It was a fish Jayden Kalmbach had been trying to catch for months.
Mill Lake Park was bustling with activity when Monday afternoon Kalmbach’s loud whoops of joy bust forth.
Closer inspection revealed the reason: the massive largemouth bass on the other end of his fishing lure. And it was no small largemouth.
When Kalmbrach brought the fish to shore and weighed it, the bass registered at seven pounds, two ounces. It was a massive haul and one that was a longtime coming from Kalmbach, who said he first fished at Mill Lake around the age of four.
He said he has been at the lake most days since November.
Kalmbach caught plenty of fish over that time, especially at first. But as his ambition rose, the number of fish he caught decreased.
“I used to get a lot when I was going for smaller fish, but now I started targeting the trophy bass game,” he said. “That was my first true one on a swim bait. That just made my year probably.”
Bass are not an unknown quantity among local anglers.
Last year, BC Outdoors magazine called the lake one of the best urban fisheries in the province, and not just because of the rainbow trout that are stocked every year.
“The lake also has a self-sustaining population of pumpkinseed sunfish, largemouth bass, and brown bullhead, each of which can reach above average size in this small urban fishery,” Jesse Martin wrote. “Bass over seven pounds are also caught here every season.”
Bass are not native to British Columbia and are deemed an invasive species, but the fish have been introduced, sometimes illegally, to many lakes around the Lower Mainland.
And Kalmbach’s monster bass remains at large for future fishers. After being photographed, sized and photographed again, the fish was returned to the waters of Mill Lake and swam off.