Every tournament bass fisherman dreams of catching that really big fish that wins that tournament or puts them in the big money.
John Browning, a local angler, did just that at Lake Pleasant in Bill Luke's Big Bass Days.
The three-day tournament allows for a fisherman to weigh a single bass per day for prize money collecting up to $1,000. The biggest bass at the end of the three days wins the top prize of a $10,000 check presented by Martin Marine. On day one, Browning was fishing the Agua Fria arm of Lake Pleasant using a custom spinner bait made by Highway 188 Tackle Shop when the behemoth bass hit his bait.
Initially, he did not think it was much of a fish until it surfaced near his boat and he saw the profile of a 7-pound-plus bass with the spinner bait solidly hooked in its mouth.
Browning knew he had a chance to win the daily prize money of a thousand dollars, so he took it to the weigh station for certification. The 7.12-pound fish was the top fish for the three days, which earned Browning his biggest paycheck in over 20 years of tournament bass fishing of nearly $13,000.
On the Arizona bass tournament trail, John's fishing partner is Bobby O'Donnell where they team up to fish the Monterey and All-Star Circuits.
Browning's sponsors from the Payson area include El Rancho Restaurant, Rex Henshaw Architecture, 188 Tackle and Bobcat Concrete.