The email simply read, “I know where some bass are big, dumb, and hungry. If you’re interested in making a trip, give me a call.”
Speed dial, Mike Wood.
“How’d you call so fast? I just hit the send button,” Mike said as he answered his cell.
“You mentioned big, dumb, hungry bass, Mike.”
And he wasn’t kidding. Mike is an expert fisheries biologist and an expert at sniffing out way out-of-the-way places to go fish. He’s like a living, breathing fish finder. Turning him down would be akin to leaving a note for Santa Claus saying “no need to stop at my house this Christmas”.
There was a catch to this trip that didn’t involve a bass. We had to drag a 12-foot aluminum boat to the little lake/slough/hole in the woods and keep the paddle handy for moving the boat and for long, slinky critters.
Wait. Did he say 12-foot aluminum boat. Me…12-foot aluminum boat. And paddle? Did he say paddle? And critters?
“Oh, don’t worry, the boat’s plenty big,” he said. Just a word of advice for you fellow JC Penney Big and Tall catalog subscribers. When a man who usually fishes in a kayak tells you a boat is “plenty big”, it’s probably not really that big. I will say this, though. It did keep me alert.
So did the bass. Seems that one lake overflowed into another and backwater came up in this little spot, etc. etc. this spring and when everything returned to normal, a lot of the big old bass forgot to go back where they had come from. From a biologists point of view, the area was overstocked and needed some piscatorial harvestation to take place.
We hadn’t gone far when a couple of big old bass swam right under the boat. The water was clear except for numerous moss lines. I dropped a lure right in front of one of them but he never veered off course. Once they see us, they won’t bite, Mike allowed. I thought they were big, dumb and hungry. A few longer casts proved maybe they were. We caught bass all afternoon on a dozen different baits, which was about all we could get in that “huge” 12-foot aluminum boat. It wasn’t really that easy because the fish weren’t exactly chasing the lures down. Something about nature and feeding periods. I have scientific proof that they weren’t really “biting”. The mess that we cleaned? Not a one of them even had a frog leg or minnow lip in it. Their bellies were empty. Only superior angling skills coerced them to open their big, dumb, hungry largemouth lips.
We did put all our piscatorial prowess into action, though, and the bass were no match. We kept a good mess of one-two pounders and released the big ones. I mean really big ones. In case it floods again and they want to swim back to where they came from. I even caught one on an 8 -inch swim bait that I had been saving for just such an experimental occasion. It even triple surprised Mike. First that I owned it. Second that I tied it on. And third that I actually hung a fish on it.
Life is good.
I was going to tell you where we went, but I’m getting kind of like that Hillary woman. I’m sorry, but I just can’t recall. And now I’ve even deleted Mike’s email. Oh well, maybe he’ll call next time.