THE EDITOR- 20 April, 2005-
...But Farm Ponds Ain't Bad Either!!
A buddy called me up last Thursday and asked
for a little help catching some bream for a fish fry we were going to have on
Saturday. Since my wife was also invited to the fish fry, I was able to use the
"I've GOT to go fishing, our neighbors are all counting on me" line.
With the kitchen pass safely secured, I headed over to Athen's best (and only)
bait store, Marion and Buck's, and grabbed a hundred crickets with the intention
of spending my Friday evening sitting on a dock, watching a cork, and guzzling
It's not as if the bream weren't biting. Our
group had caught around seven beautiful bluegills in the first half hour of
fishing, most a pound or better. Still, we figured that we would need around
fifty for the fish fry, and that wasn't going to happen at this rate. My buddy
Chris and I decided to take a spin around the pond and fish for bass, since we
could probably get by with about half as many fish if we simply caught
keeper-sized bass. About halfway around the pond, we had only three keeper bass
as we emerged onto the side of the pond that was catching the direct rays of the
evening sun. That's when things started getting ridiculous.
In the last hour of daylight, Chris and I
probably got forty strikes. We were fishing with plastic worms and both of us
missed and lost a good many fish. Most of them were around two pounds, but we
also managed a three and four pounder. We ended up with around eighteen on the
stringer, which probably weighed forty pounds. Our cohorts on the dock had
caught another eight or so bream, so we were pretty much set for Saturday's fish
Mission accomplished, I tied on a buzzbait
just to see if I could entice a fish to hit on the surface, a tactic that had
proven unsuccessful earlier in the day. On my third cast into about two feet of
water, my buzzbait was gently sipped under the water's surface. After setting
the hook, I heard a sound that I hadn't heard all day: my reel's drag being
pulled out at a steady clip. "Chris, I believe this one's gonna be a little
bigger than the others", I said. For the most part, the fish fought deep,
but at one point she rolled on the water's surface and I estimated the fish's
weight to be at least six pounds. I got her up to the boat and was ready to lip
her when she took off again. She made it almost all the way back to where the
battle began, but about two minutes later I was able to heft her into the boat.
Ten pounds, six ounces. My biggest bass ever by almost a pound!
I kept the fish in the water as Chris moved
us to the dock, where we snapped a couple of pictures and released her, still
unharmed, about twenty yards from where she'll lay her eggs in a week or two.
Folks asked why I didn't keep her to get mounted, as that is probably the
largest bass I'll ever catch. The main reason: This pond is amazing, and I
figured that my chances of being invited back again would only be enhanced if
the owner knows me as the guy who returned a fish like that for him to catch
someday. Of course, if I run across this fish in a couple more years, all bets