This man has made a hobby of this unusual technique in his retirement, and demonstrates just how good he is at it.
Robert Earl Woodward is a retired farmer and football coach, and enjoys catching bass off the pier with his bare hands, a task that takes plenty of patience and skill.
As reported by The Epoch Times, there was a well-known fish down at the local pier, and Woodward fancied getting his hands on her. The fish had never been caught before, but he felt he was up to the challenge.
Woodward decided to have his attempt at catching her filmed, particularly in case he did manage to snag her.
At first, it seems as though Woodward is just lying on the pier looking out into the water. But in reality he's holding his hand into the water with bait in it, hoping to catch the elusive fish.
While this may seem a strange way to fish, there is a good reason for it: this particular fish comes with the conditions that one is only allowed to catch her by hand, and that she must be released right afterwards.
As the video continues, there is a slight movement in the water, and Woodward is suddenly jerked forward on the pier, prompting an onlooker to grab him and hold him back.
Fortunately, Woodward also reacts quickly, catching himself on the edge of the pier. He quickly drags himself upright, and on the end of his arm dangles a massive bass!
Before throwing her back into the water, the men quickly weighed her to see what a feat it was.
“16.03, she’s going back in!” Woodward can be heard saying with a laugh. 16.03 pounds is very close to the state record catch of 16.5 pounds too.
The fish is then speedily released back into the water, where she swims away unharmed.
Woodward has made quite a habit of making impressive catches since his retirement, but catching bass by hand is something he has always wanted to learn to do. Following his retirement, he decided to chase that dream.
The delighted fisherman explained the technique to catching bass by hand, explaining that the thumb has to go into the "V" at the bottom of the fish's mouth in order to ensure a firm grip.
He also explained that if the fish was feeling particularly feisty, there is no way they'll be pulled from the water, as they are quite powerful.