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Author Topic: Catch the FEVER...  (Read 1351 times)

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Catch the FEVER...
« on: February 17, 2006, 03:30:47 PM »

I was talking to a business associate I have about Bass Fishing today.? I?ve talked with him for many years and he never knew I was into fishing, especially to the degree that I consume my life with it.? He felt compelled to tell me a story from a few years back about the fish that was responsible for his daughter to discover a passion spark for fishing and the outdoors.

The episode took place some 4 years ago on a fairly small private lake in southern Michigan.? My friend, whose name is Don and 2 kids were at his wife?s father?s house on this small lake for a nice summer weekend.? Don, who had to finish some work, was sitting down by the lake on a picnic table we he was interrupted by his daughter and her innocent plea...?Daddy can we go fishing??? Don, like any father, said sure honey, your mother will be heading out soon, I?ll call her and have her bring our fishing poles and tackle and we will also have her pick up some worms.? Then when we she gets here I should be done and we will fish from the dock.

Once his wife arrived and the poles were brought out, Don baited his daughter?s hook and got her ready to feed some fish.? Now Don made a point of telling me that she was using his ancient Ugly Stik which had line spooled on it from as far back as he could remember, you see Don isn?t much of a fisherman?he insists if he has to sit for 10 minutes without a bite, then that is way too long.?

He sent the cast out and sits his daughter down on the dock and let her be.? Maybe 3 or 4 minutes went by and Don, who had been fiddling with the lawn mower, heard the inspiring rhythm of line being ripped out of a reel on low drag, he looked at his daughter who was hugging the pole on the dock and who began screaming HELP!!? He made two steps toward her when SNAP!...the ancient line disintegrated like it was made of dust!? She looked at Don, mouth opened wide and exasperated beyond words, Don?s heart sank?he told her it was his fault, he should have known better than let her use that line?he felt horrible as we all can imagine.? She looked up at him with big, saucered eyes, and confidence unmatched and said, ?that?s okay I?ll catch it again!?? Although Don admired her tenacity to the point of being misty eyed, he told her honey, that fish is long gone, and we won?t ever see that one again.? She said no daddy, I?ll catch it, I will.

He decided to let her try and gave her a smaller Shakespeare rod, the only rod and reel left with any line, and let her try to catch something else.? Don described this rod to me as being similar to the famed Snoopy rod we all know and love.? He gave it to her with a worm and put her back on the dock.? This time about 15 minutes or so went by and Don looked down to check on his daughter, she was slapping the worm on the water with the little pole, just messing around having fun splashing, she had one foot on the dock and the other on the paddle boat, straddling the water.? He said he wasn?t worried about her, the water was merely 3 feet deep there and she was a good swimmer even though she was young.
Don had returned to his meaningless odds and ends, when again he heard his daughter screaming, he jerked around and she was hollering FISH, FISH..DADDY?? He ran to her and took the little pole from her; the line was absolutely smoking out of the reel.? Don said he knew if it got to the end of the spool the fish would be gone and he thought could this possibly the same fish?? He reached down, put his hand in the water, and started to squeeze the line in his hands to slow it down, burning his hand to an almost unbearable state.? The fish stopped he would reel it in then it would run again and stop, he took a towel and held between his hands and the line, anything to slow the fish down.? He continued to do this and started to gain ground on the brut fish.? He told his daughter, go tell Mom to get he net out of the car?but his wife who had came down to the dock when she heard the screaming, said in a calm voice..?What net??

Of course, ?What net?, Don told me in a chuckling voice, I didn?t tell her to grab the net, so why would she?? He then said get anything you can find to scoop it up, I?m going to try and get it in close enough that we can get it.? His wife ran off and quickly returned with a drywall bucket; Don said it was a taller bucket but still around 5 gallons.? Meanwhile the fish had tired and he was reeling very slowly and methodically not having a clue whether he had a carp or a scuba diver.? He finally got it close to the dock, his wife put the bucket in the water and the fish swam right into it.? Don reached down and barely was able to scoop the water filled bucket and fish out of the lake.? As he did the hook popped out of the fish?s mouth but luckily it remained in the bucket so they could get it on shore.? Don recognized it to be the biggest Largemouth Bass he had ever seen and certainly bigger than anything they thought lived in that small lake.? They emptied most of the water out of the bucket and the bass which was in nose first, curled up along the bucket and still had 3 or 4 inches of tail hanging out.?

Don?s wife has always been "a be kind" to animal person and had raised their daughter the same, which was never a problem with Don, who isn?t exactly an outdoorsmen.? On this occasion however, his daughter?s first comment was ?Can we mount that one???? Don, who was surprised said honey, you realize if we have it mounted it will be dead first, she said, yeah but I don?t care; it?s huge!!?

He said his daughter and her friend held it up while they took a picture and returned it to its private lake habitat.? They never measured or weighed it just relive it in their minds every chance they get.? His daughter is now totally hooked on fishing and loves to bass fish.? She is strictly catch and release and fishes every chance she gets, she is only 14 now but look out in the future, and she said she can?t wait to get her own bass boat.? Oh and by the way they have been trying ever since to catch fish of that size from that lake but without any luck, he said you would be lucky to land (2) 17? largemouths per season, but I would bet sooner or later his daughter will figure the lake out.

Blake Arkwood
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