Mike McSwain of Broad River Smallmouth said he’s hoping to get back on the Broad soon, but the water is currently too high to fish it. But not being able to fish his favorite river hasn’t stopped him from getting on other bodies of water, or from catching fish. With a few well-stocked private ponds at his disposal, McSwain has been after the largemouth bass all year.

Last Friday, McSwain (843-763-3805) was fishing with Dave Miller when Miller caught a fish they will both brag about for years to come. They didn’t want to kill the fish just to weigh it, so they took careful measurements of the fish’s length and girth. McSwain checked those measurements with a length-and-girth-to-weight measuring tool, which told him the fish weighed over 12-pounds. 

“It was an incredible fish and the pictures just don’t do it justice. We triple-checked the measurements on it. It was 24.75-inches long, and the girth was 23.25 inches. That’s a girth of almost two feet! I ran the numbers on the weight calculator for largemouth bass and came up with 12.58-pounds,” said McSwain.

Just to be sure, McSwain sent the length and girth measurements to SCDNR fisheries biologist Scott Lamprecht. Lamprecht used a similar measuring method and came back with a weight estimate of 12.54-pounds. Many people, even a lot of tournament bass anglers, will never see a bass that big in their life.

“I’ve seen bass that long before, but the girth on this one was just unbelievable. I’ve had guys say that once a big bass adds girth, it becomes just freakish looking, and I can’t describe how true that is. And I really wish it showed in the photos, but they don’t compare to how big that fish actually is,” said McSwain.

Miller caught the big fish on a KVD 2.5 crankbait, and McSwain said they were fishing in an open area of the pond with very little structure around. 

“This pond doesn’t have much for the fish to relate to. We just started sinking brush piles in it yesterday, because the bottom of the pond is just like a barren wasteland. There isn’t anything for the fish to gather around,” he said.

Luckily for McSwain and Miller, that didn’t stop this big fish from biting.

If you ever catch a big bass and don’t have a reliable scale with you, click here for an easy way to estimate the weight. Just make sure to measure the length and the girth of the fish before releasing it.