Saturday, October 1, 2016

I'm Back - The Saga Begins

First of all, I'd like to apologize to my regular readers for going mostly silent recently.  I try to give my regular readers something to read every weekend.  That said, this is the reason I've been only posting pictures to my Facebook page and Instagram accounts:

Photo By: Chang Lor
www.cxfishing.com
In my last installment of shenanigans, I was resetting my fishing.  Going back to my basics with my time-tested tactics.  I also opted to stay local, though my home water has challenged me since the late freeze during the spawn.  All fish patterns from years' past had changed and I became frustrated.  My amazing wife reminded me that I learned my home water patterns quickly.  I needed to reset and do it again.  With success using my time-tested tactics, I regained confidence in my knowledge of the water and opted to continue fishing local.

This long adventure begins the weekend after "Back to Basics".  I hit my local waters again, where I'm met by my friend Chang Lor of www.cxfishing.com (check out his web page and Instagram - he is the photographer for several of my amazing photos).  I'm out before first light working the banks with my fall go-to lure, Northland Tackle spinnerbaits.  So far unsuccessful, I spot a boil of water out of the corner of my eye.  This is why you won't see me on the water listening to music or anything else.  I stay observant to any sight or sound that may tip me off.  I toss my spinner up against some brush where the boil originated.  In the process, I manage to tangle my line around the end of my rod and need to take a moment to unwrap.  Naturally, as soon as I start the retrieve, I'm snagged from sitting in the brush.  But the snag moved.

Realizing what is happening, I half-set the hook in disbelief.  As I pull the bass from the depths with ease thanks to my Ardent Apex Tournament reel and 50lb. braid, I get a glimpse of the beast.  Stricken with Bass Fever, the next minute or so is a blur.  I actually had to ask Chang after if I had used my net or not.  This thing was a tank that I managed to pull out without a net.  The next thing I remember is staring at this beautiful beast of a fish.  My trembling grows as the adrenaline surges through my body.  Then the fish slips my grip (my grip isn't what it used to be and this thing is huge).  Another surge of adrenaline rushes through my veins as it flops under my seat.  I haven't watched the video yet, but I imagine my moves to attempt to keep it from flopping into the water is somewhere between Neo from the Matrix and the Hokey Pokey.

I manage to get the fish under control and grab my fish grips to ensure a secure hold on this beast.  I need to give myself a minute to calm down.  The excitement of catching this tank, and almost losing it, has caused a huge adrenaline rush only to be trumped by a near-death situation.  Eager to get this big fish swimming again, I pull out my hawg trough, and extend my TourneyTag out beyond the 22" mark (that was my length guesstimate when Chang and I guessed lengths).  I watch the tail slide past 20" as I laid it on the board.  I'm setting this powerful bass on the board slowly, carefully, as if disarming a bomb ready to go off with the wrong move.  Slowly I release the fish grips.  My heart jumps as he begins to flop.  Worried about losing the fish and/or snapping my only hawg trough, I let it calm down and quickly snap the pictures required.  The official measurement is 21".



After I release it back into the murky waters, I'm still shaking uncontrollably.  The cool Wisconsin fall morning coupled with the extended adrenaline rush wearing off has made me cold.  I throw on a sweater, still in disbelief of what happened.  Those who fish regularly in California or the southern states will agree this is a nice fish.  However, up here in the frozen tundra, a fish this large isn't a nice fish.  It is a rarity only snagged by the lucky or those who spend a significant amount of time hunting for it.  Much larger than this would be considered a "mounter" up here.  We continue our trip and I get a few bites, but am unable to land additional fish.  However, I am satisfied with today's results.

I arrive home and recall as much of the event as possible to my wife (I have yet to watch, edit, and upload the video).  She realizes that I'm going to capitalize on this catch best I can as it put me in the running to qualify for a Kayak Bass Fishing National Championship spot.  Stay tuned as the saga continues in my pursuit for the KBF NC spot.

3 comments:

  1. Wonderful description of all that transpired after seeing that boil of water. You know how to paint a picture with your words.

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  2. What was the weight of this momma?

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  3. Right around 6 lb. I didn't weigh it because I was in awe. In my last article, Epic, I caught an even bigger one. Weighed in at 6.6!

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