Reeling ‘Em In: 12-year-old Rhoades is hooked on fishing

Jack Franklin has gone fishing at Ceraland many times over his 79 years, but he can’t remember anyone catching a big-mouth bass there as large as the two his great-grandson caught last month.

Twelve-year-old Isaac Rhoades caught a 17 1/2-inch, 4 1/2-pound and a 16 1/2-inch, 4-pound bass during a family fishing outing with his brother Corbyn Rhoades, 10; cousin Xander Franklin, 9; uncle Nicholas Franklin and Jack Franklin.

“All three (great-grandkids) love to fish, but Isaac eats, sleeps, thinks fishing 24-7,” Jack Franklin said. “He could catch fish in a dry creek bed. I live at Burnsville, so I’m close to Ceraland. I have never caught a fish bigger than a small bluegill of know of anyone else catching a big fish there.”

Isaac made his catches with a bluegill paddle tail lure after some of his other lures weren’t yielding catches.

“I thought it was pretty cool,” Isaac said. “I didn’t really expect it. I was trying to try out a few different baits, and they weren’t really biting. But I tried that one lure, and I got it.”

The bass that Isaac caught at Ceraland weren’t the biggest he’s ever caught. He landed a 6 1/2-pound bass last year at a pond in his grandmother’s neigborhood in Greenwood.

This year, Isaac caught a 20-pound catfish in that pond just before leaving for Maine for the summer. He was using a bait meant to catch bass.

“Usually, it doesn’t work quite as much as my other baits do, but I try it here and there,” Isaac said. “I wasn’t expecting to catch something that big, especially a catfish.”

Isaac and Corbyn, as in previous years, are spending the summer with their father, who lives in Pembroke, Maine. Their grandparents live nearby in Lubec, Maine.

As could be expected, Isaac spends a lot of his time fishing when he’s in Maine for the summer. He said fishing for some species is better in Indiana, while for other species, it’s better in Maine.

“It depends on what you’re trying to fish for,” Isaac said. “Catfish, you can find them more Indiana. Pickerel or pike, you can find better in Maine.”

Isaac has been fishing since he was 3 or 4 years old. He also has played basketball and soccer in the past and is considering playing football and/or basketball as a seventh-grader this coming year at Central Middle School.

Although he has not yet competed in any organized fishing tournaments, Isaac said he may start doing that when he gets in high school and definitely will compete when he gets older.

“It’s my favorite hobby,” Isaac said. “I just like the thrill and excitement of when you hook a big one, and I just like to be outside instead of inside like a lot of kids, and this is my way of doing that.”