Fishing buddy: “We’re catching one fish after another out here in this grass! I’ll play with these small aggressive suckers all day, but do whatever you want to do.”
He was right. We were bagging 2-pounders with ease on chatterbaits over submerged grass. If you went 10 casts without putting a fish in the boat that was a dry spell. We weren’t in a tournament, so I didn’t NEED a big bite, but I wanted one. I was perfectly happy to ditch the open-water swim jig fish in favor of a few short-string strikes in the hyacinths and cattails, but my companion on the back deck didn’t see it that way.
The action was undoubtedly slower on the bank, but every once in a while I’d punch my Rodent through just the right opening and THUMPâ€”4-pounder, 5-pounder, 3-1/2â€”that’s the stuff dreams are made of! Or at least that’s what I thought. I was so engrossed in the placement of every pitch I didn’t notice my buddy had done an about-face and was blind-casting a Senko into unproductive water. He was bored. The thrill of muscling a big fish out of heavy cover, one of the things that defines bass fishing for me, hardly registered on his fun-o-meter.
That got me thinking: What exactly is it that I love so much about bass fishing? The answer is way more complex than just “catching fish”.
…the Pavlovian response that happens just before it’s time to cinch down a Palomar. Do you guys start drooling when you tie knots?
…the little clear path in a patch of slop that a Bronzeye frog leaves in its wake.
…flipping into a patch of reeds and watching a stem move just as you feel that tick on your line.
…that split second as you reel up your slack and the muscles in your back tense up just before you cross one’s eyes.
…how the amount of time a bass stays in the air on a jump always seems like an eternity.
…that feeling of anticipation you get when your square-bill deflects perfectly off a stump.
…when they get both trebles.
…that high-pitched whining sound fluorocarbon makes when you snap the rod back on a kicker fish.
I could do this all day, but I won’t. That’s where you come in. Keep it going in the comments.