Peoria angler nearly hooks state-record striped bass

Near-record striper bass from Lake Pleasant -- 28.38 pounds
Near-record striper bass from Lake Pleasant — 28.38 pounds

The fish —  whatever it was Jason Blauvelt hooked at the bottom of Lake Pleasant on Sept. 13 — took a deep, diving run. Blauvelt scrambled to loosen his drag. The fish slowed, then stopped.

“When I started pulling up,” Blauvelt said, “I couldn’t move him.”

Ten minutes later, after the fish made another major run to the bottom, Blauvelt had landed a 42 1/8-inch striper that by Monday weighed 28.38 pounds on the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Phoenix headquarters’ certified scale,

The fish that bit a 5-inch spoon around 3:30 p.m. was less than a pound away from an inland waters, hook-and-line state record for striper.

The existing hook-and-line record: Bob Liddington of Phoenix caught a 29-pound, 13.76 ounce, 45 ¼-incher out of Lake Pleasant on July 13, 2010.

“I had him frozen,” Blauvelt said. “By Monday it had lost some water weight … I didn’t have a swimming pool to throw him in.”

Needless to say, the catch also is an AZGFD Big Fish of the Year leader for the catch-and-keep striped bass category.

Lake Pleasant

Blauvelt, a guide with The Arizona Fishing Guides, was using 14-pound Sunline fluorocarbon line on a 7-foot-8 heavy-action Dobyns rod with a Shimano Curado baitcast reel.

“He had the spoon in the back of his mouth with his teeth running the line the whole time,” Blauvelt said. “Afterward, I went back to check the line, and when I gave it a pull, it snapped. If he had taken another run without me adjusting the drag quickly enough, it would have snapped.”

He began the day at the north end of the lake, catching small stripers and a few largemouth bass on 4-inch swimbaits.

Later on in the morning, Blauvelt and a client moved to the main lake and began graphing fish in about 75 feet of depth over submerged humps. The anglers would fish a school, jig spoons to catch a couple fish, then move to another school.

“And doing that,” Blauvelt said, “we ended up running into the giant.”

See information on fishing Lake Pleasant striped bass, and don’t forget to bring your fishing license.

5 thoughts on “Peoria angler nearly hooks state-record striped bass”

    1. Hey Denny. I would try fishing some of the cover in the Agua Fria arm of the lake. Also any dock you see is worth tossing a meal worm or small piece of nightcrawler under. Really any shallow water that has good shade/structure.

      1. I have tried a few times around little island on castle hotspring end but can not seem to find them,next week when temp drops a little i will go try that area .sometimes it is a tough paddle to some spots. thanks for the info

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