It was a calm leisure mid-morning weekend kind of day. I packed my lunch, two tall boys of PBR (a guilty pleasure), loaded up the cooler, grabbed the camp chair, tackle bag and my fishing rod, kissed the Mrs. for good luck and headed out the door for an afternoon of fishing on a local lake. When I arrived, the lake was packed given that the temperature for the day was a mild 80ºF. There were people fishing on the lake from bass boats, kayakers, windsurfers, and people just picnicking and enjoying the day. I unloaded my car, grab my gear and walked into the woods along the west side trail system to go find a fishing hole that I could set up as my base camp. After about 10 or 15 min. I came across an opening and I don’t know if it was because I was thirsty, or just ready to fish, but it felt “right,” so I set up camp.
Before even leaving the house I geeked out that morning, watched a couple of fishing shows I had on Tivo and pre-rigged up my rod. I chose a drop-shot set up for the early morning, with a green/pumpkin plastic worm on it. Well after settling into camp, I cracked open the first beer, and made my first cast of the day. It took a bit of getting used to with the drop shot rigging, the weight at the bottom was affecting my cast…probably because I’m still working on my casting skills, but never the less I wasn’t going to give up. So I fished this way for the first half hour or so. I then decided to change out my rigging and try something different, but I also had decided to stick with soft plastics that day as my choice in lures.
The second rigging was a 2/0 weighted barbless hook, with a chartreuse Zoom fluke rigged up Texas style. I did a few casts off to my right and then did a casts off to my left, varying the speed and style of return. On about my third cast to the left I felt something and thought that I had become tangled in some weed grass, so I gave the rod a hook set action, figuring I’d clear that grass off the lure, but instead I set the hook on a largemouth bass!! Once I realized I had my Fish On, I started playing and wrangling it in, then as I realized I was going to land the fish, another thought crept into my mind. Let’s see the last time I probably caught a fish was about 25 years ago when I was 10 and my Dad always did the hook removal. Not that it’s rocket science, and again I press my barbs down for minimal damage to the fish, I realized I was going to finally do it myself. I just hoped that the fish didn’t fully attack my lure. Of course, once I had him in my hands, I went to work to remove the hook and realized that my lure was about half way down his gullet. Great. I started to remove it and was experiencing a bit of difficulty and the fish went limp on me. Not wanting to harm let alone kill the bass I put him back in the water so that it could get some air, once it kicked back to life, I pulled it out of the water again, and this time was successful at removing the hook. I promptly put it back in the water, wished it well being and sent it back into the depths.
It was wild actually catching a fish this time. It has sparked a renewed since of energy around fishing while also increasing a sense of confidence. The peaceful and calming qualities of being in/near or on water, always renews my spirits.