In my 70 years of fishing, I’ve heard a lot of stories about fishing records. Most of them are based on the species of fish that were caught and the weight or test of the line used to catch them. Of course there are also records of total weight of bass caught during a fishing tournament that have nothing to do with line weight.
My wife Debbie, who is also my favorite fishing buddy, holds what I consider two of the most amazing fishing records.
We were fishing in Eastern New Mexico at Conchas Lake in the fall of 1992. The conditions were perfect. Overcast sky, on the “New Moon” and a light breeze was blowing out of the west. Deb’s mother, Gerry Dingess, who was an incredible fisherperson herself, always said, “When the wind is blowing out of the west, the fishing is best” and boy was she right this fine day.
Debbie & I were searching for smallmouth bass and walleyes on rocky points with steep drop-offs in our Tracker Pro Team 175. Our rods were ultra light rigged with wispy 6-pound test line and 1/16th ounce jigs. Deb caught a nice 3-pound channel cat on a white power grub, which is in itself a pretty unusual event. It then occurred to me that the channel cat was the fifth species she had caught on the same lure that day! The others were: a largemouth bass, a smallmouth bass, a walleye, and a Green Perch. A few minutes later we were still joking about it when she landed a nice crappie! Six species of fish on the same lure. Then the unthinkable happened. After a three or four minute scrap Deb netted a six-pound carp and lifted it into our Tracker Boat. The seventh different species of fish, on the same lure, in the same lake, on the same day. Pretty Incredible!
But if you think that record is amazing, listen to this one, it’s even better. Debbie & I were fishing in southern New Mexico at Elephant Butte Lake at the north end just above the narrows. We had just stopped in a little cove not much larger than our Tracker Boat to work it over. I watched Debbie cast five times in a row to a single stick-up in about ten feet of water. Each cast was within two feet of the stick. If I hadn’t been there I would have had a tough time believing this one myself.
On five casts in a row, to exactly the same spot, Debbie caught five different species of fish! A largemouth bass, a channel catfish, a green perch, a white bass and a carp!
Five successive casts, five different kinds of fish. Unbelievable!
So the next time you hear someone talking about fishing records, tell them about these two held by my fishing buddy and the love of my life, “Master Anglerette”, Debbie Hughes.