Those 16/17’s are a killer in a tournament.
We got one 16″ today [full disclosure – umbrella rig in 10ft of water downlake]. In the PAA tournament at Old Hickory a couple years ago, I caught a smallie that was probably 4lbs, but didn’t measure. It looked like it ate a football. My pro that day was going crazy when it jumped the first time. Before it got half way to the boat, I told him there was no way it was going to keep and he thought I was crazy. It measured out to 17″. Oh well…
As an aside, it seems that the signs at the ramps at Priest are inconsistent about the keeper size for smallmouth. Am I crazy? Or has this been fixed?