If you follow the bass fishing world, you’ve probably seen pictures of Cody Meyer’s 10.80-pound world record spotted bass. We spoke with Cody to hear the details behind his once-in-a-lifetime catch.
Cody Meyer: In the lake where I caught this fish, the only baitfish are kokanee, which is a landlocked salmon. Those kokanee eat plankton and they always suspend in the water. They never go to the bottom and they roam around the lake. Once these big spotted bass get to a certain size, they have the ability eat these kokanee and at that point the spotted bass grow to become massive.
There is literally no way I would have caught this fish without Garmin Panoptix, and here’s why: When you get up on these points, your boat is sitting in 100-200 feet of water and you can cast to the bank, but you don’t know where the fish are. If you just cast out there and are using traditional sonar, or even scanning sonar, you’re going to be casting blindly. By the time you get on top of them, the fish are going to know you’re there because the water is very clear and the fish have gotten smart over time; they can sense your presence. With Panoptix, you can scan your trolling motor back and forth and see exactly where the fish are. The Panoptix transducer is lined up with your trolling motor arrow, so where your arrow is pointing, that’s the portion of the water column your transducer is looking.
To start the day, we pulled up on a point and caught two spotted bass right off the bat using Panoptix – a 6.66 and an 8.35. We fished a few more hours without a bite until we pulled up on this particular point. My partner got a bite and caught one that went 7.47 – it was the biggest spotted bass of his life so he was stoked and high-fiving. Right after that is when I caught my big one.
I saw this fish 75 feet in front of my boat and it was sitting in about 20-feet of water. I bombed my weightless wacky-rigged Strike King Ocho past the fish, then reeled it back to where it was right on top of the fish and let it sink down. I actually saw the fish come up to the bait. Obviously, I didn’t know the fish was going to be this big at the time, but I saw this humongous blob go towards the bait on Panoptix. At this point I’m shaking the bait and all of a sudden I feel a bite, set the hook, and have what feels like a bowling ball at the end of my line.
I was using 6-pound test line, so I had to be extremely careful not to put too much pressure on this fish. When I first hooked the fish, I could see that it moved about 5 feet and just stopped. I thought I was hung up on something, but then it started swimming right at the boat. It went down to about 40 feet of water and put up a ridiculous fight, for what seemed like hours, though in reality it was probably about seven minutes. I was watching the whole fight happen live on my Garmin unit thanks to Panoptix. I knew exactly what the fish was doing, and where it was at all times throughout the fight.
This is honestly the first time I’ve been to this particular lake with Panoptix and I literally couldn’t have found this fish and caught her without it. Panoptix is the real deal. Without it, you’re casting blindly, hoping and praying to get a bite. With Panoptix, you can cast at a single target and hit it every time.
After catching the big one, I was speechless, so I took 5 minutes to recover and re-tie. I stand back up, look down at my graph and with Panoptix, I can see that there are fish right in front of the boat. At this point, we’re literally a quarter-mile from where I caught the big one. I pick up my rod, cast out there and catch another spotted bass that weighed 8.27. If I didn’t have Panoptix – and I’m not saying this because I’m sponsored by Garmin – if I didn’t have Panoptix to see that, there’s no way I would have caught any of those fish. If you would have gotten on top of those fish and seen them on your 2D sonar, those fish would have known you were there, especially in that clear water. Panoptix gives you a huge advantage because you’re not spooking fish by running over the top of them.
After weighing the fish on land and making sure everything was done in accordance with IGFA standards in order for his, 10.80-pound spotted bass, to cement a spot in bass fishing history, Meyer released the world record fish back into the lake in healthy condition so someone else can catch her and share the same excitement down the road.
Cody Meyer’s electronics package on his Ranger Z520C consists of four Garmin GPSMAP 7610xsv sonar/chartplotter combo units, Panoptix PS21 LiveVü Forward transducer, and Garmin VIRB XE action cameras.