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My weekend got off to an inauspicious start. Last night, the troller battery’s cable broke and the truck bed tie-down anchor popped off. Quick fixes to those and then the truck started acting up: the steering seized and brakes were dragging, what? Once on the water, I realized neither of the “smart” phones I’d brought had Fake Radar apps. That led to me foundering, unable to make headway and washing up on the beach, doh! I went home and licked my wounds. I set my alarm for 4:00 am.

This morning, I woke up five minutes til four and silenced the alarm to not disturb Momma (she was kind enough to load Fake Radar apps on to both phones last night.). I looked at the Fake Radar, but decided that if knee surgery and giant hail can’t stop a fishing adventure, why should I let a digital image of a squall line barreling down across West Texas stop me. I loaded the hoopty, hoisted Old Glory, and hit the SH130.

Lightning flashed across the southern sky, but I was undeterred as I pulled into a deserted Walter E Long Park. I launched first, because if you’re not first, you’re last, unless you’re Longhorn, then you’re right on time. I started the long dark transit, the fishing spot I wanted is nearly an hour boat ride away at 2.3mph. I put the lightning behind me and sailed toward the pink dawn. I put on my headlamp and fiddled with my tackle. I turned north once I entered the eastern arm, the wavelets quietly slapping the hull. I was making good headway into the morning. I was spiritually overwhelmed and fell forward out of my boat seat on to my knees in the cockpit. I thanked God for this beautiful planet, my family and friends, and for all the men and women who gave their lives so that I can live free in the United States of America.

My course took me close to shore and I made some casts, but I quickly reeled in and kept moving. I’ve been to where the big’uns live and I still had a ways to go. After another twenty minutes, I got on station and made casts, but the fish weren’t home. Did last night’s inauspiciouness follow me to Decker? I didn’t have a banana, I’d eaten it already. Not to mention, I was wearing my lucky shirt.

I caught my first fish at 7:30 am. and then two more, all from a small isolated hydrilla clump in 8FOW, all on drop shot. Last night’s storm must have churned up the lake pretty good. The level is up even higher than last week. The fish are far back, deep in the reeds. The water temp is 76.9°F and the water clarity is fifteen to twenty inches. Several boats joined me in the cove but I didn’t see anybody catching. I wasn’t even getting perch taps.

I worked my way across the cove to the opposite point. I cast out drop-shot worm. The rod loaded down and I reel set. The fish jumped and I exclaimed, “OH MY GOD!” I was drifting with calm breeze so no anchor line to worry about. I stuck the rod tip in the water and she jumped again. When I got her close, she saw me and took off for the bottom, my new PQ2 reel’s drag paying out line smoothly. I walked her around the boat three times, turned the reel handle a couple times and held the rod in the middle while I reached over the side. I pressed my thumb against her lips until they parted and I snatched her aboard.

A man and wife were perch jerking nearby. The man asked if I wanted him to take my picture, Absolutely! He took a really nice picture and text it to my wife. I thanked them and wished them well and went back to my spot. I anchored and caught two more. Finally! They started biting! Then my work pager went off...

Hey, its how I make a living. Weekend angler sometimes has to work on the weekend. I twirled up my rods and made turns for the ramp, the gentle following wind pushing me effortlessly. I’d caught a big’un and I was satisfied. Now its time to go pay the bills. Off at 10:30am.
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Fantastic fish and great report. Especially liked your moment early in the morning remember those who made that day possible. Thanks Jeremy.
 
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