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I snoozed the first alarm 3:50am, but was up at the second. I poured coffee and loaded the truck. I whispered the float plan in my wife’s ear as I kissed her goodbye, “I’m going fishing at Decker!” And tiptoed out, light as a feather, giddy with anticipation.

I drove into a deserted park. I backed down the ramp and rigged out the Pond Prowler. Two men with a nice, big CC parked and walked down the ramp to check the conditions. They shone their flashlights in the water and decided not to launch. I told them to stay to the south side of the ramp and they should be alright. They made some casts from the courtesy piers. I made turns for the peninsula.

I rigged for red, no need for nav lights, I was the only one on the lake. My plan was to make the long transit to the home of the giants. Ever since I got my mojo back a couple weeks ago, I’ve been on a good string of fishing trips. Might as well make this a good one, too.

Y’all know what the secret is? Get here early and stay late. That’s it. Nothing more to it. And by early, I mean first. Not sun up. Not right before the tardy bell. I mean zero-dark-thirty. I dislike the phrase, “first thing in the morning.” My brother is a fine artist. To him “first thing in the morning” is sometime around 10:00 A.M. For me, “first thing in the morning” means that I am the first on site.

I caught one in the dark as I rounded the mainlake point into the home of the giants, alright. I got up on station and fired for effect. Dawn was breaking. The bites were frequent and ferocious. Two pounder after two pounder annihilated the senko. The bite went from 7ish to 7:20. The bite window ended and seven boaters filled up the cove, too little, too late. By 9:30 am all the boats left and once again, I had the cove to myself. I caught a couple sunnies on drop-shot as I fished my way out of the cove.

I got to the main lake and I saw several boats out in the middle. I guessed they were after schooling hybrids. My focus was on my go to hydrilla patch. I was working the edges with the 10.5” ribbon tail, when I got a tap. I swung and missed. I had foul-hooked a senko fish before sunrise on a short strike, which was cool, so I’m going full send on a hair trigger.

I cast back out and the worm was struck. I furiously reeled down and gave her the what for, back arched, elbows out, full extension with Kung fu grip. I had complete parabola with good weight and then the fish pulled back, always an indicator of a mature largemouth. I turned her and cranked, putting my back into it, not giving slack. Then she jumped.

Typically, I’m bradycardia, but now my heart rate is skyrocketing. She swam under the boat and I got anxious. I led her around the boat a couple times, one more crank on the Curado and bring her to hand. I started thinking that I might want to carry a net, but nah, its more fun to reach in her mouth and grab up all that bass! No one on the lake to show out for, so I took a couple pics and weighed her. She’s six pounds twelve ounces of battle-scarred big’un. I put her back in the water. I chugged a quart of water and tried to regain my composure. It was 10:30am, still got a couple hours to go.

I fished my way back to the ramp. I was only getting perch taps, getting back only part of my worm. I’d had a good day, I caught nine largemouth including the big’un. Off at 12:30pm.
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Hey Jeremy. Tried to get online to buy a pass tonight for Decker for tomorrow morning. Says available, but at check out says ticket block. Any idea why? Can you just get there and pay at the kiosk tomorrow? Nice 6 lber!
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