Lake of the Ozarks, MO. - A father and son visiting the Lake of the Ozarks for the first time from Texas recently had a fishing trip they will surely remember and talk about for a long time.
This 10.11-pound largemouth bass was caught at the Lake of the Ozarks on March 15. Pictured left to right: Local fishing guide Jack Uxa, Val Grikis and Ryan Grikis. Photo courtesy of
On Tuesday, March 15, Val Grikis, 53, and his son, Ryan, 12, were fishing the waters of the Lake of the Ozarks with local guide Jack Uxa. The trio were fishing near the Fort Leonard Wood Lake of the Ozarks Recreational Area around the eight-mile marker of the Grand Glaize arm of the Lake.

The weather was somewhat atypical for mid-March, with sunny skies and a high of 80 degrees, but it made for a pleasurable morning on the water. The party had been fishing for several hours and having quite a bit of success, catching and releasing 15 keeper-sized bass. Around noon, they were fishing near the shore in about three feet of water when Val's line went taught and he started applying some pressure to his rod and reel.

Val and Ryan Grikis, from Austin, Texas, compare their catches at the Lake of the Ozarks. Photo courtesy of Jack's Guide Service.
"At first, Val thought he had snagged a carp because it was so big and fighting so hard," said Uxa. "But I looked back and saw a giant bass boil and knew he did not have a carp, but a huge bass on the line. I immediately grabbed my net and we landed the monster first try. I knew it had to be at least 10 pounds, but I didn't have my scale with me and had to call a friend to bring his so we could get an actual measurement. That bass officially weighed in at 10.11 pounds." 

Val and Ryan were visiting the Lake from Austin, Texas while Ryan's school was on spring break. 

"We decided we wanted to take a father-son fishing trip and the Lake of the Ozarks had been on my bucket list for a long time," said Val. "Growing up in Indiana, I always heard about how great the Lake of the Ozarks is, but never had the opportunity to check it out. So, we said let's give the Lake a try. We're very glad that we did because it turned out to be an incredible trip and we obviously made the right call hiring Jack as our fishing guide."

Ryan Grikis, 12, with one of his many catches of the day. Photo courtesy of Jack's Guide Service.
According to Grikis, they were having quite the eventful day already with Ryan catching maybe eight bass that weighed around four or five pounds. "We were both having a great time and Ryan was just killing it. He was out-fishing me probably three to one, which was great because this trip was really all for him," Grikis said. But, then the focus changed when the trophy bass took Grikis' spinner bait.

"You know, it was very exciting but you don't really grasp the magnitude of the situation until you see the guide get as excited as you are," Grikis said. "Jack was speechless and just shaking his head, so I knew it was something special."

Uxa, a seasoned professional, agreed that it was something very special. "I've been guiding for 13 years and fishing in tournaments even longer than that, and I can tell you this was the largest bass I've ever seen come out of the water," he said. "I know this lake has some big bass, but I had no idea a fish this big was swimming around down there. It's pretty incredible."

The father and son fishing duo enjoying their time on the Lake of the Ozarks. Photo courtesy of Jack's Guide Service.
Although Uxa was excited about the catch, he also enjoyed the bigger picture. "It was great to see a father and son bonding during a fishing weekend together. It was great to see them get to spend that kind of time together and I'm glad it turned out to be such a special trip. They were great clients; they were both a lot of fun and really good fishermen. And, it was funny because Ryan was catching more fish but his dad ended up being the lucky one."

Uxa, owner and operator of Jack's Guide Service, said he posted a video of the bass on his Facebook page and within a few days of posting already had nearly 9,000 views. 

Uxa is happy to report that the bass was released back into the water and swam off immediately. "I feel incredibly lucky to have been a part of catching that fish, and I hope I'm lucky enough to live to see another one that big be caught again," said Uxa.

Uxa has been a full-time professional fishing guide at the Lake of the Ozarks since 2008. For more information about Jack Uxa, or to book a guided fishing trip, visit Jack's fishing reports also can be found on the Lake of the Ozarks online fishing resource,
For additional information about fishing at the Lake of the Ozarks, including a complete list of all Coast Guard-certified fishing guides, fishing resorts, tournaments, marinas and public access ramps, visit the Lake of the Ozarks Convention & Visitor Bureau website at, or call 1-800-FUN-LAKE (386-5253).

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For additional media assistance on the Lake of the Ozarks, please contact The Beenders Walker Group at 573-636-8282, or email Marjorie Beenders, Jo Duncan or Kyle Stewart.
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