First Big Bass of 2017

It was March 4, 2017 and me and Dad were visiting Grandmother’s lake house.  And I had a bug…it was eating at me…this was the fishing bug!

Now the weather was not ideal.  It was chilly and windy, but the wind was coming out of the south so this was at least in my favor.  We were just hanging out on this relaxing Saturday and it was time to fish!  I wore my new FreeFly green hoodie that my sweet girlfriend Riah picked out for me but it was too chilly for just that so I put a cotton henley on top of that.  No for my fishing set-up, I went with a yellow Roadrunner jig and customized with a Lake Fork live baby shad trailer (bluegrass color).  This is a good bet when all else fails and to be honest, I wasn’t expecting to really catch much this day but wanted to give it a shot.  It was early in the season and I hadn’t caught a bass all winter.  I fished from the bank and then moved to the mini-peninsula retaining wall rock to cast into the rocks.  You can see my fishing buddy, Wezzles, in the pic below.

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He follows me everywhere I go, right by my side.  Now, I have a tendency to hook dogs with lures.  When I was 10 or 11, a couple of houses down from the lake house, I hooked a dalmation on the collar with a Pop-R when I was casting.  The dog was behind me and I must have had too much line out when I was reaching back to cast.  The dog freaked out and then started biting at the collar to get the lure loose.  It then hooked itself in the mouth and got in the lake and started swimming!  Here I am yelling at the dog to come back while I’m holding onto my rod, trying to get the dog back to shore.  It’s hard to remember but somehow I got the dog back to shore and had to tell its owner at the house that I hooked his dog.  The owner had to fly his dog in a helicopter for an emergency lure-from-the-mouth removal procedure.  So you can now see that I am very careful with my dog right by my side and I am much more attuned with a fishing rod and reel than I was as a kiddo.

Surrounding the peninsula are a lot of submerged rocks and some underwater branches, which are both good habitat for bass.  I was reeling in the Roadrunner and it was close to the rock ledge wall and I was about to re-cast…then out of nowhere a big bass came out of the rocks and pounced on my lure.  My Shakespeare Durango Medium 6′-0″ rod (this was the rod Granddad bought for me many years ago) was bent double and since I was up on the rock ledge, I dragged the bass in the water along the rock  ledge to the sidewalk so I could get down to the water grab the bass and un-hook the lure.  I brought it out of the water for a little bit and ran along the sidewalk to a viewpoint from the front porch of the house and then the family came down to see what I caught.  Here’s Rob and Jake in the picture looking at the catch.  Dad, Grandmother, and Heidi came down to take a look as well.IMG_1539

We took pictures and measured it…weighing in at 3.58 lbs.  First bass of the year and this one was a toad!  Wezzles found a new interest and he was sniffing the bass with intrigue when I had it out of the water.  He’s a fishing companion dog!  I put the bass back in the water, ran water through its gills to let it recover, and it swam off, maybe to be caught again someday!IMG_1540

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