Regina Womack with her 15.88-pound bass, caught in May 2010 at Valentine Lake, Louisiana.

Regina Womack with her 15.88-pound bass, caught in May 2010 at Valentine Lake, Louisiana. Photo Pack and Paddle.

Regina Womack’s Record 15.88-Pound Kayak Largemouth
The biggest ever – that we know of
By Paul Lebowitz

In our Spring 2014 print edition, we celebrate the biggest kayak largemouth catches, but I missed the most important one. In 2010, Regina Womack caught a monster at Louisiana’s Lake Valentine. Mason James reminded me via Facebook in a rather convincing tone. “Y’all got to straighten that one out in the next issue cause its just not true. Show that woman justice who actually already landed the heaviest bass ever,” he wrote.

Many thanks Mason for keeping us honest. Kayak Fish publicizes the most significant catches we know of, but we need your help to find ’em. In this case, mea culpa. I’d reported on it years ago but my story was no longer on the web. Fixed. – PL

So close! In May 2010, Regina Womack nearly claimed a prestigious all-tackle state largemouth record, and she did it from a kayak. Although she missed the state mark, her catch stands as the heaviest largemouth caught from a kayak – so far as we know.

Womack was fishing Lake Valentine in Louisiana when she landed an absolute beast of a bass. It weighed 16.25 pounds on an uncertified scale an hour and a half after the catch.

By the time the bass made it to a certified scale at a local Kroger grocery, it was down to an official 15.88 pounds. A fish of a lifetime, but no state record.

Womack wrote about the catch for the Pack and Paddle blog, where she shared this account. It’s worth your time to click through, read the rest, and view a better photo:

When she took it, it was like I caught something other than a fish. I was thinking an alligator at that moment. I started yelling at Lisa to come and help me. I didn't have time to think, I could barely hold the rod and reel in my hands with all the jerking of my kayak. When I got it closer to the kayak I noticed the eye ball of fish underneath the thick grass that she had went through.

I reached down into the water to grab her mouth and I felt a little frightened. Suddenly, I realized what I had caught. I pulled this monster fish into the kayak without flipping it, unbelievable! I held on to her with a death grip until my friend Lisa pulled up beside me. She couldn't believe her eyes and I was so much in shock that I couldn’t say anything.

A story of this kind is inevitably surrounded by intriguing details. A poster known as Catcher’s Mitt claimed Womack was armed with a spincast reel on a spinning rod – about the farthest you could get from a trophy hunter’s high-tech precision bass tamer. The bait of choice? A purple Zoom Mag II.

I wrote it then and I’ll say it again. In the overly competitive, deadly serious world of giant bass, this sort of thing is not supposed to happen. Bass of this size are best known for breaking hearts when they tangle with mere mortals. So much the better that Womack showed that every angler should dream big.