Wisdom on the Water
The alarm clock jerked me out of a deep slumber this morning and the dog barking incessantly for breakfast didn’t help much either. I shuffled down the hallway to feed the dog, relieve myself and brush the fangs. As I slowly woke up a bit, I grabbed whatever clothes were closest to me at such an early hour I didn’t care if they were clean or not. Normally around our household there’s an hour or so we refer to as B.C., which means “Before Coffee” and I’m just an ass in the morning. Not mean, my pistons just aren’t firing yet, so I’m sluggish and clumsy. I figured I’d grab a cup of Joe at my local Wawa along the way. This morning, I was heading out to my local lake, Marsh Creek, for a battle with the bass. I grabbed my spin and baitcast rods, tackle bag, keys and headed out the door. I was abruptly greeted by a wall of humidity, and my car ‘s temperature gauge told me it was 73ºF at 6:45 am. That meant it was going to be a scorcher today.
There are a few spots at Marsh Creek that I’ve shore-fished from before; one I’ve had success with and the other couple of spots have left me out high and dry, with a morning of casting practice as I like to refer to it as. On this particular morning, there was another spot I wanted to stake claim to. As I arrived, settled in, and rigged up the rods I was wishing I brought my iPod. I figured a bit of music soothes the soul and would slow me down to finesse the orange-flaked Senko plastic worm I was planning on casting in the brownish & green water. Was I wrong. As I began to get quiet, I noticed the orchestra of cicadas in the nearby trees, the group of crows chattering like a bunch of teenage girls, and the bullfrogs whose croaking sounded like they were hung-over from too much Budweiser the night before. The whizzing of line spooling off my reel and the attached residual drops of water glistened in the morning light as they were flung back into lake brought me back to my reality.
The lake itself was calm and peaceful, the early morning mist rising and dissipating in the humidity. The shad were already in a frenzy, disrupting the serenity, acting as if they were a group of AIG executives caught backpedaling after a day at the spa. I threw just about everything in my tackle bag today: Texas rigged Senkos of various colors and sizes, spoons & spinners, jigs with chartreuse plastic flukes attached, crankbaits that wiggled or wobbled, dove deep or stayed shallow. I emptied my bag. I did catch a largemouth bass on a Texas rigged Zoom chartreuse plastic fluke with a split shot weight added! I’m beginning to sense that’s all I need to catch fish. The last and only time I’ve ever caught one of these deceptive little bastards was using the same presentation I utilized today. Now, I also know that bass are not deceptive, nor are the bastards, but damn I’ve had a hell of a time hooking them pre-and-post spawn.
As the sun rose higher in the sky and the mercury climbed, the beads of sweat along my neck began cascading down my back signaling it was time to pack it in for the day. There are chores and lesson planning awaiting me at home that I must tend to today. During the drive home, I realized the trip was successful, not only had I caught my second bass ever, but I’m also feeling comfortable fishing my baitcasting reel. I still might not be able think like a creature with gills, but for me fishing is quiet time to relax and relish in my thoughts. As for my skills at the art of angling, well they closely mimic my college days of late night drunken dart throwing, eventually I’ll get a bulls-eye to stick.