Pat McShan says fishing is in her son's blood. After Andre McShan's latest catch, Pat
seems to have a pretty good beat on her 14-year-old son's talent.
Last week, McShan reeled in a 17.8-pound largemouth bass at Pershing Park Lake. It was by far the largest fish ever caught in the lake and a mere six pounds off the state record for a large-mouth bass.
"For that size of a lake, it's a pretty big catch," McShan said. "I fish there pretty often and I've never caught one that big."
McShan, who will enter the 8th grade at Live Oak Ridge Middle School, used a 20-pound spider-wine line rod and a minnow as bait to make his record-setting catch.
He plans to get the fish stuffed and hang it next to his other prized possesion: a 62-pound drum he caught last year in the Sabine River near Port Arthur.
"I really don't know how he learned, or how he got interested," Pat said. "One day, he sort of picked it up and he never stopped.
McShan begin fishing just over six years ago. He had seen his uncle, Otis Ray, fish and other people participate in the sport, and McShan became enthralled. Ray has taught his nephew a few tricks, but McShan has done most of the learning on his own.
"I just kind of started doing it and learned from that," McShan said. "I try to go just about every weekend to the lakes around the area. Most of the time my mom drives me."
Besides the 18-pound bass and the 62-pound drum, McShan has caught several other fish including another 10-pound bass and some nice-size catfish. He doesn't keep all his prizes, but sometimes he'll sell the meat or even eat it himself.
McShan does play other sports, mostly basketball and football, but fishing remains his favorite pastime. He says he'd like to keep doing it for a long time, and he's also trying to get on some fishing and outdoors shows – like those of Mark Davis and Jay Ellis.
"When I go out there, it (fishing) just feels good," McShan said. "I love it."