Thursday, July 31, 2014

19 Inch Bass in Restricted Territory: Afternoon Action at July's End

With 75 degrees and a stiff breeze racing from the southwest, I wondered again how bass would respond. Not long thereafter, working my way towards the back of the pond, I hooked the 15-incher photographed below after twitching the worm once next to a stickup. I released the bass and put the next pitch right back in the same spot. I never fail to try twice. Again, line jerked and swiftly moved off as I tightened and set the hook.

This one was a good bass. If I had persisted with six pound test, I'd never have the photograph of it, since I was in a compromised position with a deadfall in front of me over water and had to lift the bass by grasping the line above the swivel connecting 15-pound Power Pro to 15-pound fluorocarbon. The bass didn't weigh six pounds; it didn't weigh 3 1/2, but measured 19 inches. Very skinny. Made me think the plump "18-incher" I didn't measure more than a couple of weeks ago was larger than guessed, but not by much.

Nearly half-a-dozen casts fell as intended before I moved on to the next opening between thickets, anticipating at least one more bass, maybe a couple more.

"No fishing on the rocks," a loud speaker. A voice with that hollow metal sound we associate with football games. Or police. Or science fiction dystopias.

So that was that. My fishing privilege was at stake. It's a municipally directed pond. I paid for the remainder of the year, and the price is hardly worth where I'm limited by any overseer.

I don't mean to resent authority, but every time the likes of this happens, it makes me feel ashamed of America, a feeling I don't like at all. Isn't there a way to stipulate that fishermen are responsible for any injuries they may incur and let them have their freedom? Any of us who seek pools and currents, rocky shoreline pockets and deadfalls, love to scramble among stone. It's built into our being by years of habit. And here at this secret pond is truly a beautiful stretch of shoreline. Restriction is counterproductive. Anyone has a sense for whether or not they are able to manage rocky terrain. Some of us can literally dance on it. 

I fished the less appealing areas with flat grassy shoreline. Nothing happened after more than half an hour, an hour's time fished total. I fished with just as much intention as the better cover demanded.

As I drove out, I put my hand out the window and pleasantly waved to the girl in the guard shack. Of course it was mildly embarrassing to have been called out for all to hear and swivel their heads at me, but I was driving out on the high road. I knew I had my money's worth and more. They had nothing on me.


  1. A loud speaker, that would be a little strange fishing around. I have been chased off a few times myself, and the worse was probably when me and my little brother waded a creek that passed through someone's property. We heard shot gun blasts and then pellets came wizzing through the trees. Too bad, some great fishing back there.


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