Reports came to us Saturday about a possible record spotted bass that had been caught on Lake Norman in North Carolina over the weekend. We had a bit of time tracking down the angler and we finally got to talk with Terry Trivette about his possible new record catch.
Trivette of Pinnacle, N.C. caught a 6.97-pound spotted bass while fishing on Lake Norman, Saturday, Feb. 11. He and his partner were competing in their Troll-Eze Bass Club tournament on Lake Norman. Trivette fishes at minimum once a week, but they usually fish Lake Norman in the winter and will cherry pick different tournaments on the lake like the Ryan Newman tournament throughout the year.
They started out the morning throwing the now famous Alabama Rigs. Their first fish was a good one and came on an Alabama Rig. About mid day, however, they pulled up on a point and started casting crankbaits. He was casting a Rapala DT 6 in Hot Mustard when the fish bit. He had already made about 10 casts, and on this cast, he fired it up right to the bank. Two to three handle turns into his retrieve, the fish bit and he set the hook, seeing her roll up in the shallow water. He knew it was a big fish immediately. The fish took him from the passenger side of the boat to the back deck, around to the front deck and then back down the drivers side. He was constantly thumbing the fish let it have line when it would surge under the boat. His partner held the net sitting in the driver’s seat and blocked Trivettes view of the fish. About that time, Trivette felt the weight release on his line but he couldn’t see if the fish had gotten off or if it was netted. His partner spun around and set the fish in the boat and the crankbait just fell out of the fish’s mouth.
They went on to win their club tournament and not surprisingly the big fish pot. He knew he had a special fish and weighed it on a couple different scales on the lake before heading to The General Store in Denver, N.C. to have it weighed on certified scales. Then he called Bass Pro Shops to see if they wanted the fish.
They were not able to take the fish until Tuesday, so Trivette had to keep the spotted bass alive for more than 3 days. He constantly took 3 gallons of water out of his livewell and replaced it with 3 gallons of water from his pond. He did that for several days to make sure the spot lived. He had hoped to deliver the fish on Monday and when he found out Bass Pro Shops in Concord Mills couldn’t take her until Tuesday, he figured she might be dead when he opened the livewell Tuesday morning. Trivette runs a landscaping business and works full-time at Cook Medical. Two jobs hardly leaves any time for fishing moreless caring for a fish night and day.
“I babied that fish like a newborn, but I think spotted bass are a lot tougher fish,” Trivette said. “I don’t know if I could have kept a largemouth alive that long. I just kept recirculating new water into the well and adding Rejuvinade as I did to keep the fish healthy. When I reached in to get her out Tuesday at Bass Pro Shops, she was as strong as the day I caught her.”
The fish has to be quarantined for 30 days before it can be mixed in with the other fish at the Bass Pro Shops tank, but he called yesterday to check on the bass, and it was doing fine and had eaten six to eight 5-inch trout already.
If the fish is accepted as the North Carolina state record spotted bass after genetic testing, it will beat the previous record of 6.5 pounds caught by Eric Weir on Lake Norman in 2003. Weir’s fish fell for a Zoom Finesse worm in chartreuse and pumpkin.
Several photos have circulated of the spotted bass and that’s Trivette’s partner in those photos. These photos are of Trivette himself with his trophy catch. What a fish and she’s alive to be shared with NC anglers for some time to come.
Trivette caught the bass on an American Rodsmiths David Fritts Cranking rod and a Quantum Energy baitcaster with 10-pound green Sufix Deep Cranking line.