Editor’s note: W. Kim Sexton is a retired third-generation newspaper editor and publisher who still handles investigations of his choice. This story completes his goal of visiting the site of a Missouri fishing record on the date of its diamond anniversary.
A diamond anniversary sparkled in the mind of Mike Bushong. The retired 68-year-old Gainesville angler didn’t break a Missouri largemouth bass fishing record set by his father six decades ago, but he sure had fun trying.
The late Marvin Bushong caught a 13-pound, 14-ounce monster on April 21, 1961, just inside the Show-Me State and across from what is now the Pontiac Cove Marina on Bull Shoals Lake. It wasn’t an easy catch. His fishing reel was falling off the pole, and he had to hand-retrieve line, lure and lunker, and then reach down and grab the fish by the mouth.
Many anglers have, through the years, speculated that the big prize may have traveled from the southern reaches of the lake in Arkansas to spawn in…