By Mike GIles / Outdoors Writer
The Meridian Star
Kodi McKay was at Okatibbee Lake recently with his mother Tammy when he decided to go fishing. The 11-year-old West Lauderdale Elementary student was looking for some fun and in the process may have caught a lake record fish. Mom was cleaning out the camper and the youngster used a little American ingenuity and did something astonishing. Kodi caught a monster bream, maybe even a lake record, without the use of a fishing rod or pole. Yes, you read it right, without a fishing pole.
Kodi decided to go fishing and since he didn’t have a rod and reel or pole with him, he did what most country boys do in similar circumstances, he improvised. Kodi found some string, a hook and fashioned a bobber on there and went fishing, hand line style. Kodi was at Cove's Nest Marina when the inspiration hit him to rig up for bream and go fishing.
Since he didn’t really have any normal fish bait he had to make do with what he had, a hotdog. McKay took a small piece of hotdog and secured it to the hook and went fishing. It didn’t take long before McKay was wrestling with the monster bream. It took a bit of handiwork and elbow grease but Kodi finally subdued the impressive fish and got him on land.
After a lot of celebration Kodi and a friend showed the fish to his mother and she quickly took a photo of the possible lake record bream. Kodi and his friend knew they’d never seen such a huge bream but since they weren’t going to clean and eat any on that trip he released him back to grow up!
Kodi’s dad Kevin was working that day and wasn’t around to witness the event and was astonished to see the photo of the monster bream when he got home. “I was looking at the photos in my wife’s camera when I came across this photo and heard the story,” said Kevin McKay. “I asked them what they did with the fish and Tammy said they put him back! It was just another fish to her and she believes in putting them back if you’re not going to eat them.”
Of course this wasn’t a big fish as far as fish go, as bass are usually much bigger. But what they didn’t know at the time was this was a huge bream, maybe the biggest bream ever caught at Okatibbee Lake. Some of the people estimated him at 3 pounds! And that most likely would’ve been a lake record!
Can you imagine an 11-year-old elementary student catching the lake record? But he did land the monster fish and did what most people would since he wasn’t going to eat it. He released it back to grow up some more! The whole story is astonishing that such a big bream would be caught at Okatibbee but there’s more to this story. That potential lake record, that was never weighed, is still alive and well and residing near Cove's Nest Marina at Okatibbee Lake.
Now If I can just find a little time to go fishing I’ll see if I can find a bream hook, string and bobber and get a piece of hotdog and go after that monster bream! Who knows, you might just be the one who catches that lake record next time! Kodi McKay caught him once, and might catch him again. But you better hurry out to Okatibbee because I have a hunch there will be some other young anglers fishing for him too!
Contact Mike Giles at 601-917-3898 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.