I didn't expect to get a hit, besides those from numerous sunfish. In the morning the sky, completely clear, signaled hopelessness by the water, but by the time I fished the sky had become partly cloudy. Still, plenty of sun from noon position threatened to ruin my time out, which began way off kilter. This is Monday, I hadn't fished all weekend, the last I had fished--I will tell you--I got skunked for the fourth consective time on the water, and a separate, large writing project had become uncertain in my mind, driving me nuts. Little things seemed to pop up and threaten to unnerve me. My new camera had a problem with image stabilization apparently, and my Penn spinning reel's (425S? I don't remember exactly and it's downstairs) head had come loose--I could barely use it.
I fished Round Valley Friday. Literally, I had just taken my second cast when rain began to fall. By my fifth cast I knew I wouldn't take my camera out. By my 15th or so I marched out quick for cover, and thunder rolled high in the clouds, but directly over me. In the car, I put aside the camera--I had paid over $16.00 to have it arrive quickly by UPS--and put on rain pants and what I thought was a top-half rain shell. Then I actually went out in the thunder. Thunder up in the clouds. I fished the rocks along the dike, reservoir side. Rain poured. But what pissed me off was that no bass finned back in the far pond corner to take my Senco. I had given it a good, patient 15 casts. Meanwhile, I knew I was a lot wetter from my shoulders to my waist than I was when I put on the "rain shell." It's just some sort of windbreaker that looks and feels waterproof. When I took it off in the car, my shirt was entirely soaked. So was my hair, the hood had been useless.
That was number four and I was numb to the apparent inevitability of number five today at Mt. Hope Pond. I kept thinking about how I didn't know I had it so good back in May. I couldn't even begin to cast with my normal accuracy. In fact, my first cast hung my Senco (and why cast that at all, no good reason) in two branches, which despite the inset hook would not let it go, and I snapped it off. Then my line moved off. Another sunny? I tightened to check, I never failed to do this, but no, a bass! I set the hook and almost pulled the Culprit twister away from it, since plenty of bow in the line startled me. But I got it up on the bank when the hook fell out. A 10 inch bass hasn't felt so good since I can remember.
I did miss another bass. How big I couldn't tell, just that the weight, when I tightened to tell, was much more than the peck-peck of a sunfish. Then I realized this Culprit probably sinks too slow without a split shot. To use just enough to make the tail flutter... but all I had were large shot, the size I use for salmon in October. What the hell, I put one on. But I got only four more casts. I had somewhere else I had to go.
And maybe my son and I have somewhere to go tomorrow--Long Branch. Stripers pushed bunker against beaches last week. Who knows? (As Victor Hugo or Jimi Hendrix would say.) But we're seriously after fluke. Would rather be after big stripers, but chances are... but we will have our bunker-snag trebles ready. We may even put some clam out.
Anyway, I had the camera right in a minute. And the wobbly head of my Penn--like my own of course--I tightened up with a wrench in the same amount of time. David Lee Roth said, "I been to the edge. And there I stood and looked down." I don't know if I drove myself over or got thrown off, but it was a long climb back up, and I still feel I'm hanging onto the rocks. Not today I mean, today was just a slight taste of how bad it can be!