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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Thursday, November 19, 2009

• Off The Pier 11-19-2009: Didn't even feel it bite.

This all started on Twitter of all places. Jason Sealock, the editor for FLW Outdoors Magazine, aka @FLW_Magazine asked followers about using pink baits. Seeing as how I had plenty of time this afternoon, I responded. My tacklebox has two lures in it with pink. One is the Wave Worms Tiki Stick in bubble gum. The other is the Renegade black/pink tail worm. After a few exchanges with some other Twitter users, I decided to thread one of those Tiki Sticks on rigged weightless and fish off the pier.

Today was signifcantly warmer than previous days this week. I was quite comfortable standing out in the sun enjoying the air and all that goes with being outdoors. The cold temperatures of late have helped clear up the murky water left by the rains that clobbered us a few weeks ago. The cypress trees have been dropping their leaves, coating the water's surface and creating opportunities for my lures to foul up. Still, nice day to be fishing.

I had been working the Tiki Stick fast, not letting the lure sit long after hitting the water, lifting, and twitching it back to the pier. That wasn't working, so another approach was in order. After I don't know how many casts, I put the Tiki Stick around one of my more reliable cypress trees. I'm not sure why fish hang out by this one tree, but I don't care. It holds fish. This cast was my first "slow" attempt.

I lifted the worm and felt some resistance like I was hung up in a stick or some weeds. After making so many casts without a bite, I didn't think twice to swing the rod to shake the worm loose. I didn't rip it. I just made a comfortable swing to my right, lifting the worm away from whatever it was hung up on.

Then my line started moving...Uh oh!

Let me let you in on my thought process at that moment. I had my finesse rig, gear not known for being one of my powerful setups. This rig has a medium light 6'6 rod. I was glad to have 15lb line tied on because I was in for a fight. There was no way I could manhandle anything with a medium light rod.

The fish pulled me to the right much slower than bass usually do, so as I was taking up slack and pulling it closer, I was more than a little apprehensive, especially since I was holding a medium light rod. At first, I thought I might have hooked something else, like maybe a turtle. It's happened before. I was able to take up plenty of slack and keep the tension on, but the next obstacle to get around was the cypress tree straight out from the pier. I had some line between me and the fish, so I started reeling with a little more gusto. Whatever was at the other end still had most of the control.

The fish went head first towards the tree, almost slipping around the back edge, but I pulled it along the side. That's when I saw ole bucketmouth shake side to side like they do. So I knew I had a bass. I just didn't know how big.

Brought 'er on around the front of the pier. It kept going. No way I was gonna land it at this point. It started heading towards the thick weeds. Now, a medium light rod isn't gonna handle weeds too well. There was no way I could let the bass swim into that stuff. As it turned along the edge of the weeds, I could see the fish from end to end. This was my first chance to get a clean look at what I had hooked. To me, it looked more like 2-3lbs, so I became a little less worried, but thoughts of breaking off started swirling through my brain. I pulled some more...towards the pier. Know what that means? It's going to try to swim under the pier.

Luckily, I was able to bring it back around to the front, get down on all fours, and grab the fish by the mouth like a pro.

Must have been because of my lucky shirt.

5lbs 6 ounces

(Post cleaned up on 11/20 for mistakes and other corrections. I wrote it up in a hurry.)