Despite the cold and windy weather, John and Daniel decided to follow through with their plans for fishing before working on wedding projects…and that turned out to be a good decision. After a couple of hours on the water, Daniel caught the only fish of the day; and it was a monster!
An 11.5 pound bass, one big enough to be invited into the “Big Bass Club” and be pictured on the wall of fame and be included in The Book (my Dad’s book of fish pictures). I wish I could have been there to witness this event because I know how excited I was when I caught an eight pounder and was initiated into the club. Congratulations, Daniel!
And after a successful morning of fishing, he and John spent the afternoon cutting and sanding wood for tables for the wedding. Not a bad day!
When we developed our list of 13 in 13, I included “catch a big bass” to the list. John asked my definition of a big bass and when I said an eight pounder, he suggested that I might want to reconsider since a bass of that size would be considered a lifetime catch by most fishermen. Since I don’t claim to be a fisherman, I took his advice and modified my definition to “at least six pounds”. (However, if you refer to the original 13 in 13 post I said – catch a big bass of at least six pounds, but hopefully closer to eight.)
Three weeks ago in my first attempt at this challenge, I caught what I thought at the time was a pretty big bass only to be told that it was “only” 2 1/2 pounds. I needed to catch something almost three times the size of my current record. This may be more difficult than I anticipated.
Yesterday we took the day off to make a second attempt at catching a big bass. We couldn’t have picked a more perfect day. The 45 degree temperature and cloudless sky guaranteed a great day on the water with or without fulfilling the big bass requirement. We returned to the Withlacoochee River and Lake Rousseau since Dad reported that he and his guests caught several big ones throughout the week.
After about three hours, we started planning the next attempt since not only had I not caught a big one neither had John. And, in fact, we hadn’t landed a single bass. In an effort to help me meet my goal, John sacrificed catches. He handed me his rod on three occasions so I could set the hook and reel in the catch…no success…I lost all three. I finally announced that I thought I should change my goal from catching a big bass to being in the boat when a big bass was caught.
Then it happened. I actually saw the bass hit my line only a few feet from the boat. John talked me through the process…let it take some line…now reel in slowly to take out the slack…jerk hard to set the hook and start reeling. I guess I followed directions pretty well. I maneuvered the bass around a stump and reeled it up to the boat so John could scoop it in the net and lift it into the boat.
Time to collect the data…24 inches and 8 pounds! I’m pleased to announce I caught a BIG bass! Yes, I even caught the once in a lifetime version.
Not only was John there to support my efforts by guiding me to the best spots on the lake and talking me through the process of bringing in the fish once I felt the hit, but he was also there to document the event with a quality picture. Thanks, John! In addition, thanks Dad for your scouting reports and the trip with Max to the far ends of the county to locate the shiners needed for this adventure.
As a bonus, we noticed a bald eagle in the top of a snag as we headed back to the boat ramp so I not only caught a big bass, I photographed a bald eagle in flight. Another once in a lifetime event for many birders!
It looks like your dad’s new boat is a keeper. He initiated it on Lake Rousseau on Friday and caught two large bass. One weighed in at over six pounds and the other over eight. He’s caught fish on both of his first two attempts in the boat so he’s pleased. On our way back from the lake he asked if I’d like him to take me out so I can catch a big bass in 2013, and I’ve accepted the challenge. I need to be included in the next edition of the Shutterfly fishing book since I’m sure Grandpa expects another to document the family’s newest fish tales.
I’m sure you’re invited as well. If you’re up for the challenge, it won’t take much coaxing for him to find time when he can take you out to catch a big one. Just give a call and say “Let’s go fishing!”