Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Reading, Arithmetic and Reeling Them in; It Could Be All Downhill Now for 4-Year-Old Who Caught 12-Pound Bass

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Reading, Arithmetic and Reeling Them in; It Could Be All Downhill Now for 4-Year-Old Who Caught 12-Pound Bass

Article excerpt

Byline: JOE JULAVITS

Carson McCredie, a precocious 4-year-old who knows his fish IDs as well as his ABCs, already has caught a bigger largemouth bass than most of us will ever see.

Would you believe 12 pounds, 2 ounces?

Carson's father, Matt McCredie, still has trouble believing it.

"I've never in my life seen a 12-pound bass," Matt said. "My biggest was 4 pounds. I'm still in shock."

On Sunday, Nov. 13, Carson woke his father at 7 a.m. Dad had promised a fishing trip the night before, and Carson was raring to go.

The McCredies live in Julington Creek Plantation, a St. Johns County development with numerous retention ponds. Father and son went to one of the ponds, and Matt tied an old lure called a Hellraiser to Carson's fishing line.

"It's been in my tackle box for years," Matt said.

Carson has been fishing since he was 2 and doing his own casting since age 3 1/2. He skipped the push-button, spincaster-reel phase that introduces most youngsters to fishing. Instead, Carson has used a genuine spinning reel since Day 1.

His family lives on one of the community's ponds, so Carson practices casting every day.

"I never get tired watching him cast," Matt said. "The finger action [with a spinning reel] is such a knack, and he's got the touch. He's legit."

Normally, Carson does all his own casting. But on this day, because the Hellraiser lure features treble hooks, Dad performed the honors. It's one of Matt's fishing rules for his son: no casting with treble hooks. Even adults can be dangerous when launching treble-hooked plugs.

Matt's cast landed the Hellraiser far out in the middle of the pond. Almost immediately, something smacked the lure, and Matt passed the rod to Carson.

"It never came up, and it was just not coming in," Matt said. "I figured it was a catfish or maybe a snagged carp."

Whatever it was, it obviously was large, so Matt loosened the drag on Carson's reel. The reel was spooled with 6-pound-test line, which easily could have parted had the drag been too tight. …

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