*Editors Note: Originally reported to be the world record meanmouth bass, IGFA officials recently informed Brandon Burks that his record would not count because his Alabama Rig had five hooks instead of the IGFA maximum allowance of three. However, since Texas allows anglers to fish Alabama Rigs with five hooks, Brandon’s bass will be the state record, which now weighs more than the world record.
State Record Meanmouth Bass
The state record meanmouth bass weighed 8.52 lbs and was caught from Lake O.H. Ivie by fishing guide Brandon Burks who was using an Alabama Rig in January 2022. Meannmouth are a hybrid species usually consisting of half smallmouth and half spotted bass. However, Brandon’s fish and the previous world record were the rarer, largemouth and smallmouth combo. The last two state record meanmouth bass were both caught from O.H. Ivie Lake a little more than a year apart.
Big Bass Factory
Lake O.H. Ivie has become one of the most talked-about big bass lakes in the country because of the blimp-like bass being pulled from its waters. Two 14+ pound largemouth were caught within the first two weeks of 2022 and the lake has reported dozens of bass weighing over 10lbs in the previous seasons.
On the day of the catch, Brandon was guiding a client near specific structure areas where he noticed bluegill stacking up amongst the forest of trees left standing when the reservoir was flooded in 1990.
By making casts that stayed within view of his forward-facing electronics, Brandon and his client were working their A-rigs through the timber and among the large concentrations of baitfish without getting snagged. The target fish were suspending bass that nestled themselves within the standing timber as they waited to chow down on passing bluegill.
By using years of on-the-water experience with trophy caliber bass, Brandon applied a specific cadence and technique to help trigger the inactive fish into biting. Once he hooked the massive bass, he jacked up on the fish while simultaneously winching down on the reel handle, this technique might seem aggressive, but it was needed to help pull the big fish up and away from the standing timber.
After an epic battle, the client helped net the fish, which they both assumed to be a largemouth until further inspection. After taking another glance, Brandon was realized he had the world record meanmouth bass on his hands. Unaware of the meanmouth species, the guide client remained skeptical when Brandon claimed, “This is a world record fish.” Eventually, they made their way back to the ramp and contacted Texas Parks and Wildlife, who sent a representative to the boat ramp.
The Texas Sharelunker representative pulled a sample from the fish, confirmed its weight and length, and then watched Brandon release his world record catch back into the lake.
Big Bass Family
Before guiding full-time Brandon worked in the concrete business alongside his father who is an established Texas tournament angler himself. In fact, Brandon’s dad landed a 13lb largemouth from lake O.H. Ivie last year which was followed up by a 12lb fish reeled in by Brandon on the same day.
As a guide he specializes in fishing tech and, more specifically, the Garmin Livescope and Lowrance Ghost forward-facing sonar units. With the latest electronics, Brandon can see and do things never before possible in fishing. For example, he can cast 80 feet in front of him and watch his lure being retrieved live on screen through his entire cast. He’s able to lift the lure over a brush pile, around a tree limb, or slow it down for a brief pause if he notices a trailing bass on the screen. Watching fish interact with his lures, or clients’ lures in live-action via today’s latest fishing technology is part of what makes Brandon Burks guide experience so unique. After leaving his job working in concrete and transitioning to a full-time guide, he made it his mission to differentiate himself from the crowd.
His on the water electronic demonstrations allow customers to try live sonar units before making a purchase but most commonly he’s jumping on a client’s boat and helping them dial in their new gear. System settings, on-the-water tutorials, and installation help are all common questions Brandon helps answer.
“If someone is willing to spend thousands of dollars on their electronics, why not pay a little bit more to get really dialed in with a guide,” Brandon said. “I have so much experience on the water and I can help eliminate the learning curve quickly and get guys familiar with their units”
Having the latest technologies and gear is great, but you still have to know how to use it. And that’s where Brandon comes in.
Book A Trip With Brandon: Burks Fishing Guide
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