So today, driving from Bedminster at I-78 to north of I-80, I came armed with two stinger hooks. I teased out some ruckous coming out from right against the bank that refused to give chase, quickly snapping on a Chompers and nailing the bass, a little 11-incher. Further along, much the same happened, although this time, a nice wake rose behind the chartreuse willowleaf spinnerbait; I kept retrieve pace steady--never slow down if a bass comes behind--but the bass turned, nor did it take the Chompers the next moment.
And then I worked towards the back of the pond of about 10 or 15 acres, playing with a few bass I sighted bunched together that refused to take the Chompers I snapped back on, a little snap, not much to affect life-like presentation, though I never use snaps when I'm committed to worms. Just convenient.
I snapped on the spinnerbait and found that in the process of unloading and loading it back on, the stinger hook came undone, lost. And instead of burrowing out the other from a black spinnerbait deep in my bag, I took fair warning--the hook might come off in the fight. I need better stingers.
I got further back, cast in close to shore, and watched a big bulge rise behind the lure, kept that pace, and the bass overtook and engulfed the lure with a great, heaving pressure on the rod.
Nice fish. About 17 inches. But not the five-pounder I really want before the year is out, and it looks like I won't get. I duplicated the cast exactly, hooked another and lost the bass. Often they bunch together like this, and instead of a catch spooking the others, they seem all the more ready to strike.