There's probably a 7.5-pound lunker largemouth lurking in Green Valley Park lakes today thanks to the "catch and release" angling philosophy of 16-year-old Jessie Paul.
The teenager returned the bass to the waters after catching it May 9 while fishing with his twin brother, Jacob.
But before he turned the fish back to provide another lucky angler the thrill of landing a record-setting fish, Jesse had his picture taken with the bass to show family and friends.
GVP unofficial scrap books indicate it is probably the largest bass taken out of the lake.
Jessie hooked it on the east side of the lake using a 4.5 inch finesse worm as bait.
"After I caught it, the fish took off running with all my drag," Jessie said. "I thought, ‘What do I have here?'"
After battling the monster fish for about five minutes, Jessie was finally able to land it.
Pulling a largemouth out of GVP was once considered virtually impossible since the Arizona Game and Fish Department stocks only trout in the man-made lake.
However, in the past few years some bass have been caught.
Town Parks and Recreation Director Bill Schwind said no one has ever officially told him how bass get into the lake, but he suspects "tackle box Charlie" is responsible.
That theory is that some fisherman returning from Roosevelt or other lakes clean or dump their livewells in GVP releasing small bass or eggs into the lake.
"Once they are there, they tend to do quite well," Schwind said. For Jessie and Jacob, the presence of the bass makes their angling outings even more enjoyable.
"We go there about every day, before and after school," Jessie said. "Fishing there is lots of fun."