Monday was just an ordinary day for Jason De La Cruz who likes to go swimming at Bass Lake when he gets home from his work as a Heavy Equipment Operator for the U.S. Forest Service out of North Fork. A resident of Bass Lake for 14 years, De La Cruz frequently goes swimming after work during the summer, near Wishon Cove and sometimes by Marina View.
That's where he was on June 3, where he planned to swim out to the island by the dam and back. A good workout after a hard day of work. This Monday, however, was to be different.
According to De La Cruz, he was about 20 yards from the island when something hit him. He knew he had passed the rocks. When he looked down, there was a big fish and he could feel that it had bitten his leg. Further, the fish did not seem inclined to go away. De La Cruz said it was following him.
"I pushed it away with my hand but it didn't move, so I punched it and it finally went away," De La Cruz said.
De La Cruz waved down the sheriff's patrol boat and asked asked if the deputy would follow him back to shore. When the bite was measured, it was six inches long and 3.5 inches wide and the skin was broken. The fish "was easily almost two feet long," De La Cruz said. "There were were medium sized fish swimming all around the bigger one. I think it was a bass."
Devon De La Cruz, Jason's wife, has lived in the area since she was two and has been swimming in Bass Lake every summer for 32 years. She says she has never heard of such a thing. Neither had any of her husband's friends at The Buckhorn Saloon in North Fork where he told his fish story to an interested audience.