This fish story has witnesses: Eric Doppee, 13, caught a black bass at Shadow Cliffs lake on Saturday that weighed 18 pounds 9 ounces. That breaks the record, he learned from a ranger the next day.
Eric, an eighth-grader at Pleasanton Middle School, said he began to fish in the cove using a lure after he saw a lot of bass in the water.
"I hooked into him and he didn't really fight that much," Eric said.
He noted that the big fish had grayish eyes, which indicated he was old, as did his size.
"I tried to release him but he wouldn't swim away," Eric recalled.
His father Tim arrived to give him a ride home and exclaimed over the size of the bass. They found a fisherman with a scale and weighed it, and the next day a ranger told Eric that it beat the previous Shadow Cliffs record for a bass, which was 18 pounds 1 ounce.
Eric gave the record-breaking bass away to a family, as he did two years ago with a carp weighing 47 pounds 9 ounces.
"I recently caught an 8-pound catfish and a 9-pound trout. I have them in my freezer, and we're going to eat them," he added.
Eric said his uncle, Victor Gomez, began taking him fishing when he was about 4 years old. Now he rides his bike to Shadow Cliffs from his home in Vintage Hills every day to engage in the sport.
"He will fish from sunup to sundown," said his dad. "He went back on Sunday and landed seven. He either released them or gave them away."
"Our freezer is full -- he is under strict instructions not to bring any more home," he added with a laugh.