Top Angler Profile – Mikeybalzz

Almost The Best Day of My Life

By Don Norton

On October 1st, 1932, something unique happened during the World Series between the New York Yankees and the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field in Chicago. In the fifth inning, Babe Ruth strode to the plate and, with a pointing gesture, pointed towards the center field fence. He then hit a home run deep over the center field fence, causing one of the reporters to remark, “He called his shot.” Of course, I was not there to see it, but I loved playing Little League baseball growing up, and all I wanted was to someday play for the New York Yankees.
As I grew older, bass fishing replaced baseball, but I never forgot the story of Babe Ruth and his center-field home run. Unlike baseball, bass fishing is an entirely different sport. There are no at-bats or swinging for the fence. For many of the top anglers, it is all about confidence.
Of course, skill and experience greatly impact one’s success or failure. Predicting you will catch multiple giants on any given day is like pointing to center field. Yet that’s precisely what Mike Meisenheimer, better known as mikeybalzz, did recently on one of our lakes in Highlands County.
Mike is no newcomer to catching large bass on many of our lakes, and he has proven it many times over with his interesting and exciting YouTube videos. With over 94,500 subscribers to his YouTube channel, Mike has filmed 843 videos demonstrating his fishing skills and knowledge.
On this particular day in March, during a trip to Highlands County, Florida, to visit his folks, Mike’s cameraman Quinton of Water Wonders Media was filming him on his Nitro bass boat as he explained how he caught a few big bass the previous day, but on this particular day, he plans to catch some giants. Stating his goal to beat his record of five bass weighing forty-nine pounds and change, he calls his shot, catching an 11.39-pound bass to start off the day.
Most anglers hope to catch a wall-hanger, a giant trophy bass, someday, but few achieve the feat. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, make the annual trip to Florida from all over the country to catch a trophy largemouth bass. Few are fortunate enough to see it happen, and even fewer have ever caught more than one trophy on the same day. I would imagine Babe Ruth shared a similar confidence when he blasted that baseball out of the park almost a hundred years ago.
Mike’s first bass was quickly weighed and released alive (with great care), followed by a second bass weighing 7 ½ pounds. It was not quite a trophy fish but one that many anglers would love to catch.
TrophyCatch, a Florida Fish and Wildlife sponsored program recognizing large fish caught in Florida and released alive, considers a largemouth bass at eight pounds a trophy. Most bass fishermen would agree. An eight-pound bass is huge.
As Mike’s video continues, he bags his third lunker, weighing 9.32 pounds. It is a massive female with stocky shoulders and a bulging belly. This takes his three fish total to 28.28 pounds. It is a mind-blowing weight for only three fish, certainly enough to win most bass tournaments with a five-fish limit.
Bass number four cleared the trophy mark at 8.2 pounds, bringing Mike’s total of four fish to 36.48 pounds. Less than four pounds from a 40-pound bag.
In order to reach fifty pounds, Mike needed to catch a fifth bass of close to 14 pounds or a couple of bass large enough to begin culling his two smallest bass of 6.7 or 7.5-pounds. But, as all anglers know, conditions change, and as the day progressed, the wind picked up, and the bite tapered off. Mike could see three large bass on his Active Target, but they just would not cooperate. Finally, he got a strike and landed a five-pounder. Releasing the fish without weighing it, Mike was confident and determined to do even better.
Eventually, he does, landing a large 6.70-pounder to bring his 5-fish total to a whopping 43.18 pounds of bass. An amazing feat for a bass fisherman. It is even more amazing to catch it all on film. Mike utilized his Lowrance Active Target to find the hard spots that held the fish.
Surprisingly, all the fish were caught on a 7’ medium-light Monster Bass Lunker Stik spinning rod combined with a Daiwa Exceler spinning reel and 12-pound test fluorocarbon line. Descent Mooneye jigs, Hog Farmers Spunk Shad, and small swimbaits rounded out the tackle arsenal.
If you are a mikeybalzz fan, and you have watched any of his YouTube videos, you’ve heard Mike refer to giganotosaurus, megalodons, donkeyonalopolis, and freakin’ donks.’ He tends to get a little excited about catching these giants.
Pointing to center field when you are at bat takes a lot of confidence but stating that you’re going to catch a giant bass or five giants, and then catching an eleven-pounder with your first fish is confidence personified. — That’s mikeybalzz!