Cody Box lost his contest-winning bass once and nearly a second time.
The bass hit his bait, but didn’t take it. So, Box reeled in his line, added a bigger minnow and cast back into the same spot, a brushy area beneath some fallen trees on Cowhouse Creek.
“I let it drift down under the trees and when it drifted down under the trees, we got him on,” Box said. “It took me about eight to 10 minutes to reel him in, because I had cast out pretty far. We got him up (on shore) and he almost got off — he was barely hooked through his lip.”
Box’s 4.802-pound bass won the monthlong sixth annual Big Bass Contest sponsored by Fort Hood’s Sportsmen’s Center.
“It was a nice fish. I figured it might hold up ... because the fish before me was only 3.6 (pounds) and I only had a couple of weeks to go,” said Box, a specialist with the 44th Chemical Company, 2nd Chemical Battalion, 48th Chemical Brigade. “If it wouldn’t have, I was going to go back fishing last weekend.”
Box won a Shakespeare rod and reel combo from the Sportsmen’s Center for winning the tournament, which allowed anglers to fish the waters of Belton Lake, and any of the ponds, rivers and creeks at Fort Hood on their own schedule during March.
Judy Johnson, Sportsmen’s Center manager, said 59 people registered for the event. Mark Ames’ 4.7-pound catch was second, and Willie Towner’s 3.6-pound catch that set the opening weight to beat early in the contest was third.
“The turnout was great, a little bit higher than usual,” Johnson said. “Usually, I only have like 35 (register). So participation was definitely higher.”
Box caught his fish early in the tournament and had to spend weeks in the field afterward.
While he was confident his fish would hold up, he went back to the same spot last weekend but came up empty.
It was a good thing, then, that the fish that nearly got away, didn’t.
“I called (the Sportsmen’s Center) right before I went to the field and then I called right when I got back Friday. They said it was still holding up Friday,” Box said.
“We went fishing this weekend — we were going to try to catch a bigger fish just to add a little insurance. Then, didn’t catch anything big enough. I just waited it out.”