About 15 years ago I fished a tournament on the James River at a time when the fishery was quite poor. Despite the conditions, I’d found an area that produced fairly consistent bites and felt good about my chances when I settled in on tournament morning. My non-boater put the first bass in the boat that day, a solid 2-pounder, so when my first one measured 12 1/8 inches, I was sure that I would cull it later. Unfortunately, the next one was slightly smaller. So was the next one. They were both legal at 12 inches, but barely.