(May 6, 2016 - Park Falls, WI)
Ever hear the story about the guy who set out to catch a state-record fish and, well, actually did? Don’t feel alone if you haven’t. After all, the chances are a million-to-one of it ever coming to fruition, no matter how much time is put in.
But what transpired after dark on Saturday, April 30, 2016, was just that:
Rhode Island’s Brandon Migliore landed the state’s largest Largemouth bass – an 11-pound 3.2-ounce brute, to be exact. But it was no accident. Migliore and his fishin’ bud, Matt Sheldon, dedicated countless hours over several years to catching the record. And, like every other one of their weekend fishing excursions in the past, the 29-year-old Sterling resident had his trusted St. Croix rod with him—which he’s been casting over 16 years—when the duo set out to fish Johnsons Pond, near Coventry.
“We’re not just two kids that lucked into catching a state-record fish,” says Migliore. “We’ve spent a ton of time for a lots of years. While most guys our age go to bars and nightclubs, we spend our weekends fishing. We always knew one of us would beat the record.”
The rod, a 6-foot medium-power, fast-action Premier spinning rod, was a birthday gift from his mother when Migliore turned 13. It was purchased from an official St. Croix dealer, Sandy Bottom Bait & Tackle, in Coventry – the very shop he returned to weigh his record-breaking fish. The behemoth gobbled up a topwater lure fished on 30-pound-test superline.
“I knew it was a big fish the moment I set the hook,” Migliore stated. “It took about two minutes to reel it in. Matt grabbed her the moment she touched the bank.”
The duo’s handheld scale showed the fish at 10.5 pounds, which would have been just under the 25-year-long standing record of 10.6 pounds, caught in 1991. The bass was kept alive in a cooler until the following morning, when Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management gave it the official weight of 11.2 pounds and 23.5-inch length.
Gumption? Diehard anglers have it. Desire? That, too. And once they find the right rod, it’s a fit for a lifetime.
About St. Croix Rod
St. Croix Rod is a family-owned and managed manufacturer of high-performance fishing rods headquartered in Park Falls, Wisconsin with a 65-year heritage of USA manufacturing. Utilizing proprietary technologies, St. Croix controls every step of the rod-making process, from conception and design to manufacturing and inspection, in two company-owned facilities. The company offers a complete line of premium, American-made fly, spinning and casting rods under their Legend Elite®, Legend® Xtreme, Legend Tournament®, Avid Series®, Premier®, Wild River®, Tidemaster®, Imperial® and other trademarks through a global distribution network of full-service fishing tackle dealers. The company’s mid-priced Triumph®, Mojo Bass/Musky/Inshore/Surf, Eyecon® and Rio Santo series rods are designed and engineered in Park Falls, Wisconsin and built in a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Fresnillo, Mexico. Founded in 1948 to manufacture jointed bamboo fishing poles for a Minneapolis hardware store chain, St. Croix has grown to become the largest manufacturer of fishing rods in North America.