Great Barracuda - Sphyraena barracuda

Great Barracuda - Sphyraena barracuda

May 9, 2011

Oddballs and Monsters

This is true: I am married to a 'fish snob.' Let me explain... My husband, ABM, likes to fish but he is neither obsessive about fishing, nor is he overly appreciative of the oddballs. He likes trophies. Big fish. I, on the other hand, am perfectly content to fish for anything and everything, in any manner. Don't get me wrong - if he's happy to paddle me around while I catch oddballs and sticks, that's cool. He's happy, I'm happy.

On this morning, I was either going to play golf or go fishing. I decided to go fishing on Chan's Lucky Pond and wore my golf shoes in case the fishing was slow. This pond is filled with about 7 acres of dark green, very fishy water. The Chan's had built and stocked the pond some 16 years ago. There are bass, brim, and channel catfish in it. On a good day, I can catch 20-40 fish. ABM had promised me he'd meet me for both activites, in any order.

When I arrived, I was on the phone with my ABM - still trying to persuade him to join me. He was being a tad wishy-washy, but said he'd be there shortly. I loaded up the Chan's little flat-bottom dinghy with paddles that don't lock...(rowing that dinghy in wind can be a bit dicey)...pushed off...rigged up a Yamamoto...and promptly caught 10 bass. I returned to shore, climbed the hill so I could get some reception, and summoned ABM again: "You gotta come. I'm tellin' 'ya, the fishing is awesome." He said he was on his way. I caught two more while waiting for him.

When he showed up, he didn't have a rod (typical), but he did have his camera (good omen). I offered my spare surf rod, but he declined and said he'd rather row. So, we switched spots on the boat and he ferried me around. I plied the little island and caught about five more bass. Then I asked him to move to a shallow area that I knew had nests and I knew would produce some hits. I caught a couple more bass then hooked something big.

When that bass hit, I initially thought it was a log. Then, it moved. I started to shake. "Holy s-it! That's a big one!" ABM said, "It's not a fish. It's a stick." I hollered, "That's no stick! That's a HUGE bass!" A few minutes later the fish came up. Holy smokes! It was ginormous! ABM snapped some pictures.

I started shaking some more. There was no way to turn off the adrenaline. My hands shook, my knees shook. The fish ran toward some branches. The spool (not full to begin with) ran low. I tightened the drag. ABM said, "Don't tighten the drag!" "The heck with that, I don't have enough line if this fish takes off!" When the fish went under the boat twice, ABM worried, "Don't break off..." I said, "It won't." And it didn't. When I finally got it to the side, ABM asked for a net. A NET!? "We don't have one, and we never use one! Grab her mouth!" He did. "Bring it in, bring it in!" He did. I think he was in shock because he couldn't get the hook out. He handed me the fish, I got the bent hook out, and he snapped a few more pictures. Then, I lowered her back into the water, resuscitated her, and let her swim off.

ABM said, "That was the biggest bass I've ever seen." Still shaking, I replied, "See? You should come fishing with me more often! 'Ya never know what might happen!"

Later, the Chan's confirmed it to be the largest bass to date. I think I'll buy them some new oars that lock... :)

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