Even if Florida’s Joseph “Brooks” Morrell doesn’t catch another fish this month, he’ll count March as a personal record breaker after landing three massive largemouths that most anglers will never see in a lifetime.
Morrell’s March trio included the second and third Hall of Fame entries for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) TrophyCatch program. Now in its second season (Oct. 1, 2013 to Sep. 30, 2014), the program honors bass 10-12.9 pounds with Trophy status; those more than 13 pounds earn Hall of Fame entry.
“Fishing has been awesome this spring,” he said. “I’m so glad that I could get these documented and then release the females alive right back on their beds.“
His HOF bass weighed 13 pounds, 12 ounces and 14 pounds, 9 ounces and were caught March 1 and 8, respectively. His third bass, an 11-pound, 13-ounce trophy was caught on March 9.
Morrell, a local law enforcement officer, caught all three of his trophy bass while sight-fishing with a soft-plastic Berkley crawfish bait on Lake Kingsley in Clay County.
TrophyCatch is the FWC’s premier angler-recognition program that encourages anglers who catch largemouth bass more than 8 pounds to photo-document them on a scale showing the entire fish and its weight. Once documented, a fish must be live-released in the same water system from which it was caught.