Monday, April 26, 2010
Mississippi River Bass Fishing
Finally. Five and a half months of pure agony, desperate longing, and painful wanting was put at ease on April 17th. I was fighting fatigue from my battle with bass fishing sobriety when I found myself alongside Dave "Buzz" Nelson, standing upon a slick piece of fiberglass and carpeting.
"God, I've never held a lighter rod." I stated as I started violently shaking my new Skeet Reese rod.
"That's what she said," cracked Buzz with a stoic grin.
"Bastard," I commented, "Funny guy. I'm gonna stick this up your..."
"Fish on!" grunted Buzz.
Awesome, our first catch of the day. The deadening weight has been lifted and the pressure of being skunked has left. Our first tournament is now underway and the fishing has pleasantly surprised us. We had a good outing the day before as we pre-fished various spots in pool 4 of the Mississippi River. By "we", I mean Dave caught all the fish except a 10.75 pound pike I hauled in. No problem, I was confident I would contribute on tournament day.
"Nice fish, nice fish," I chimed as I grabbed the net and steadied my balance to successfully snatch the fish from his world. "That's a keeper. Box it."
As the first hour closed, we nearly had our limit with the smallest being a solid 15.5 inches. The wind had picked up and competitors were entering our area searching for fish. We fended off our area of shoreline pretty well and continued tossing our rattle and crank baits.
As the day went on, we found ourselves away from our primary area.
"Fish, fish," exclaimed Dave, "Net, net."
As I turned, I finished a few cranks on my reel as I tossed it gingerly to the deck. As I was reaching towards the net, I glanced towards the water to spot the action.
"Ahhhhh!" yelled Dave. The fish did a massive head shake and threw the lure from his mouth.
"Crap." I grabbed my rod and headed back to my spot on the deck. We were fishing parallel to a break-line we could see in the shallows. It was about 2 feet of shoreline with visible sand and then a drop-off into the dark water. On my third cast after the lost fish, I hooked into a 4 pound fish. I was swimming my jig off the sand and into the drop when I saw this great fish attack my bait. Thankfully, we cleanly netted the fish and she anchored our 5 fish limit.
Back at the scales we weighed a decent 13.56 pounds. This put us in 13th place out of 40 teams. A respectable showing for our first tournament of the year. We earned some decent points in the Full Throttle circuit and this gives a starting point better than past years. Also, we beat a great local fisherman by the name of Dean Capra.
Our Bassmaster club, Lakes Area, has our first showdown on the Apple River Flowage near Amery, WI. From what I can tell, not many people have much experience on this water so it will be interesting to hear how everyone caught them.
I hope you come back to see how Tim, Dave, and Carl stack up as they compete against each other for prestige, fame, and fortune. Hopefully, no one will get hurt...
Thanks for reading!