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News Letter cont.

A Boy and The Bass

Oh no! The family, my uncle Frank and his crew  from Illinois arrived!  Actually, they are from a small suburb south of  Chicago called Harvey,.  The first thing my uncle asked my Dad when he arrived was, "when can we go fishing?"  I am fifty now, I was nine then.  My Dad wasn't an avid fisherman, but I was, even at that age. With two car loads of family, off we went to a lake my family camped at often.  Sugar Loaf Lake in southern Michigan is a shallow weedy spring fed lake, about a quarter mile wide.  It was early summer with little or no wind, the sun felt good with high 70's temp. The lake was active with people but we found a lily pad area offshore and started fishing.
I had Crickets and Grasshoppers in a jar that were gathered early that morning.  Picking out the big boy of the crickets, I slipped it on the hook with a split shot about 10 inches away.  No one else was using crickets, I thought, as my Zebbco closed face spin caster combo rod and reel sent a beautiful long cast plunk.  That cast took all of the line off my reel. I slowly retrieved the cricket, stopping from time-to-time.  The lake was a smooth sheet of reflection with a faint wind. Suddenly, my hook snagged.. "Oh, no no no! This was the first cast! Then suddenly the snag ran, peeling off line, and destroying my reel.  I realized two things, this was no snag and my reel had original two year old abused line on it, and precious little of it at that.  A crowd gathered around me in seconds, cheering and yelling. "Gees!" I thought the rod would break. The snag shot to the right, my line slicing through the water skirting up a roostertail as it went. This  drawing "ooohhhhhhhhhs!" from the crowd.  The snag jumped, leaving the water twisting, and throwing his head from side-to-side. It was huge, mad, and fighting for his life.  I froze in fear, and heard a long piercing shriek in my ears…. the shriek was coming from me.
"Let me help you," my uncle said as he reached for my rod. Not only did I need all my concentration and strength to land this fish but I had to push my uncle off as well. Finally, I get a break as the big, Smallmouth Bass turns toward shore and shallow water. I quickly took up the slack and backed away from the lake, holding the line in one hand and the rod in the other I dragged the 6 pound lunker up on the beach.
Forty years ago, there was no mainstream catch & release ideology. So my family and I had a great fish fry that evening, from our fishing trip that day.

By:  Jearald 
email JDM@aol.com


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