“George, if we don’t go fishing tomorrow right before that big front comes through, then we should sell our fishing poles and take up golf,” I told my trusty fishing partner last Tuesday night.
Weatherunderground.com clearly laid out a huge cold front heading our way Wednesday afternoon and the barometric pressure was going to be falling all morning before the rain, wind and cooler temps hit. Everybody knows that is the best kind of day to catch fish.
George agreed, and we marked off some time — from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. — on our honey do lists and headed out on the lake. The major biting period was actually 7 a.m. – but George and I can catch fish on the backside of a major quite well, thank you. We hadn’t been there but a minute before we started catching bass. Actually, I wasn’t in the boat at all when “we” started catching bass. George beat me in the boat and was fishing right down the bank when he caught a little two pounder. Usually I’m the early one, but here was George, at the lake on time AND with a fishing license. Today was clearly going to be something special. I can’t recall the last time we went fishing when George didn’t have to go “on line” and order a duplicate fishing license.
Soon we were both in the boat, catching some really nice fish up and down a shallow stretch near the bank. Our favorite fishing lure is the plastic worm and we tend to stick with it more often than Les Miles runs the tailback off left tackle. But today, I was determined to try some new plays, so after catching one on my favorite worm, I switched to a crank bait and a wobblehead. The fish approved. The bigger fish really liked the wobblehead.
Before the morning was over, we had caught a limit of bass plus some. We kept a good mess of the smaller ones – which weren’t really small at all — and turned back the bigger ones. It was amazing, the kind of fishing trip that most of the time we just dream of.
We even celebrated by texting a couple of photos to our sons, who texted back something about somebody having to work. Little George simply texted “thanks for inviting me”. Wow. You didn’t get that invite? Payback was rough, though. Little George sent the pix labeled “dad at work” to Mrs. George and the cell phone promptly rang. She apparently thought he really was at work. After a few minutes of George trying to explain to her that he wasn’t really fishing and hadn’t seen me all morning, I yelled “Get the net. It’s another good one” and opened the livewell for a little lively fish splashing sound effect.
What are friends for?
The excitement of the day made me do something else to poor George. He had turned around to look at something and I used the end of my fishing rod to give his line a big “tap tap” like a bass hitting his worm. He turned around reeled up the slack and set the hook on . . . nothing. He looked at me and I guess the laugh gave it away.
George is never one to forget a favor like that. Later at the landing, after I took the fish we kept out of the livewell and put them in an icechest, George reminded me to pull the plug on the livewell and let the water drain out. I did. It did. He neglected to tell me the drain plug was on the side of the boat directly in front of me. Ha Ha Ha. I am glad to report that my fishing shoes have dried out by now, but they still have a slight aroma of fishy smelling livewell water…. My special thanks here to some boat manufacturing engineer who obviously never let the water out of his own livewell.
We were feeling pretty good about the trip and on the way home, George called and made me feel even better.
“I’ve passed by two fields and all the cows are lying down. Not a one of them is even standing up,” George said. Wow. Everybody knows that you can tell when the fish are biting by watching the cows. If the cows are feeding, so are the fish. If they aren’t feeding, then the fish or nothing else in nature is up and at-em. You didn’t know that? It’s nature’s way. If they are grazing up on the hills, the fish are shallow. If they are grazing down in the lower areas of the field, the fish are deep. Really, you didn’t know that? Anyway, if you can catch them like that when they really aren’t biting, how awesome is that!
I wish I could say every fishing trip went that way. But you know it doesn’t. We can now count on several trips with mediocre results, but that’s okay. The hopes of another trip like this one will keep us going.
They say a bad day fishing is better than a good day at work. Well, on a good day of fishing…you shouldn’t even mention work…