Category: Flashbacks

Friday Flashback – June 19, 2016

Today’s flashback takes me across the river for what was my first ever trip to Lost Grove Lake. Plenty of water, plenty of weeds and plenty of bites on this outing, just couldn’t fool any real quality bass.

Originally Posted 6-29-16

I took the plunge and invested $44.59 (with fees) for an out of state Iowa fishing license to take a shot at some relatively new water in nearby Scott County.

Stats
Date: June 19, 2016
Location: Lost Grove Lake, IA
Time: 4.75 hours
Weather: Sunny/breezy
Air Temp: 72 to 85F
Water Temp: No reading
Totals: 19 bass
Lures: Senko wacky rig (green pumpkin black flake or natural shad) – 17 bass, Booyah Buzz Buzzbait – 1 bass, Strike King Red Eye Shad (sexy shad) – 1 bass
Top Bass: 1-9 (Senko)
Top 5 Weight (only 2 at 12” or better): 2-11 (1-9,1-2)

9:51am Top Bass at 1-9 and 14.5″ on a Senko wacky rig

Notes & Nonsense

Small Bites – In addition to the small bites from the bass, the size of the lake coupled with my modest watercraft setup means that I must chop the lake up into manageable pieces. My plan is to hit five or six different sections of the 390-acre body of water as I rack up visits and eventually get a look at the whole thing.

Topography – I have managed to secure a decent topo map of the lake from somewhere on the internet so it is cool to get look at what is going on below the surface in terms of contours and some manmade structure items. However, there are a few issues with my cut-rate depthfinder setup and GPS from my phone. A work in progress quite unlike my normal stomping grounds that are rather familiar after twenty five or thirty years of acquaintance.

Not Much of a Boat – As I was casting around some flooded bushes near a walk-in access area a couple fellows on the bank looked my way and one of them said, “That ain’t much of a boat” to the other guy. Glancing around the crowded lake that Sunday morning I counted six other watercraft including a couple tricked out bass boats: 250HP, Power Poles and so on. Easily over $100,000 of fishing equipment within view certainly lent credence to his observation. I also got to hear the same guy say, “Hey, he got another one” as I landed a pair of bass while they were watching including the 1-9 pictured above. I’m sure they meant no offense in their evaluation of that old 8’ johnboat and I took none, just got a laugh knowing that you can’t judge a book by the cover.

Several more trips over the years to Lost Grove have been hit or miss for me with most outings taking place in the heat of summer. I’ve found decent numbers but haven’t managed to fool much over two pounds. From internet reports and a couple firsthand observations, I know there are some good bass in there. I guess so far, the Iowa fish have outsmarted this Illinois boy. I haven’t purchased an Iowa fishing license this year and may just stick to some Prairie State waters, old and new. Talk to you later. Troy

Friday Flashback – June 3-5, 2016

Today, I am taking the easy way out and letting the pictures do the talking. The slideshow below looks back at a June 2016 family camping/fishing trip to Little John Conservation Club. We’re hoping to do more of both activities this year as the last few years our outings have been a bit sparse. Stay tuned on that project but for now enjoy some fish, family, and fun from five years ago this week. Talk to you later. Troy

Friday Flashback – May 22, 2016

I had a decent day on some Bureau County, Illinois waters just before the decision was made to limit access to the site due to deteriorating interior roads. From what I can gather on the internet, it appears that the road work was finally completed last summer after roughly five years. Perhaps I will take a drive later this year, but for now we just head down Memory Lane with some stats and excerpts from the original fishing report.

Originally Posted 5-25-16

Between work, softball practices and games, soccer practices and games, Tae Kwon Do lessons, year-end school functions, birthday parties, graduation parties, a JDRF walk-a-thon, several field trips and a Heart concert with my daughter, Carly, it has been a crazy month since my last chance to make some casts. Why, in the first 21 days of May leading up to this fishing trip I counted 44 different items on the calendar. No wonder me and Julie are so tired. And, by the way, thanks to her for taking one for the team so I could get out and make another fishing report.

Stats
Date: May 22, 2016
Location: Mautino State Fish & Wildlife Area (3 lakes)
Time: 5:45am-1:15pm (6.5 hours fishing, the rest relocating)
Weather: Sunny/breezy
Air Temp: 57F-80F
Water Temp: 64F
Totals: 15 bass
Lures: Senko wacky rig (purple w/ emerald flake or green pumpkin black flake) – 14 bass, Strike King Red Eye Shad (sexy shad) – 1 bass
Top Bass: 3-9 (Senko)
Top 5 Weight (only 4 at 12” or better): 8-12 (3-9,2-12,1-8,0-15)

11:07am Top Bass 3-9 (19″) on Senko wacky rig

Notes & Nonsense

Mass Bass – This year I’ve gotten into the habit sending picture updates to Julie while I’m on the water kind of like the real Bassmasters do these days. She says she enjoys following along whether I’m outsmarting a few or vice versa. Well, on this outing I received a text regarding the wiseness of sending fishing pictures while the rest of the crew was attending Mass. It briefly had me worried about the source of the text, but I did verify that it was sent by Julie as opposed to coming from upstairs. And just to clarify, Julie asked that I point out that she was not checking updates until after Mass had finished.

11:17am – Top Bass Runner-Up 2-12 (18.5″) on a Senko wacky rig

One That Got Away – My first stop featured five bass all 10” or less and lake number two was a murky water bust, throwing me a shutout so I bailed after an hour. Ten minutes into my final stop I set the hook on a Senko wacky rig on something that did not move…initially. However, when it did there was one drag stripping run followed by a second line busting burst. I use ten-pound mono on a spinning rig for my wacky rigging and this is the first time I recall it coming to such an end, but it happens. I’m torn whether it was good or bad that I didn’t get a look at the fish. Fortunately, the 3-9 and 2-12 over the next forty minutes or so helped to soothe the pain. Those fish also helped to boost my Top 5 weight to 17-1 but left me wondering what might have been in terms of achieving my annual goal of a 20-pound limit. With my lowest bas at 1-13, the one that got away would have needed to weigh 4-12 to get me there. I’ll never know, and, of course, that fish can be as big as my imagination. In all honesty though, after thirty plus years of catching bass, I am positive that it would have made the mark with room to spare (what am I supposed to say, right?).

12:19pm – Top Bass #3 at 1-8 (15″) on a Senko wacky rig

Not sure what’s on the horizon for that June bass outing but sounds like there’s some panfish to be pursued with the kids. Julie replied to one of my on the water text updates that our oldest boy, Jayce, stated that he “wants to go next time, he is old enough.” I jokingly replied that he must be seven years old as that birthday rolls around this Saturday. Cool though, that he is interested and wants to hang out with his dad. However, Julie also reported that Jayce didn’t even realize that I wasn’t around all morning until they got to Mass, and he asked, “Hey, where’s Dad?” Geez, Julie steps down to the basement to do laundry and everybody around here freaks out wondering where Mom went. I get it, Moms rule.

Not sure if I will be able to get out this Memorial Day Weekend but we do have some outdoor stuff on the horizon in June that should make for some interesting blog fodder. In addition, we have at least one bass for a Monday Top 5 Update so stay tuned. Talk to you later. Troy

Friday Flashback – May 1991 and 2011

May 24, 1991 – Dad on a Snakeden hike 

Today’s flashback is actually drawn from a pair of visits to Snakeden Hollow with vastly different approaches to chasing some bass. First up is a walk-in trip with Dad back on May 24, 1991. At the time, Dad was in his late forties while I was in my mid-twenties. I invited him along on one of my strip mine adventures and we racked up more than a few miles and reeled in more than a few bass. At the time, Dad had also come out of retirement to play a season of softball with me and my brother, Brent, and we had a game that evening. That combo of activity prompted Dad to “retire” from any future strip mine hikes and he also hung up the cleats after the softball season.

Over the years, there have been many more trips to Snakeden with Dad, but they have been spent on Lake McMaster while casting from the luxury of a Bass Tracker. Twenty years after the walk-in trip was one such outing as detailed in the original blog post below.

Originally Posted 5-20-11

Following a somewhat self-inflicted hiatus, it was time to see if I had my sea legs back.
Dad and I hit Snakeden’s Lake McMaster yesterday for some overdue bass fishing. In fishing report terms, I would describe bass as “fair on soft plastics.” However, I have the liberty of getting a bit more long winded, so here we go.

Stats
Date: May 19, 2011
Location: Lake McMaster – Snakeden Hollow
Time: 9:50am-3:20pm
Weather: Sunny to partly cloudy/breezy
Air Temp: 55F-72F
Water Temp: not available (wiring problems)
Totals: 13 bass, 1 crappie (Dad – 10 bass, Troy – 3 bass, 1 crappie)
Lures: 5” Yamasenko (natural shad) wacky rig – 12 bass, Vicious Muskrat (green pumpkin) with ¼ oz bullet weight (brass) – 1 bass
Top Bass: 1-9 (Dad)
Weight (4 bass > 12”) – 5 lbs. 5 oz (1-9, 1-6, 1-6, 1-0)

Chronology

9:40 am– Arriving at the lake we are caught off guard by ten other trailers in the parking lot and another boat launching in our wake. I can’t recall ever seeing that many boats on the water, but I hope it means that the bass are biting.

9:50 am – Strangely enough as I mentioned in a posting last Friday, the kiss of death is a bass on your first cast. I pull this stunt on a point just west of the ramp but lose the pound and a half fish at the boat. I’m hoping the quick release fends off bad luck as it doesn’t technically count as catch in my book. I’m wrong.

9:58 am– The 9.9 motor is being stubborn, so we loiter within spitting distance of the ramp for a while where Dad gets us on the board with a 1-0 on a Senko (pictured above).

10:42 am – Shortly after arriving at one of our best areas, Dad’s Senko comes through again.

11:05 am – I’m off the snide with a 1-6 on a Senko and breathing a sigh of relief that I won’t get shut out on such a beautiful day.

11:29 am – Dad picks up what will be Top Bass with a 1-9, once again on the Senko, the only lure he’ll need all day.

12:34 pm – Dad misses a short bass, but it comes back into view right near the boat prompting him to drop his Senko in front of its nose. We get an awesome bird’s eye view as the bass flares its gills to inhale the lure a second time and remains hooked.

1:22 pm – My second fish of the day gives me the species title as a fifteen-ounce crappie likes my Senko, a photo worthy accident for me.

2:22 pm – The One That Got Away on this trip belongs to Dad and likely would have tipped the scales in the two-and-a-half-pound range. Usually, these bass can be as large as you want but the gin clear water at this lake keeps you pretty honest if you’re not fishing alone. The clear water is also cool because I was able to give Dad play by play from my angle as I commented “Here comes a good one” followed by “He just took your bait.” While this one did get briefly hooked, I have sometimes been guilty of jumping the gun and pulling the lure away from the fish in anticipation of an impending strike.

2:26 pm – It only takes four and a half hours to land my second bass, a short fish on the Muskrat. It’s a textbook bite as the bass hits just after I’d bounced the bait over a log in about ten foot of water and is the lone fish caught on something other than the Senko.

3:01 pm – My final fish hits a Senko pitched into a hole in the moss over a spawning bed. The lure hit in the back of the hole and fell under the canopy in front with the bass in pursuit. It was impossible to tell if the fish had the bait or not, but I figured it was worth a hookset. The resultant splash and resistance showed that I made the right decision. The fish was released to resume its biological duty but not before getting a picture for the blog.

3:33 pm – We did make a few casts beyond 3:20pm as we waited our turn to trailer the boat. Dad made the time count as the point west of the ramp came through yet again and gave him a commanding ten to three margin of victory, but who’s keeping score anyway?

For some final comments we did see plenty of crappies in the shallows, I talked to some walleye anglers who saw a fish in the 27” range and muskies failed to make an appearance for us this time around. We also lost over half a dozen bass that just didn’t stay hooked for whatever reason. But fishing is always interesting as Dad and I threw the same Senko around most of the day and his outperformed mine ten to two. Perhaps it was his bait spray that he referred to as “lotion” at one point or maybe his plain hook was more appealing than my red hook. It was just all part of the fun during a great day to be on the water. If anyone out there reading was on Lake McMaster too, drop us a comment about how you fared. Don’t worry, I can take it as getting outfished is no disgrace even if it is by the guy in the back of the boat (especially if he’s your dad).

Dad lasted longer than me on the diamond as I gave it up before hitting my thirties. But I’m still going strong on the strip mine hikes as the mid-fifties approach. And as a duo, we’re still catching some fish from boat or bank. Talk to you later. Troy

Friday Flashback – May 7-17, 1991

 

Thirty years ago, I was happily employed at my first real job at a place called National Seal Company in Galesburg, Illinois. The work schedule consisted of four twelve-hour days followed up by four days off. It was like having a vacation every week. Pretty outstanding and definitely my favorite schedule in all the years of earning a paycheck.

So, what does a twenty-something guy do with a batch of perpetual four-day “weekends”?

Well, as exemplified by today’s post, there was some fishing involved. In this case, I hooked up with a couple fishing partners who were still attending Knox College, Mark Junk and Joe Lang. I’d known Mark since high school while Joe was a friend made while attending Knox. Both were also sports teammates along the way. Mark and I were Silver Streaks hoopsters (his career considerably more impressive) and later played a year of hardball together for Hi-Lo Grocery. Joe was a fellow Siwash as he covered the catching duties while I manned the hot corner 90’ away.

“Geek” at Emstrom’s Pond

As with many teammates over the years, there were often nicknames thrown around more than given names. These guys were referred to as “Geek” and “Clubber” for Mark and Joe, respectively. In turn, I was usually “TJ.” I haven’t crossed paths with these fellows for quite some time, but I suspect we would greet each other in the nickname fashion all these years later.

“Clubber”, sunrise lunker at Snakeden and I believe we had stayed up all night goofing off and thought, “Hey, let’s go fishing!”

The shots from May 7 were at an old pond we called “Emstrom’s”, just off the Highway 34 exit ramp onto Main Street near the Galesburg Drive-In. May 10 and May 17 were at Snakeden Hollow during only its second year of public access. Looking at the backdrops in the photos it is also fun to see how the scenery has changed all these years later.

Good times, good friends, and some good fishing holes. Talk to you later. Troy

Friday Flashback – May 2, 2011

I always enjoy looking back at a place called “Emiquon.” This incredible fishery opened to public access in 2009 and the bass fishing was like nothing we’d ever seen or likely will ever see again. Below is an original post from May 5, 2011 detailing an outing from 10 years ago this week.

My brother, Brent, and I weren’t sure what to expect on our first Emiquon journey of 2011. The craziness of 2009 had ebbed somewhat in 2010 and this year’s wacky weather had me worried about whether he was wise to take a half day of vacation. However, it’s tough to not feel some extra excitement when taking on this unusual fishing hole. Here’s a bit of a different approach to my report from a bit of a different lake.

Stats
Date: May 2, 2011
Location: The Emiquon Preserve
Time: 12:30 pm-6:45 pm
Weather: Overcast/windy
Air Temp: 53-56F
Water Temp: 58F
Totals: 36 bass (Brent- 22, Troy- 14)
Lures: Tandem Spinnerbait (brown/orange) – 21 bass, Quad Shad Spinnerbait (white/shad) – 12 bass, 3” Yum Wooly Curtail (green pumpkin green) – 2 bass, ¼ oz Jig (black/chartreuse) with split double tail trailer (black) – 1 bass
Top Bass: 2-12 (Troy – Yum Wooly Curltail)
Top 5 Weight: 11-10 (2-12,2-5,2-5,2-3,2-1)

Chronology of the Catch

12:53 pm – I get us on the board with a 13” (1 lb 3 oz) fish on the Wooly Curtail worked around some flooded trees. The bass comes out of four feet of water in a narrow ditch that runs through an expansive one to three foot deep flat.

1:08 pm – Brent gets on the board with a 1-5 on his Emiquon Special, the same spinner bait that pushed him within two bass of the century mark back on October 7, 2009.

1:39 pm – Brent scores on a jig and plastic off a tree in a spot that is tailor made for the presentation as seen in the above photo.

2:37 pm – Brent lands another standard issue on the Emiquon Special prompting him to comment, “What’ve they got some kind of cloning program going on down here?”

4:00 pm – After three fishless and frustrating hours for me, I finally get another on the Wooly Curtail and the 2-12 will turn out to be our Top Bass for the day. At this point, Brent has a six to two lead since I’m running the trolling motor (he might also be a better angler most days). It’s been a rough start but Emiquon is about to show what it’s made of with a second half surge.

5:04 pm – Brent lands his heaviest fish of the day, a 2-5 on the Emiquon Special, of course. The lure is tough to beat as he winds up having me down 15 bass to 3 before I find a spinnerbait that will fool a few.

5:44 pm – Seconds after I hoist my 1-9 into the boat Brent nails a 2-1 for a “double” and a challenging photo opportunity.

5:55 pm – A 2-5 makes it a pair of two pounders in a row for us as I’m beginning to make up some ground.

6:03 pm – My 2-3 makes three consecutive two pounders but I’m still trailing 20 to 9.

6:24 pm – The above specimen wasn’t anything to brag about but I wanted a picture with a bass while the sun was shining. What were the odds of catching one during that approximately five-minute span?

6:44 pm – Brent lands a bass on his final cast as we set a departure time at 6:45 pm. I wanted a picture, but the bass was released before I got a chance as I was desperately trying to get bit before my watch turned to 6:46 pm.

 

Emiquon is now a mere shell of its former self as site management steered away from preserving the incredible fishery. While there’s plenty to debate regarding the decision, for today it’s all about what was rather than what is and what could have been. My, oh my, was it a blast while it lasted. Talk to you later. Troy

Friday Flashback -April 27-28, 2006

April is a great time for a range of outdoor pursuits. Spring turkey season is on, morel mushrooms begin to appear, and the crappie bite kicks into full gear. Well, for today’s flashback, I guess two out of three ain’t bad as we head back 15 years with a couple special guests.

Both excerpts below come from an original post simply entitled “Outdoor Update” submitted on May 3, 2006.

April 27 – Dad called to say that he’d bagged his turkey this morning and wanted to show it off. I was more than happy to oblige although Helena wasn’t quite sure what to make of “the birdie.” I guess the real thing is a bit more intimidating than what she eats on a sandwich.

April 28 – I spent two hours mushroom hunting at Little John and found thirteen which is about normal as I must count individuals, not pounds. Julie and Helena came out for a picnic at suppertime, and we played on the swings and merry-go-round. One of us also got rather filthy in the sand. Of course, it was Helena as Julie’s not much on getting on the ground these days, as she might not be able to get back up being rather pregnant. As close as I got to playing in the sand was catching one of my two short bass off the beach at Club Lake.

Short and sweet today, just like that little girl on her way to the “terrible twos.” Luckily, that phase didn’t really materialize as best I recall and suddenly, she’s driving a car and approaching her final year of high school. Time indeed flies. Talk to you later. Troy

Friday Flashback – April 23, 2011

Today’s flashback reinforces that this writing/blogging hobby has been a worthwhile undertaking. Sure, I remember this fishing trip but only in a general sense. I know we caught a handful of bass, I’m sure there were some fish stories told and I suspect that there were also a few laughs along the way. However, by putting it down in a log and a blog, I can revisit some of the otherwise forgotten details.

Originally posted as “Tagging Along” on April 25, 2011

This time it was the “grown up” taken on a fishing trip by the youngster.

While I’m technically an adult, I sure felt like a kid all day as I waited for 3:00 pm to roll around so I could finish my work and move on to play as my friends the Junk family (more specifically twelve-year-old Brady) had invited me out to the local fishing hole. Brady and I would spend around an hour and a half chasing bass from boat rather than bank with hopes riding high since we could reach all those formerly inaccessible places. A late bite saved the day, but we were unable to fool any of the lunkers that call the pond home. However, it was still an enjoyable evening of fish stories, tall tales, and tips as I tuned into my young guide.

Stats
Date: April 23, 2011
Location: Junk’s Pond
Time: 5:45pm-7:15pm
Weather: Overcast/windy
Air Temp: 55F
Water Temp: not available
Totals: 8 bass (Troy – 5, Brady – 3)
Lures: Strike King Red Eye Shad (orange craw) – 4 bass, Rat L Trap (red crawfish) – 1 bass, Storm Wildeye Swim Shad (firetiger) – 1 bass, shallow crankbait (green) – 1 bass, 5” Yamasenko wacky rig (natural shad) – 1 bass
Top Bass: 1-9 (Troy)

Notes & Nonsense

Quality – Our trip reinforced much of what I’ve learned about this hobby in the 30 plus years since I was Brady’s age. Sure, it’s good to land a trophy or two but I enjoyed the conversation as much as anything. It was fun to discuss lures, techniques, memorable catches and so on as we picked each other’s brains. That’s not to say that there isn’t good conversation with my usual fishing partners (my dad or brother) it’s just that we’ve covered a lot of this ground beginning long before Brady’s parents even met.

Squappie – Among the tales was one involving an odd creature that Brady and his fishing buddy, Michael, described to me. According to these young anglers it is part squirrel/part crappie and has been spotted running around the bank before plunging into the pond and disappearing below the surface. The tables were indeed turned as in my experience it has always been the adults filling up the kids with such strange stories. I won’t commit on the mystery either way beyond saying that I pointed out a muskrat at one point and the boys were unimpressed.

Royal Treatment – It’s tough to beat a fishing trip where your hosts provide you with a check along with steak, baked potato and more for supper. There’s actually a little more to the story but the above sentence makes me sound important, so I’ll just leave it at that.

Paying My Dues – The fish didn’t cooperate as much as we’d hoped, and the big ones stayed in hiding. I’ll blame it on the crazy weather, but I suppose it’s only fitting that the pond did not give up too much to a newcomer. I just feel bad that my guide had to pay the price with me; you’d think the bass would’ve showed off in some sort of home lake advantage.

Parting Shot – As I pulled out around 9:00 pm to head home, Brady and Michael came running after the truck hollering something regarding what I thought was a “reel.” I slowed and rolled down my window thinking that perhaps I’d left something behind. Instead, one or both boys were taunting me by yelling, “Bigfoot isn’t real!” Too funny, as they have evidently been informed of my fascination with the hairy giant dating back to the mid-70’s. 

I had a great time and look forward to tagging along again. I spent the drive home daydreaming in the dark pondering just how to turn eight smallish bass into a blog posting. But you know, the beauty of this whole writing thing is that the fish are sometimes not the most important part of the fish story.

And plenty of fish stories over the years with Brady’s family. Starting back in the 80s, I fished with his dad and one of his uncles. In the 90s, I also fished with his mom. In fact, once upon a time she was out with me in my little boat when she was about eight months pregnant with Brady’s younger sister. And these days, another of Brady’s uncles is the top contributor to the Top 5 project. Good people and good times. Talk to you later. Troy

Friday Flashback – April 15-16, 2006

Fulton County, IL has a wealth of strip mine fishing holes, but for most of them, you’ve got to have some connections. Once upon a time, I had such good fortune as my aunt and uncle on my wife’s side were caretakers at what we called “The Guesthouse” on the Buckheart strip mines. Several Easter weekends were spent down there packed with family, food, and just a little fishing. Below are a pair of excerpts from the original 2006 fishing reports along with some pics and log entries.

April 15 – Day One of the Easter weekend fishing trip to Buckheart produced thirty bass, along with my first ever northern pike and a crappie. My biggest bass came in at 3-4 on a 5” Yamasenko wacky rig (watermelon) and the northern pike hit a Smithwick Suspending Rogue jerkbait (copper). My collection of fish came on a Mann’s 4- crankbait (blue/chartreuse), a jerkbait (red/yellow), a #5 Mepps (rainbow/white) and a 5” Yamasenko wacky rig (watermelon). The rest of the crew also boated a batch of bass, a handful of northerns and got into a good crappie bite on one of the lakes during about seven hours on the water. I fished in a boat with Uncle Fred (his bass included a 2-12 and a 2-13) while my brother-in-law, David, paired with his son, Dylan and Uncle Donnie shared a boat with his friend Rick and Uncle Ted at various times. Of course, we took a break for an excellent lunch with Aunt Phyllis in charge of the kitchen.

 

April 16 – Day Two consisted of just under four hours of bank fishing for me, David, and Dylan. Uncle Fred and Aunt Laurie had gotten up a bit earlier, so they got in a little more fishing. It paid off as Laurie landed a 5-4 walleye on her first cast. I ended up with eighteen more bass (heaviest was 2-7) and three more northerns. Top lures for me were the Mepps and a buzzbait (blue glimmer). David caught a pair of bass in the five-pound range on a Zara Spook but didn’t get official weights. Most everybody else is normal and just fishes for fun although Fred did play along as I recorded our fish and snapped a few photos while we shared a boat. I had a great time, enjoyed the company, and hope to do it again in the future.

Certainly, one of those fish stories that begs the saying, “those were the days.” Fishing access dried up over the years, but the fond memories are what “Friday Flashback” is all about. Talk to you later. Troy

Friday Flashback – April 13, 2011

Originally posted 4-21-11 as “That’s Our Boy”

While I‘m no blogging expert, I’d say you can’t go wrong with a post about taking a kid fishing.

Although I hadn’t anticipated getting on the water for a while, I managed to get in a bonus trip when Dad called one day last week to invite me and my son, Jayce, to visit a Warren County farm pond. It was a perfect opportunity for three generations of Jackson boys to spend some time together outdoors and for Julie to get some peace and quiet since the girls were at school.

We spent a little over an hour at the pond where I was able to shoot some video and fire off a handful of pictures. As a parent it’s tough to weed out the “bad” photos of your kid so I’ve included more than a few to accompany the words.

Jayce was quite excited to simply splash around with a film canister clamped over the lure on one of Papa’s poles catching what we’ve always referred to as “moss bass.”
When a real fish came along, he was more than eager to help by placing bluegills in our bucket.

Bass were released to fight again provided they recovered from a crash-landing courtesy of an almost two-year old’s less than gentle technique. At least he hit the water though as he’s got a pretty decent arm. Jayce did experience a bit of technical difficulty as he occasionally held his spinning rig upside down. We’ve always laughed at actors doing this in a television show or a movie, so the boy still needs some more work.

Our boy holds his rod and reel correctly these days, plenty of learning in the last 10 years

We watched a snake swim across the pond and the little guy got to experience his first tick. I found the nasty critter crawling up the back of Jayce’s neck as he sat with me on the ground fishing. I later found another one on the front of my sweatshirt prompting a rash of phantom ticks for Dad and me the rest of the trip while Jayce was none the worse for wear.

Papa also took Jayce for a hike showing him how to recognize a good spot to catch a coon in a 220 boxset. Upon returning, Jayce informed me that he’d seen a “toon”, but I suspected that he was just telling stories.

Further story telling was done to a herd of cows well beyond earshot as Jayce rambled on in that wonderful little kid version of English that occasionally uses a recognizable word. He also gave his sisters an earful after school that was at least descriptive enough to make them a bit jealous.

 

Oh yeah, since it was a “fishing” trip I suppose I should include the side note that a handful of bluegill and small bass were caught on light jigheads with twister tails (smoke or chartreuse) and tube jigs (pink/white); simply icing on the cake. Talk to you later. Troy