ALBA, Texas (KLTV) - This is a fish tale that actually has physical proof. An Alba man is in possession of a five foot bass. KLTV talks with the man who didn’t let the big one get away.
Fisherman Galen Smith made sure that if you’re driving into Alba on State Highway 182 that it’s hard to miss: his exceedingly rare giant tan pine largemouth bass.
“That one didn’t get away and that’s my personal best,” Smith laughed.
The bass didn’t start out as a tiny fish egg. It began as:
“An eighty foot pine tree that I literally disliked,” Smith said.
He was tired of fishing pine cones and needles out of his grass so he decided to:
“Cut that thing down. And I wanted to make something out of it,” Smith said.
So he kept a 12 foot stump, and hired Lance Rigby, wood carver, to do something fishy with it.
“He had about three chainsaws and he carved that all out with those chainsaws and it was quite an experience to watch him do that,” Smith said.
But why a monstrous bass?
“It’s a reflection on Lake Fork because Lake Fork is the bass capital of the world,” Smith said.
And Galen is a real fisherman.
“I’m a member of the Lake Fork Bass Anglers Club,” Smith said.
So, unlike the sculpture, Galen is not a fish out of water. He caught and mounted a ten pound bass which Rigby used as reference.
“He would come back out and stand back and look, and he did it over about three days,” Smith said.
Galen says the bait shop across the street sees the bass as, well, bait for the shop.
“It’s the talk of the town,” Smith said.
Apparently that fish had grown up inside that big old tree. It was just waiting to be uncovered by Lance Rigby. And Galen’s wife has got to be happy that that bass doesn’t make the yard smell like fish.
Smith says he’s had that big bass rooted in his yard for about a year now, and couldn’t even guess how many people have stopped to get a selfie with what could be the biggest pine bass on record.
KLTVs Jamey Boyum spoke to Smith about the carving.
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