Note: Since I no longer fish and have nothing to write about, I swiped this
outstanding little story by Troy Winebarger (shoalieman) off the GRF Message
Board late one night before anyone could read it. I considered putting my name
on it, but Troy is much bigger than I am. This story will make you feel like a
As kids, we
always wanted to fish Weidman's pond for largemouth bass. Mr. Weidman was the
only one who ever fished it and he died when I was still quite young. Now, only
a relative or two would fish it and not very often at that. The fish were there,
oh boy were they there.
Yep, they'd swim nonchalantly around the clear waters of the
pond just daring you to get caught trying to fish for them. We were allowed to
walk around the pond and even skip stones on its surface-anytime we wanted to.
When it froze over, we played countless games of ice hockey on it, homemade
goals and everything a boy needed to take a slapshot on the shins. Heck, we
could do everything but fish in it. It seemed like the bass knew it.
Even though Mr. Weidman was no longer with us, his brother
and family still lived on the farm where the pond was, and guarded it as though
the largemouth bass was a species close to extinction. However, we had one
thing going for us, the barn.
You see, the big red barn blocked the family's view of one
small corner of the pond, still too dangerous to try during broad daylight of
course. Additionally, if we were ever caught, we took the chance of permanently
being banned from skipping stones and playing ice hockey there-too big of a risk
to take. It was the only pond within a 3 or 4 minute walk of my house, and to be
banned would have been unbearable. So we devised the plan of all plans.
We would sneak in well after sunset armed with a handful of
topwater baits. Furthermore, we would stay on the corner of the pond blocked by
the big red barn. We still needed the trusty barn because we had to go on or
close to the full moon. With ice hockey rights and privileges at stake, we could
not use a flashlight and turn the odds in the Weidman's favor. Nope, it was a
couple topwaters and the light of the moon or bust.
Well the plan worked, and it taught us how to topwater fish
to boot. You couldn't see those once-cocky bass hit the floating lure, so you
had to wait until you felt the pull on your line. I would learn later that this
is a major key to topwater bassin'. Many a fine bass has been lost by well
meaning anglers seeing the rising fish and pulling the lure from its reach.
Darn, this was as much fun as a boy that age could have. The
bass, who owned us 99% of the time, were now ours behind the safety of the barn
and under the protection of nightfall. It felt good to finally master them, it
felt even better to release them back into their well-protected pond after we
had our rendezvous with them.
I learned that it's hard to keep quiet when you catch a bass
on top, we wanted to yell every time a bass smashed those floating Rebel plugs.
Fear of getting caught turned our shouts of joy into giggles and subdued
laughter. I doubt it'd been half as fun if we did not have to sneak in there to
fish, and I know the fishin' wouldn't have been half as good.
Thank you full moon and thank you big red barn, you have
opened windows of oppurtunity that little boys like me haven't forgotten. Oh
yeah, thanks to the bass that made our young hearts full of joy and merriment. I
wonder if that barn is still standing and if any kids are waiting for the next