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Boom! Another lake record bass for Bussey

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Courtesy lakedarbonnelife.com

When he drove up from Roberts, La to fish The Bussey Brake Reservoir in Bastrop, John “Sid” Wilde had no idea his life was about to change. Bussey Brake is special and for good reason. The efforts done to make it an incredible fishery has been encouraging to see and something that local anglers are very proud to have seen take place.
International Paper originally used Bussey as an emergency water supply for their mill but when the mill closed in 2010, they wanted to ensure that it would remain available to the public for fishing and other activities, so it was donated to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in 2013. 
After almost completely draining the lake and removing the existing fish population, boat lanes were created and the LDWF constructed a new fishing pier, boat dock, and wave break.
When the lake was down for the construction, a new habitat grew on the floor of the reservoir, providing a whole new world for fish. In 2017, it was then stocked with crappie, bluegill, red-ear sunfish, and largemouth bass. The crappie and bass both have size limits, but the bream have none. 
While the crappie have done very well on Bussey, it’s been the bass that have caught the eye of anglers state and even nation wide. The fishery has a slot limit on bass that fishermen seem to appreciate. The limit is, anglers may keep one bass more than 16 inches long; otherwise the maximum length is 16 inches. Local opinions are, this is an important part of Bussey earning the reputation it’s quickly developing.
People often say that when it comes to Bussey, you might not get many bites but the ones you’ll get will likely be big ones. And for Sid, that definitely was the case. 
“I’ve been a bass fisherman for most of my life and I’ve seen the articles on Bussey and how it’s the place to catch a big fish and certainly that’s what we came up there for. We didn’t go to catch big numbers, we went to catch a big one and the Lord shined on me and let me catch that big one,” Wilde said. 
Being a tournament fisherman for years, Wilde has pulled back some in that aspect, but big fish always attracts people and when his son caught two 9 lb. fish and a friend caught two 10’s in 2023, Sid knew he had to give the place a shot himself. 
Sid’s group pulled into the little town in North Louisiana on Thursday March 7th and started fishing on Friday morning in the rain and cold. Just after lunch, they all decided to go into town and get lunch. “We’d gotten one bite all day and needed a rest and then we went back and fished for the rest of the afternoon,” he said.
After filling their bellies at Slayden’s BBQ and then a quick visit to Simmons Sporting Goods, they were back at it on the water, searching for a big bite.  As the group was ending their day, they watched other boats go in towards the launch to load up, while Sid and his crew were flipping near some trees. That’s when everything changed. “We were in about 6’ of water and fishing a crawfish color. When she bit, she made a pass by the motor and took me down to my knees because she was pulling,” he explained. Luckliy, after the first pass around the boat, his son was able to get the fish in the net. 

“I don’t mind telling you, the biggest fish I’ve ever caught was 6.14 and this one can eat that one,” he laughed. 
As darkness approached, Sid knew this fish was special and scrambled to find out how to get the fish weighed for the record books. That’s when an unfortunate event happened. “We Googled about how to get everything done [for state record entry]but we had trouble getting information,” he said. In the process of getting the fish entered, she died before he could get her back in the water. “I’m not for bringing fish home but unfortunately, the circumstances just didn’t work out.”
At the end of the day, the massive large mouth topped the scales at 15.78 lbs, had a girth of 23.5”, and was right at 27” long. According to a post from The Outdoor News on Facebook, if submitted to the Louisiana Outdoors Writers Association and accepted (certified scales, etc.), the fish will be the #4 bass in the state record books. It also stands as the #1 bass to ever come from Bussey Brake to date.

Banded