Well, this is my first story I'm going to post here, and I'll add pics too for proof that this is no wild fish story.
When I was still just a wee toddler I got out in the yard one day and
watched my uncle and a cousin fishing in the pond behind our house. They
were catching them too! I watched them pull in bass, crappie, and
bluegill. I told my Dad I wanted to go fishing too. So, he went out and
bought me a cane pole and some hooks and line. The pole was about eight
feet long. Don't ask me why he though a pole that size was a good idea
for a two year old...
Well, I immediately went to fishing. It wasn' long before I wasn't
waiting for my parents to come with me, but just got up, got dressed,
got my own breakfast Yeah, food is my other lifetime love affair, and I
was damn good at finagling a way to get around my size. My parents
eventually had to pull the knobs off the stove to keep me from using it
when they weren't up. But, I digress. I caught every kind of fish in
that pond, and even an eel or two before my Dad sold the house and we
moved to New Hampshire for a little while.
Fast forward to last spring, and me and my wife are licing in an old
farmhouse in the middle of the country. Rolling hills, farmland and
pasture, and old farm ponds here and there in the woods. I'd been to the
nearest of these ponds to fish on a few occasions already. Didn't like
it much because there was just an insane amount of cover; multiple trees
had been blown down into the water near the shore, and the ground under
the roots of a few others on the other side had been eroded out from
under them so that the trees they were attached to were leaning in like
they wanted to kiss the pond's surface. The Pine, Ash, and White Oak
trees all tended to be quite close to the shore, which made any kind of
serious cast with a baitcaster a risky proposition indeed.
The only spot where it was safe to cast from was indeed a good one,
maybe even a perfect one. To my immediate left (easterly direction) was
one of those trees with the washed out roots which also happened to
stand on a small point out in the water. The shore curved inward toward
and rounded round to the nrth and then west to form a very shallow cove
of sorts, which had a few small trees with half rotten branches sticking
up to notify all who dared fish there of there presence. Moving further
down this shoreline in a southerly direction, there were three very
large old pines down in the water and some still had branches attached.
These trees were about forty feet out in front and to the right of my
position. About ten feet out from me, the bottom dropped off from two
feet down to about eight to ten feet, and in that deep area someone had
apparently sunk a couch. So, all of this together made a triangular
shaped area where it was safe to wet your line, and as an angler reels
in line, he'll pass right over the dropoff.
So, one early spring afternoon, I finally give in to my boredom, throw
on a heavier shirt, grab my tackle and a chair, and head on out to the
pond. When I get there, I start sending my favorite Rebel broke-back
minnow, that was a gift from my little brother, out into that spot, and a
in the other direction where there was no structure and no fish of any
real size or fight. After a couple hours of getting nothing but a chill
and watching the clouds roll back in I decided to give it about thirty
more minutes and then I was going to go home and get dinner going before
my wife got home. On the very next cast after this I hooked up with the
monster of this little pond!
Now, before I continue, I have to explain a thing or two for reference.
First, this was my first baitcaster. I had also never used a drag system
before, always relying on the strength of my knots to bring a fish in.
So I had no idea how to properly use this reel. My friend, who was
according to his own word an expert, had told me that the dial on the
side was the drag. This turned out to be the fine control for casting. I
have obviously since then learned to properly utilize my equipment.
Anyway, on with the story.
So, I'm reeling back in, and suddenly my lure, which I had weighted to
make it swim deeper, just STOPPED. I don't mean it stopped and went a
different direction. I mean it STOPPED like I had snagged deeply into a
tree with my lure. I tried reeling, but the drag on my reel was set at
minimum. I then tried pulling, no dice. I finally gave up and decided to
give it a good, HARD, yank. When I did this the line went crazy in the
water; zig-zagging back and forth. I will humbly admi my complete and
utter shock for a few seconds at what I had just done. I finally
starting trying to reel and nothing happened. And then the bass ran for
the cover, the three large trees. I kept reeling and reeling and the
fish kept taking line like I was just giving it away!
With about a second to spare I jammed the butt-end of the pole into my
belt like a deep sea angler and began pulling the lin in by hand with my
left and reeling it back onto the spool with my right. After a a few
seconds of the bass being unable to go where it wanted, it turned tail
and ran for the partially undercut trees to my left. I made a beeline to
my right to keep it from making it there. By this time it was too close
in to do anything but jump and shake its head in fury and frustration.
Its first jump was enough to freeze me again. I couldn't believe the
size of it!
I kept the pressure on until I had it at the water's edge, and then
could finally lift it out. It took two hands to keep a good hold of it,
and once I did, I resolved to keep it. I pulled out my little cheap
nylon stringer, and strung it up, and stuck the needle in the mud and
stomped it in good and deep to hold it there. The bass immediately made a
run for open water and almost managed to pull the stringer along for
the ride. If I'd been a split second slower it might have made it.
Later, I took it to a local gas station/convenience store where they had
a fish scale. It weighed out at four and a half pounds! Up till then
I'd only ever caught the little ones. Now, those pics I promised!