A whopper largemouth bass caught in 2000 at the former Lake Shepherd Springs can be seen again at Lake Fort Smith State Park.
Stacy Harrison of Winslow caught the 7.88-pound bass while fishing with his grandpa and an uncle at the old Lake Shepherd Springs, which is now part of Lake Fort Smith. Harrison recently donated the mounted bass to Lake Fort Smith State Park where it’s on display at the marina.
Lake Fort Smith was divided as two separate lakes — Lake Shepherd Springs and Lake Fort Smith — before Lake Fort Smith became the 1,400-acre lake it is today. Harrison caught the bass July 22, 2000 at Lake Shepherd Springs.
“Back in 2000 my grandfather, Jess Harrison, my uncle Melvin and I came down to what was then Lake Shepherd Springs to go fishing in my uncle’s boat. We spent a lot of time on that lake while I was growing up,” Harrison said.
“We were fishing near what they call ‘the old fireplace.’ I was fishing with my favorite lure, a plastic worm, and got a bite. The fish took off with it and I knew it was a big fish. I thought it was a catfish at first. It fought and fought. When it came to the surface and I saw it for the first time I thought, ‘Oh my goodness!’
“We finally got it into the boat and it was the biggest fish I’d ever caught. It still is the biggest fish I’ve caught as far as bass.”
The marina offers boat rentals and sells bait and tackle for visitors who want to try for a nice fish on their own.