity for fishing such muddy water. I was going to leave this spot after this cast, and suddenly my late afternoon trip turned into something special. I felt a tug and set the hook and soon found out that this was not your usual bass you catch on Table Rock, but a Striper! In forty years of fishing Table Rock, I had never heard or seen one caught. I had heard that there were some in the lake that escaped Beaver Lake when flood waters allowed some to go over the dam. The mighty fish made several runs, before I was able to bring it closer to the boat. I had thought it might be a huge Cat or a carp, but I was sure surprised to see this beautiful fish swim by the boat. I was able to get it halfway into my net, and had to use both hands on the hoop to get it into my Ranger. I called Dick Stewart from Oak Hill Resort to share my surprise and he said to bring it in so we could take some pictures of it and weigh it. It was 40 inches long and weighed 26.5 pounds on his dock scale. We were able to release it alive. After we did, I wasn't sure if it was the right thing to do or not, but maybe someone else will get a chance to decide it's fate and experience it's fight.

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3 hours ago, Dutch said:

Congrats.  It looks a lot heavier than that to me.

Dutch, I thought the same thing! There was no way I could hold my new Rapala Scale with that Striper hanging on the end of it.

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Fantastic!!! Congrats on a special catch. And thank you very much for releasing it !!!:goodjob:

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Jeff Fletcher caught the Arkansas state record in 2000 near the 62 bridge below Beaver dam. He is a guide and the son of a J D Fletcher who owned Devils Dive resort near Eagle Rock.

https://jesseshunting.com/threads/jeff-fletchers-64-1-2-pound-striped-bass-at-beaver-lake.1604/

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