I‘m a liberal leaning outdoorsman attempting to open the minds of right wingers to the idea that libs fish too. Anglers come from all walks of life, left, right, and center. Not everyone who fishes for bass is a redneck fond of Nascar, country music, and religiosity. Expect posts about largemouth bass fishing, techniques, reviews of lures and other products, but not any condemnable conservative rants. I hope to inspire the online angler community to dial down rhetoric which will do more harm than good to our sport.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

• Off The Pier 9-22-2009: One Fish Makes All The Difference

They say it only takes one good fish to win a tournament. For me, it only takes one good fish to make my day, or evening in this case. That one fish makes all the difference in the world. No, I didn't break any records or land anything in the double digit range. Just one nice bass.

I started fishing off the pier around 4:30pm. There have been bass schooling up and chasing in between the trees and lily pads almost every day over the last two or three days. We've also had lots of rain with a short break in between storms this past week end. It rained again last night and sprinkled today. On top of that, the duckweed has receded and the lily pads are fading away. I had no idea what the bass were thinking at this point.

So here was my plan. I went down to the pier armed with two rods and three lures. My Curado E5 was rigged on a 7' ML rod this time and had a green swimblade tied on. My Patriarch was paired with a black Trophy Series Scumfrog. A Bleeding Bait Elite buzzbait was on deck, ready to be rigged for any topwater action.

After quickly working the shallow duckweed over with the Scumfrog, I set the frog aside and put on the buzzbait. I placed the E5 nearby just in case. The school of bass were out there, but only came within casting distance once. The buzzbait spooked them off in another direction. I backed off and started throwing the swimblade. Nothing. Some time passed. No bites.

I decided to wait for the school to approach. They never did. In fact, they came to a screeching halt. By that point, quite a few turtles had taken more interest in what I had to offer. I felt like quitting, but I went back to the Scumfrog one more time because something splashed near some pads to the left of the pier.

If you'll take a brief trip back in time with me, you will recall the last two decent fish I caught were off of these pads. Both bit on the frog. Several other smaller bass have followed my bait much closer to the pier. That being said, perhaps one fish might be lurking somewhere in between the pier and the pads.

After about four or five good long casts, something exploded on the outside edge of the pads. I immediately became worried because I hadn't worked the lure beyond the last two or three pads. Getting a fish wrapped around a pad stem did not sound like fun to me. I felt the fish take my lure under and I set the hook. Okay. First step accomplished. I felt the bass take me by one lily pad stem and then I felt the stem slip away. Great. I made it out of the pads. I started cranking with a little more gusto. It was not until that point that I realized I had a good fish on because as soon as I started cranking, this fish darted 7 or 8 feet to its left, my right, in no time at all.

Then it surfaced. Talk about intimidating. I was worried again, but the drag was holding fine and I had plenty of room to work with.

I worked the fish closer and got it into the thicker duckweed. I then realized I did not have a net and the water level was a good 3 feet below the bottom of the pier. I ended up opting to drag the bass along the pier towards the bank. Not the best idea, but it has worked in the past. I dragged the fish up into some thick weeds along the bank and the line snapped as soon as I pulled some more. In a panic, I leaped off the pier into the soft mud and lipped the fish, my Scumfrog still comfortably resting in the roof of its mouth.

Weighed in at 6lbs even. The scale teetered between 5lbs 15oz and 6lbs on the first attempt, so I made sure it was a 6 after weighing it three more times. I was surprised to find out it only measured a little more than 21.5 inches long.

So 6lbs is now my new personal best on Cross Lake and now my second personal best overall.

I quit while I was ahead.

Here are three photos. Couldn't decide on which one to post here, so I uploaded all three.


MNAngler said...

Nice fish! I've only tried my scumfrog a few times with limited success. From what I've been reading recently, I think I need to pull it out more often.

Steve said...

That's nice to see. I've tried this year to figure out Cross Lake and how to be successful there. I've caught quite a few smaller bass under the slot, and a few over. I like seeing that the big ones are actually there.