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Pitt smashes MLF records with 13-6 largemouth, bags 39-15 five-fish limit on Toledo Bend

by Major League Fishing 9 Feb 19:17 UTC
Pitt smashes MLF records with 13-6 largemouth, bags 39-15 five-fish limit on Toledo Bend © Major League Fishing

You know you're in the midst of a good fish story when the teller catches a 7-pounder and follows it up with "that wasn't it, though."

Saturday, in the second Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine Cowboy Division event of the season, Toledo Bend stick Cody Pitt sacked up 39 pounds, 15 ounces to win $8,107. He also had the big bass of the event, a 13-6, which is now the biggest bass ever weighed in BFL competition. His bag is the biggest ever in FLW and MLF competition on Toledo Bend, and the sixth biggest single-day catch of all time.

Pitt has now won three BFL events on Toledo Bend, and firmly established himself as the man to beat there in the winter. Practicing a week before the tournament, he caught a 10-pounder, two 7-pounders and a 4-pounder in a quick check of the juice. But, things had changed by derby day.

"I checked a bunch of stuff [Friday], we got a bunch of rain the last three days, and the water has been rising a pretty good bit," Pitt said. "It seemed to scatter the majority of my fish. I had places that had eight or 10 fish, not giant schools, just places with a handful of big ones, and they went down to about two [fish]. I thought I could still get some good bites, but I figured I would have to work for them, which I did, it wasn't pretty by no means."

The end result is gorgeous, and Pitt was headed back to the weigh-in an hour early with nearly 40 pounds of largemouth. His magical day didn't start great, though.

"I fished for the first two hours, and all I had was like a 10-inch Kentucky," Pitt said. "I left that place, and went and checked another spot, it was probably the deepest I've ever caught big ones, and I caught a 6 in about 32 feet."

From there, Pitt made perfect decisions for the rest of the day.

"The next spot I went to, that's when I caught the 13, and I think I caught a 6 off that place," Pitt said. "After I caught the 13 and the 6, I went to another place. Those fish had moved, and I relocated them. My co-angler caught the first one, he caught a 6, and then I caught a 4 and about a 3 3/4. I left that place, and I knew my co-angler needed to fill his limit, so I brought him to a numbers hole, and he filled out his bag."

With two limits riding in the boat, Pitt decided to pour it on.

"I felt like I should have had enough to win," he said. "But, some of them guys that LiveScope, Cole (Moore) and Tater (Reynolds), they whooped my butt too much last year. So, I knew I had to get rid of that one 2-pounder.

"So, I went to another place, and my co-angler caught a 7-9 off of it, and then I caught my second biggest, which was I guess a 7. That wasn't it, though. I had one more little place, I probably shouldn't even have fished it, I don't know why I did. I ended up catching a 6 and a 5 half, and the 6 culled one out, and the 5 half didn't help me. So, I went in after that."

And about that 13-pounder...

Fishing offshore, from 12 feet to 32 feet, mostly for small groups of fish, Pitt did his damage with a V&M Pacemaker Football Jig trailered with a V&M J-Bug and two Strike King crankbaits - a 6XD and a 10XD.

Pitt's 13-pounder fell for the football jig, and it topped his previous personal best by about 2 pounds.

"When I set the hook, I couldn't move it," Pitt said. "I said, 'If this is a bass, it's ginormous.' Because that 10 I caught last week was nothing compared to that thing. I couldn't move it. She couldn't even come out of the water - she tried to jump, but her front was as high as she got.

"She come up a pretty good ways out there the first time. By the time I got her to the boat, [my co-angler] was sitting there waiting with the net. She come up about 5 or 6 foot before the boat, just under the surface. When I saw her, I thought she was at least 12. Then, she ran back down, and 10 seconds later I got her coming back up - that one deep pull when I got her to the boat was all she did."

Leroy Dee Sheperd did the honors with the net job, and naturally also earned the win on the Strike King co-angler side.

The end result for Pitt was a record-breaking day on the water and one more reason why he loves Toledo in the wintertime.

"The first [BFL] I won was actually on my birthday, I was like 'Man, that was a pretty good birthday,'" said Pitt. "This one was pretty special. I love these couple weeks here - we need to talk somebody into a Toyota Series in January or February on Toledo."

Top 10 boaters:

1. Cody Pitt - 39 - 15 (5) - $8,107 (includes $2,500 Phoenix Bonus)
2. Tater Reynolds - 31 - 14 (5) - $2,436
3. Cal Cameron - 23 - 02 (5) - $1,623
4. Michael Powell - 20 - 07 (5) - $1,137
5. Casey Tate - 19 - 13 (5) - $974
6. Raymond Anselmo - 17 - 08 (5) - $893
7. Dylan Smith - 17 - 02 (4) - $812
8. Cole Moore - 16 - 11 (5) - $731
9. Cody Ross - 16 - 05 (5) - $650
10. Joe Beebee - 16 - 01 (5) - $568

Complete results

Top 10 MLF five-bass limits of all time:

1. Keith Combs - 2010 - Falcon Lake - 41-1
2. Rogne Brown - 2013 - Lake Chickamauga - 40-14
3. Casey Martin - 2017 - Lake Guntersville - 40-11
4. Derek Mundy - 2021 - Sam Rayburn - 40-10
5. Anthony Sharp - 2020 - Sam Rayburn - 40-6
6. Cody Pitt - 2023 - Toledo Bend - 39-15
7. Greg Hackney - 2008 - Falcon Lake - 39-11
8. Derek Mundy - 2021 - Sam Rayburn - 39-7
9. Richard Cathey - 2009 - Falcon Lake - 39-1
10. Terry Bolton - 2008 - Falcon Lake - 38-15

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