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Anderson's Lake Memories
Big Fish Fever
Lunker of the Lake
It was early June and the day was young. It was about 6:45 and a glorious Saturday. I was there at Anderson's Lake early, because fishermen knew that here were big fish out there. I wanted an early start. Mr. Anderson would not let folks fish from a boat in his lake and I did not blame him. The noise of motors and oil in the water were a problem and did not sit well with him. I worked my way around to a point where an old boat house had been. There were only a few pieces of wood that stood upright in the water and a stone wall visible now. I was using a spin caster and 12 pound test line. I had a black worm with red tip, tied on to the end of the line, and a weedless hook.
My first two or three casts did not prove to be fruitful. My next cast I made along the shore line and moved the bait parallel to the bank, in short and static movement of my rod tip, as I wound in my line very slowly. Suddenly there was an abrupt yank on the line and I immediately released the line so that the monofilament would flow off the spool freely. After I gave the fish a few seconds to run with the plastic bait, I quickly set the hook, as I brought my pole to a twelve o'clock position. The bend in the pole and the resistance of the line which I tried to wind toward me, indicated that I had a huge bass on the hook and It was giving me a fast and hard run toward the middle of the lake.
I heard a mocking Bird call and the mourning mist had begun to roll across the lake's surface. My fish gave me one more yank and suddenly he was off. It seems funny how you allow yourself to become distracted for a brief moment, even though you know that you are about to lose a big fish, no matter what you may try. I made a few more casts in his general direction, but to no avail. I had decided to move behind Mr. Anderson's house. I had seen him on a few occasions, throwing food scraps out into the lake, and saw how the water virtually broiled with commotion, as fish began to feed there. My first cast went wide and the morning breeze took my offering and dropped it next to the far right side, well off where I had aimed. At that time, My spool of line became snarled in a small double loop. I started to untangle the line as quickly as I could.
As I finally got the line straightened out and reeled in a little slack line, I saw a sight out of the corner of my eye that startled me. There, not five feet from the bank, swam a huge bass with a black plastic worm in his mouth. I could see the fish as he swam by and seemed to be cruising as if he had not a care in the world. At first, I was confused about the lure in the fish's mouth, then it dawned on me that it was my plastic worm in that fish. It was then that I brought my rod tip up and made an attempt to set the hook in the fish's huge mouth. The bass looked to be in the neighbor hood of a record book size, and I would be lying if I said that I was not rattled, as I tried to reel my line in, to catch up with the big fish's progress. Just as I set the hook, the fish spit the bait right out and my plastic bait hit me squarely in the face. I had just lost the fish of a lifetime!
Disgusted with my own reaction and mistake in identifying the fish as having my bait, I tried to salvage the rest of the morning's fishing fun. I tied on a fresh plastic bait and hung a few good bass and strung them up. Most of the fish were about a pound in weight and were good eating sizes for bass.I could not get that big fish off of my mind and vowed that I would come back again and be ready for the next big bite.
The following Saturday, I was there bright and early once again. This time there was a grey sky and the wind was a little high. This made the water a little choppy and I worried that it might interfere with my fishing. Despite the seemingly forboding elements for good fishing, I decided to go on and give it my best try. After making several cast with a silver spoon, I tied into a nice fish and landed him. It was a but a three-pounder, and I was surprised that I had such good luck, so early that day. With every cast, it seemed that I was getting strikes, and landing about two out of three hits on my spoon. I had caught seven good fish and most were about two pounds in weight. It was about 9:00 am and I decided to take a break and share a soda pop with my son, who had come with me that Saturday.
The wild geese were flying and several wood ducks were swimming out on the far end of the lake. The sun began to peek out from behind some of the grey clouds, and it was beginning to look like a good day was in the making. I had brought my oldest son with me that weekend and he had already caught several nice fish on live minnows. He had about six fat bass in his fish basket and proudly pulled them from the water to give me a look. Scott was about thirty-nine, and he and I had fished at the lake on a number of trips there. It was a time that he and I shared and each of us fished at our own special spots at the big lake. I had take my younger son there as well, and it was a nice lake for the entire family to spend some quality time. My wife and daughter fished a few times and really enjoyed their time there and the picnic that we all shared later.
I did not choose to show him my fish, just yet. It was one of the few times that I had out fished my son and I wanted to savor the moment that I showed off my own catch of big fish. I walked around the lake till I came to the spot where I had lost the big one on the preceding trip. With my first cast, I was hooked into something big. It felt like I had the big one on once again and I was determined to not let him get away so easily this time. I was using the twelve pound strength line as before, and I tried to allow him a little give, by adjusting my drag so that line would slip off a little at a time. I walked with the big fish as it moved parallel to the bank and I managed to get him close to the edge. I held my pole up as high as I could, and reached with my other free hand into the water and grabbed him by his big lower lip. I slid the fat body of the fish onto the grass and stood in amazement, as I looked at its brutish size. It looked as if it would weigh about eight pounds, and even though it was a whopper, it was not the same fish that I had on my line the weekend before. I did weigh the big fish and it turned out to be, 7pounds and twelve ounces. I would return to the lake many times later and caught a lot of nice fish. I never saw that big one that gave be a surprise that special weekend in June. I moved away from the city and have not been to the lake in several years. Some day, I hope to get to return there and give it one more try for the big one that got away.