Happy May Day!
This Weekend Angler felt cheated due to last Saturday’s harsh winds. I thought I’d try to take a make-up day after work today. I loaded the F-150 in record time and cruised the country two-lanes over to Lake Pfork.
I put into a deserted lake and fished the ramp pondweed. I caught a small bass on shakeyhead, so no skunk today, and drifted on around to the swim beach. Some teenagers were playing chicken in the water along the inside edge, such a ridiculous game yet incredibly fun way to enjoy a swim. The girls wrestled while the boys struggled to keep their footing in the decomposed granite. I drifted along the outside edge picking up speed as the NE wind velocity increased. I decided to drop anchor.
I’d anchored in the middle of a small point that comes off the swim beach. I cast up into the pond weed with the shakeyhead and TR BBH but no bites. I remembered years past when I would rip the grass here when the grass was stout. I looked at my graph, the first one I’d ever owned, a black and white Lowrance Mark 5x Pro, and saw some grass clumps. I dredged some up with the shakeyhead and saw it was crisp, green hydrilla.
Instead of grabbing up one of my crankin’ rods, I selected the vibrating jig. As usual, I cast hard, quartering into the wind, the lure rocketing across the water and splashing down some 120 feet away. I counted down, silently still for a slow ten count as the lure sank under the waves.
I’ve assigned a 7’ MH Duckett Jacob Wheeler as my vibrating jig rod, paired with a venerable H2O Xpress Mettle spooled with 15# Red Label fluoro line. I actually paid retail for the rod, the reel was marked down for Academy’s Father Day Sale in 2015 and Red Label is Seaguar’s economy line. The lure was free, a gift from a friend. After the count down, I pulled the bow out of the line and tested the pull by slowly sweeping the tip. It felt like my lure was sitting on grass, maybe only ten feet down in fifteen feet of water. I slowly pulled it free and got the vibration feel of the slow starting jig. I killed it and picked it back up again at a snail’s pace with just enough pull to set the vibration in to play. I hit some grass and slowly pulled it out and some slack got knocked into the line.
I swept back and got some bend in the rod. I furiously reeled the 6.4 reel and double-clutched maybe even triple-clutched the hookset. I was deep into the back bone of the Duckett and I wondered if I‘d caught a catfish. The fish pulled stubbornly down, but the Mettle‘s hammer tight drag refused to budge, and I prayed the “down on the farm” knot could hold together just a little longer. I figured there were enough people on the swim beach so I dramatized just a bit. I screamed, “I NEED THIS FISH!” I grabbed her up, turned to face the swim beach with the fish hoisted in my right hand and the rod in my left, tilted my head back and howled my war cry to cheers and claps from the beachgoers. Never. Gets. Old.
So that’s how you do it folks. Who needs FFS when you got a Mark 5x Pro? I got a young man on the beach to snap some pics. I let some young’uns pet the fish and watch me release her. This may be biggest of the year so far, rivaling the unweighed fish from the Catch & Release Pond. Today’s tub went seven-five on the 9V scale. I perfunctorily made the rounds and caught another one on the vibrating jig and another shakeyhead fish. Off at 6:30PM.