Category Archives: Fishing Ramblings – My Fishing Blog

Random thoughts and musings about fishing

Big Bass Create Memories

Over the past 60 years, I have caught a good many bass. All were fun, but a few really stand out in my memory, usually the bigger ones.

The first bass I caught was not big. It was probably about ten inches long, but when my cork disappeared in the pool of water below the Usury’s Pond Dam, I expected another small bream or catfish. But this fish did not pull down and make little circles, it ran sideways and jumped out of the water.

Although that was about 60 years ago, I will never forget it, and it hooked me for life.

Bigger bass stand out, too. My first big bass was a 7.5 pounder that hit a Devil’s Horse when I was 12 years old. Harold, Hal, Billy and I were trying to fish from an old wooden run-about at Clarks Hill. We had pulled a jon boat to a cove in Hart Creek where our fathers took it back in the end to throw Hula Poppers. They told us boys to stay well away from them so we would not spook the bass they wanted to catch.

We paddled that old boat best we could, keeping it a long cast off the bank. I fired my Devil’s Horse toward a button bush on the point but the cast with my Mitchell 300 reel and Garcia rod went way wide .

Reeling the plug back as fast as I could turn the reel handle, the plug churned and skittered across the surface. Suddenly the water exploded in a vicious strike. Somehow, we managed to land that big bass.

We thought the bass was crazy. Everyone knew bass hit only slow-moving baits. If I had been smarter, maybe I could have invented the buzzbait in 1962!

Another bass, not quite as big, hit a floating Rebel minnow by a button bush at Clarks Hill in Germany Creek. My family was camping at “The Cliffs” and daddy had agreed to paddle me around in that same old wooden boat while I cast. He did not care much for fishing but took the time with me.

I cast the floating minnow near a button bush and, as soon as I twitched it a little, a bass hit it, but did not get hooked. I let the lure sit then twitched it a little and a 5.5 pound largemouth churned the water as it hit again.

The fish was a good one, but what stands out in my mind is daddy bragging how I did not get too excited and jerk the bait away. He told everyone how I just let it sit then twitched it. That made me proud.

The first eight-pound bass I caught hit a chrome Wiggle Wart during a 1978 January Sportsman Club tournament at Jackson. Bob Pierce and I were fishing from his boat and had not had a bite all day. With just a couple of hours left to fish, we were fishing near Kersey’s where we would weigh in.

I cast the plug to a sandbar and as I cranked it along, it just stopped. Suddenly a huge bass jumped. After a scary fight, Bob netted it. We were both trembling with excitement. After I put the fish in the livewell, I stood on the lid the rest of the day. I was afraid it would jump out.

That bass won me first place and was big fish.

I caught my second eight pounder in a 1978 January Flint River club tournament at Jackson. Cecil Davis and I had fished most of the cold, windy day without a bite. Around noon we were on a big, flat point at the dam.

For some reason, I decided to tie on a heavy spinnerbait and let the wind blow the boat across the point. The spinnerbait bumped along the bottom as we moved. Then it took off toward deeper water, bending my rod double. After a few seconds fight, I told Cecil it had to be a striper.

When I got the fish near the boat, I worried the striper would take off and break my line since I had the drag tightened down as far as it would go. When I tried to loosen it just a little, I moved the star drag too much. The fish made a run and I got a huge bird’s nest in my reel and could not turn the handle. Then the fish came near the surface and we saw it was a big bass.

In my panic, I grabbed the line and pulled it in hand over hand. Cecil netted it and we both yelled and jumped in excitement. That bass was just meant to be caught.

That eight-pound, four ounce bass was the third biggest that day. Frank Crowder weighed in an eight-pound, seven once bass and an eight-pound, twelve ounce bass!

I was really proud of my first nine pounder. It hit a Texas rigged worm by a brush pile I had put on a little rock ledge in eight feet of water in Germany Creek at Clarks Hill. That June afternoon I was by myself but managed to land it.

Just having to show it off, and see how big it was, I put it in the livewell and ran to Raysville Marina. On their scales it weighed exactly nine pounds.

My biggest bass ever, a nine-pound seven ounce largemouth, hit a Suddeth Boss Hog crankbait in a 1991 February Flint River tournament at Jackson. Larry Stubbs and I were fishing near the dam when it hit.

I got the fish near the boat and Larry netted it after a few tries. I was scared it would pull off, I could see the crankbait barely hooked in the corner of its mouth. I just knew it would pull free.

There have been other bass over the years, but these really stand out in my memory

Fake News from CBS and 60 Minutes – Guns of Autumn

The below was part of my Griffin Daily News column in 2004 about their lying report on President George W. Bush during the election – the one Dan Rather lied about constantly. They have just gotten worse and worse, but my wake up call was a BS hit job on hunters called Guns of Autumn back in 1975. I have not believed anything on news shows since then.

I have watched the news about CBS and the fake documents they ran on 60 minutes with interest. I lost all trust in CBS and 60 Minutes back in 1975 when they ran a segment called “The Guns Of Autumn.” I had not been out of college very long way back then and still believed in the accuracy and fairness of the national media, but that show put an end to my trust.

That show was nothing but a hatchet job on hunters. It showed some slob hunters and emphasized everything negative on hunting they could dig up. Since I knew most hunters were not like they portrayed us, and I knew they were not being fair to hunters, I started questioning everything I saw. If they would be that inaccurate and unfair about something I knew a lot about, I suspected they would do the same thing on other topics.

I have refused to watch CBS news and 60 minutes since that day 29 years ago this month. The current mess at that network does not surprise me at all.

July 4 and Fireworks

In the late 1950s and early 60s fireworks were legal in Georgia. And not just the wimpy stuff made legal in the past few years and being sold now. I don’t think there were any restrictions or controls on size or power. All six of the small stores in Dearing had a display every July 4th and New Year’s.

We kids saved our money from allowances, collecting bottles for deposits, picking blackberries for sale and other money making schemes. Since my allowance was 25 cents a week and we got a penny for every bottle collected from ditches and 25 cents for a full quart of blackberries, we were careful with our funds. We studied the fireworks displays, carefully picking out our favorite things to buy.

I loved things that made a big, powerful boom. Back in those days’ cherry bombs, TNT bombs and M-80s were my favorite and each one was just a few cents, so my money went a long way. I always got a few packs of smaller firecrackers as well as a few bottle rockets and aerial bombs, but those seemed to go way too fast.

The big ones were powerful. Every year we just had to test them on concrete blocks. A cherry bomb fired off in one the holes in a block would break it into two pieces, a TNT bomb would break it into several chunks. But an M-80 would shatter it into gravel chunks.

We always had to see what we could blow up. Anything around the farm was fair game for a bomb stuffed into it just to see the effect. Anything from tin cans to hollow trees were tested. Trees didn’t react much, but cans were shredded, and we learned to run from them fast to avoid the shrapnel.

We were constantly warned by parents and store owners to be careful, and we usually were. Every year my friends and I would challenge each other to hold a small firecracker between our fingertips and light it. I was never brave enough to do that, always throwing them away before they went off, but a couple of times friends were brave.

The powder stain on their fingertips and reported burning and stinging was not something I wanted to experience.

Sometimes friends would light a whole string of firecrackers. We all liked the rapid-fire popping, but the one time I did it, I realized I had burned up my whole string of firecrackers in a few seconds. I never wasted them that fast again.

Skyrockets and aerial bombs were similar. They were pretty and made a good boom, but each one was expensive, probably a quarter each, and each one was a one-shot deal. That was way to fast to blow my money.

One of my dumber tricks I tried only one time. For some reason I cut a 12-gauge shotgun shell open and made a small mound of the powder on a rock out in the woods. After placing two small firecrackers’ fuses touching the powder, I touched the pile with a lit match.

I’m not sure what I expected but it was not what happened. Maybe I thought the pile would burn slowly, lighting the fuses. But the whole pile of powder went off with a flash while I looked at it. Since I was close, it blinded me for a few seconds.

Then the two firecrackers exploded. I was within arm’s reach of all this and when they popped, my ears started ringing and I was deaf for a few seconds. Not a good idea.

When I could see again, I had to put out several small fires started by my experiment. The leaves beside the rock had caught fire from the pile of powder, then the firecrackers blew them for several feet around it, starting other fires.

One year I watched as a neighbor “shot an anvil.” To do that, the hole in the bottom of the anvil was packed with powder from several shotgun shells. It was carefully placed on top of another anvil and a fuse placed to light the powder.

I loved the big boom and ringing sound the top anvil made as if flew way up in the sky, but that huge chunk of iron flying on an uncontrollable trajectory scared me. I wanted to try it. But standing way back I could watch the projectile and know which way to run.

I was always afraid if I lit the fuse I would be running away – in the wrong direction. I never tried it.

Fire works are fun, but we should never forget what they represent this July 4. The rockets’ red glare and booming of cannon and guns while we fought for our freedom from a tyrannical government controlling us is what we celebrate.

Unfortunately, We the People have let our government become the tyrant, controlling every part of our lives. From what fireworks we can buy, if even allowed to buy any, to what guns we are allowed to own, all aspects of our lives are controlled by our own government. And it seems to get worse every year.

Will some future kid light fireworks and celebrate freedom, or will they be so brainwashed and controlled they have no idea what it means to be free?

Tomato Sandwiches and More

Growing up, we always tried to plant our gardens on Good Friday and expected to have fresh tomatoes by July 4. This year that is an unobtainable goal for me. I was unable to till my little garden patch and when I gave up and got someone to do it, all the rain kept me from planting tomatoes and peppers for several more weeks.

Some of my tomatoes are blooming, so there is hope for home grown tomatoes before too long. There is nothing better than a fresh, fully ripe tomato straight from the vine. Store bought tomatoes are bred to stay ripe and firm longer, for the trip to the store and time on the shelf, but they just do not taste as good.

I did get one of my favorite sandwiches this past week. Linda got some fresh tomatoes from a fruit stand. They are almost as good as home grown ones. I peeled and sliced one and put it on bread with mayonnaise. Mom always peeled tomatoes and they just taste better that way to me.

We ate tomato sandwiches like that all summer. But that was it, just tomato, mayo and bread. I was in college before I discovered a BLT. I think I had heard of them but never tried one. I’m not sure where I first had one, I think it was at the University Union Grill.

It was good, but the tomatoes were not home grown, so it lacked something. I eat them often now, sometimes with just bacon and no lettuce.

We often had egg salad and chicken salad sandwiches, too. Since we had 11,000 laying hens on our farm there were always plenty of eggs to eat, every day. Mom mixed up a big bowl of one or the other of the above, or tuna salad, in a big container and kept it in the refrigerator. All three were good on Saltine or Ritz crackers, too.

We also had homemade beef vegetable soup and toasted pimento cheese sandwiches. I loved to dunk the sandwich in the soup and slowly eat the saturated parts. Those not toasted just were not as good. I tried to make them after I left home but it took me a long time to realize I needed to toast the bread then put the pimento cheese on it, not try to toast it all together.

Daddy would not eat cheese. He said he went to town with his family grocery shopping when he was three years old. Riding home in the back of a two-horse wagon, he got into the big chunk of hoop cheese they had bought and ate so much he got sick.

Mom did make us macaroni and cheese, and we often had pimento cheese, but daddy would not eat it. So I never had a toasted cheese sandwich until I got to college. If I remember right, I tried it at the same grill as the BLT.

I tried for years to make a good toasted cheese sandwich but they were never right. Then I watched an online video and found the right way to make one. Lots of butter melted in a fry pan then toast one side of two pieces of bread, put the cheese between the toasted sides and then, after adding more butter, toast the outside of the sandwich on both sides while keeping it covered to melt the cheese. And mine much have Velveeta cheese to taste right.

Sandwiches are a staple of many lunches, and there are just so many choices!

Odd Couple Lives On My Pond

The odd couple lives on my pond. Last spring a pair of Canada geese raised some young there and I enjoyed watching them for several weeks. Then all but one disappeared. I was not sure if it could fly or not since I never saw it fly. It would just swim around on the pond.

A few days later I noticed a female mallard duck had started staying with the goose. They were always side by side swimming around the pond or out of the bank feeding. I found out the goose could fly one day when I scared them, both took off flying across the pond and landing together.

They are still together. If I scare them and they fly off in different directions, the mallard will quack until the goose joins her. They do not stay apart very long. I wonder how long this strange relationship will last.

This pair really look strange since the goose is at least four times as big as the duck. Yet they never leave each other’s side. Next spring when geese return to the pond to nest I wonder how the goose will react. Will it take up with others of its kind or stick with its duck friend? Only time will tell.

Sandwiches I Have Eaten

A post on “fazebook“ about pineapple sandwiches got me hungry for one, and also got me to thinking about sandwiches I ate growing up. Basically, we would put just about anything between two slices of loaf bread and eat it. They were a lunch staple as well as a snack for a growing boy that was always hungry.

My preference for pineapple sandwiches was crushed, sweetened pineapple. Slather one side of a piece of bread with mayonnaise and pile the fruit on the other, making that side nice and soggy. The only time I ate sliced pineapple on bread was at family reunions and church gatherings. Folks brought the less messy ones there, but I did not think they were as good.

Banana sandwiches were eaten often, too. A banana sliced lengthwise and cut to bread length, on bread with lots of mayonnaise, was delicious. Although a piece of banana almost always skidded out due to mayo lubrication, it could be picked up in fingers and stuffed back in.

I discovered spun honey a few years ago and adding it to the banana sandwich makes it sweeter and better. And someone suggested mashing up the banana with a fork and putting it on the bread. Solves the problem of chunks sliding out.

Mayonnaise seems to be a common ingredient in my sandwiches, and if I was in a hurry, nothing but it made a good sandwich. Put on so thick it oozed out of the bread slices with every bite, it was quick and filling. Catsup sandwiches were the same, just squirt plenty on bread, mash them together and enjoy. And I liked them soggy, too.

I really don’t remember many ham or turkey sandwiches, but I am sure we ate them more often than I remember. I put catsup on ham and mayo on turkey or chicken.
`I was an adult when I first had a ham sandwich with cheese and mayo and mustard and I really like it, especially with a dill pickle. The same goes for turkey with lettuce and mayo and the pickle, I eat both now fairly often.

But store-bought meat like bologna, pickleloaf and liverloaf made good sandwiches with catsup added back then. And I put both Vienna sausage and potted meat with catsup on bread for a good sandwich. I still eat them, too.

Do they even make pickleloaf anymore? I don’t remember seeing it in a long time, may have to look for it! I’m sure it is not healthy, but it sure did taste good.

As a young adult I found out the liverloaf I loved growing up but is hard to find now, with its rim of fat on each slice, is the same as braunschweiger or liverwurst available in some grocery stores. And I buy it and make sandwiches with catsup on them, but I miss the rim of fat!

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, a favorite of many youth, were not a favorite of mine but I ate a few. Mom even came up with the idea of mixing the peanut butter and jelly together in a Tupperware bowl for quick, easy spreading. I see it in stores not premixed for you.

Loaf, or plain white bread, was the only kind we ever ate. All the brown breads, with all kinds of healthy grain in them, are ok, but just don’t taste as good to me.

I ate a lot of sardines and some of my friends said they made sandwiches with them, but I never tried them. I liked them too much with saltine crackers.

I’m hungry, I think I will make a pineapple sandwich. Or banana, or potted meat or Vienna sausage. Or maybe my first sardine sandwich. So many choices!

Camping at Lakepoint State Park on Eufaula

Camping at Lakepoint State Park on Eufaula is a mixed bag. In six days and five nights there last week, I had to fight gnats, mosquitoes and ants constantly. But I was almost the only one in the waterfront campground area, with about four of the 50 sites occupied.

The showers there are great, with some of the highest water pressure in any campground or motel I have used and plenty of hot water. That is a good thing after a hot sweaty day fishing on the lake. The only bad thing is the hard water – it seems impossible to get all the soap film off your skin.

The staff is very friendly and helpful, unlike some Alabama State Parks where I have camped. They seem very happy to have you there and do everything they can to make your stay pleasant and convenient.

As I loaded to leave Monday morning a staff member drove up to my campsite and asked if I had a good time. He asked if there was anything they could do to make my experience better in the future. We talked a long time and he said they wanted to do everything they could to make visitors have a great experience.

The wildlife is amazing. On mornings I did not get on the water early, I sat in my screen room set up over the picnic table drinking coffee and watching a constant parade of animals and birds.

Birds came right to the edge of the screen room looking for their breakfast. Adult Canada geese with their half-grown goslings chipped among themselves as they pecked at the ground. Grackles, blue jays, cardinals, bluebirds, crows and one very pretty red-headed woodpecker, with its white breast and wing tips, red head and black body visited daily.

Blue herons and white cranes glided over the lake and waded the shoreline in front of my campsite, keeping a wary eye out for the alligators that slowly eased by looking for something to eat. Those ugly prehistoric lizards added a mystique unlike most other Georgia lakes. Big signs in the campground warn “Alligators Present Swim At Own Risk.”

Squirrels scampered around, digging for hidden food and fighting with the birds. Bullfrogs serenaded me each morning and evening, and spring peepers kept up their song all night.

Fishing Eufaula is on fire right now, especially for bass. But in my four days on the water I caught a gar, bowfin and chain pickerel as well as some bass. Lots of other fishermen filled their stringers with shellcracker, bluegill an d crappie each day.

Even in the hot summer Lakepoint, about three hours away, is a great destination, if you have and air-conditioned camper, screen room, Sevin dust for ants and plenty of bug spray.

Fishing Wisconsin

For the past few years (in 2004) I spent the first couple of weeks of September fishing in Wisconsin and got home last Thursday from this years trip. The fishing in Wisconsin is quite different than what we have here and the trip is very enjoyable.

In Wisconsin bass are not fished for like they are here. There, walleye are the quarry for food and muskie and northern pike are sought for their fight. In fact, muskie fishermen say all other fish, including bass, are just bait. Since bass don’t get a lot of pressure, the fishing for them is much better in many lakes.

Weather there is very different, too. The host of our group said he had seen everything from 90 degrees to snow on the ground on September 1st, and we had a little of everything while I was there. Most mornings the temperature was in the low 40s and a jacket felt good. It warmed up to 80 a couple of days, but the humidity was low, so even that felt cool.

Water temperatures were in the mid sixties, a good range for bass to be active. Local fisherman told me that was about the normal range all during the summer. The week before I left to go up there the water temperature here at High Falls and Jackson was 87 degrees – 20 degrees warmer. Bass here were deep and not feeding very good.

Most days up there I was able to catch a good many bass by fishing shallow water. My best day I had 8 smallmouth bass up to three pounds and three big pike that all hit while fishing water just a couple of feet deep. My partner caught a 4 pound largemouth that day as well as several smallmouth, and had a 40 inch muskie follow his bait right to the boat. We both got a good look at it.

The reason I go to Wisconsin is for a small tournament set up by a group of fishermen on an internet newsgroup. We talk about fishing all year, posting messages and pictures. Then we get together in the spring in Tennessee and in the fall in Wisconsin. It is a lot of fun meeting folks and fishing with them after talking on the net all year.

We fish Boom Lake in the city of Rhinelander, a 1800 acre group of lakes on the Wisconsin river. This lake does get a good bit of fishing pressure, and bass are harder to catch. The minimum size is 14 inches and it is easy to catch a lot of 12 and 13 inch largemouth and smallmouth, but you can’t keep them.

In the tournament I weighed in 5 keepers at 8.5 pounds and placed second out of 20 people. That made me feel good since two of the fishermen are local guides and two more live in the area. I pulled my boat 1138 miles one way to fish waters I am not familiar with and still placed pretty good.

Smallmouth fight much harder than largemouth and a 13 or 14 inch smallmouth will really give you a good pull. And the waters there are not like what I am used to fishing. Shallows are filled with Lilly pads and other types of water weeds, and stumps fill them, too. A lot of the bass we caught hit topwater baits like the Zoom Horny Toad and pike would give you a thrill when they exploded on it.

Most of my fish hit a Yamamoto Senko cast to shallow cover and allowed to settle to the bottom. I had three smallmouth and two largemouth during the tournament, and three of them came on the Senko. The other two hit a 4 inch Zoom worm. I caught a lot of bass too short to bring to the scales on those baits during the tournament, too.

I am already looking forward to the trip next year.

Mountain Lions in Pike County, Georgia?

Mountain lions in Pike County, Georgia? I received a call from a Pike County resident a few years ago and he said he had seen a mountain lion on his property. Several people have told me they have seen mountain lions in Pike County, including a state patrol officer, so I thought I would follow up with the state DNR.

When I called the DNR office I was told mountain lions are not native to Georgia and they do not follow up on any sightings.

A few years ago Georgia Outdoor News ran an article about mountain lions in Georgia and mapped the sightings. The DNR does not follow up on sightings because there has never been any confirmed evidence of one here. None have ever been hit by cars, no bodies have been recovered and no tracks have been confirmed.

Then one was killed during deer season about 60 miles away in Troop County. It was thought to be an escaped caged one, or a young male from Florida looking for new territory. Either way, it way a confirmed mountain lion in our area.

It is interesting to think there are parts of our area that are still so wild that mountain lions could live here. Since the DNR does not follow up on sightings, maybe that is why there have never been any confirmed tracks. But there have never been any pictures that were valid, and no dead lions have ever been found. So the question is still somewhat open, as far as I am concerned.

If you sight one, try to get a good picture or find tracks – without endangering yourself!

What Is Your Biggest Bass?

What is your biggest bass? Do you have a goal, a hoped-for weight to catch? I have always wanted to catch a 12 pounder, but that hope is fading. I landed a 9-pound, 7-ounce bass in a February club tournament in 1991 at Jackson Lake, but have never broken it.

Part of the problem is where I fish. Big lakes where we have club tournaments seldom produce big bass anymore. A trip shiner fishing in Florida or to a lake full of big bass, like Lake Fork in Texas, does not appeal to me. And catching one out of a farm pond does not really challenge me to try to do it.

Back in 1972, a year after Linda and I got married, we spent the month of August at Clarks Hill. We had a month to do that after I was discharged from the Air Force in June and spending most of July in Maryland with her parents. We left Clarks hill in late August to move to Griffin and start teaching here.

One night at dinner with my parents, I said I was going to catch a 12 pounder before we left. After all, I was fishing all day, every day. Daddy said that if I did, he would have it mounted for me. Linda asked how big a bass she had to catch to have it mounted, and he said eight pounds.

Some mornings Linda got up with me and went out fishing. We trolled from my parents big outdrive ski boat, the only boat we had. I would bring her in mid-morning before it got miserably hot but go back out and troll until late afternoon when she went back out with me.

As fishing luck would have it, late one afternoon we trolled across a shallow point that dropped into the Heart Creek Channel. Suddenly her Mitchell rod bowed and the drag on her Mitchell 300 screamed. I stopped the boat as a huge bass came up trying to throw her Hellbender, one of the few plugs available back then.

That bass jumped three more times, scaring us, just knowing it would throw the bait like so many did. When she fought it to the boat I though my trembling hands and shaking legs would keep me from netting it, but somehow, we landed it.

At Raysville Marina that bass weighed eight pounds, ten ounces. Unlike most bass I caught, it did not get smaller after landing it. True to his word, we took it to a taxidermist in Augusta, the same one that mounted my first deer, and daddy paid. I’m not sure which of the three of us was most proud of that fish.

Although I continued to fish every day until time ran out, I never caught a twelve-pound bass, or even came close.

I have lost a couple of bass that would have weighed twelve pounds or more. One fall afternoon in the 1970s at Jackson Lake I hooked a huge bass on a Wiggle Wart crankbait.

It never jumped like Linda’s eight pounder, but when it rolled on top my heart almost stopped. It was the second biggest bass I had ever seen, much bigger than Linda’s. I could tell it was very old by the way its body looked.

The bass did not fight hard. There were no strong runs, just a heavy, steady pull. I fought it several minutes and got it within 10 feet of the boat when it came to the top and turned on its side, giving up.

The fight was over, and I just knew I would land it, but when I pulled on it to get it to the net, the plug just popped out of the fish’s mouth. It lay there for several seconds before rolling over and disappearing into the depths, never to be seen by me again.

The biggest bass I ever hooked was on a private lake near Madison. In college my fraternity had a party there for the weekend. Linda and I were married, and while most of my brothers partied, we went fishing in one of the canoes.

The lake was well managed, and the bluegill were bedding. We caught dozens of big bream casting Mepps #2 spinners for them. But on one cast, my little spinner just stopped. In the clear water I saw it not moving, just sitting by a dark object in the water, and thought I was hung on a stump.

Then it started moving. It was in the lip of a monster bass. My little Mitchell 300 outfit was no match, but I carefully fought it. We could see the bass moving to our left in the water, acting like it did not even know it was hooked.

Then it turned back to the right. The spinner was on that side and a little pressure pulled the small hooks out. It slowly swam off, seeming to laugh at me.

When I told my tale back at the party the pond owners son told me they had caught an released a 17-pound bass in that pond the year before, and they regularly caught and released bass weighing more than ten pounds. I will always wonder just how big the one I lost really was.

Its nice to have goals, even if you never achieve them. I will continue to hope for a 12 pounder and fish every chance I get. Even if it never joins Linda’s eight pounder, my nine pounder and a pair of bass I caught at Oconee in the 1980s that weighted eight pounds, eleven ounces and nine pounds, five ounces on the wall, I will keep trying to land a twelve pounder!