November 24, 2006 – Bass #2000
What follows is an original post detailing how it all went down to end the 2006 fishing year and the “Quest for Bass #2000”.
On November 24th at 8:13am bass #2000 came ashore with my jig and pig planted firmly in its jaw. It marked the end of my recent quest and turned out to be my final bass of 2006. I’m okay with that as there were times that my confidence was shaky as I pursued those last few bass. But thanks to some unseasonably warm weather and a prime piece of structure, everything worked out just fine. For this article, I’ll take a closer look at the final push for #2000.
Bass #1 of “the computer age” made its way into the database on March 21, 1997, at 5:04pm. It fell to a blue glimmer spinnerbait on Duck/Deer Lake at Little John and measured eleven inches in length. By November 22, 2006, I had spent over 900 hours chasing bass and stood five fish shy of 2000. Fortunately, me and my girls were headed for Buckheart to celebrate Thanksgiving, the weather forecast was favorable, and I had permission to fish.
On the morning of November 23rd, I spent a fair amount of time wandering around a good-sized strip pit before settling on an area that featured a lengthy stretch of bank containing numerous beaver lodges, probably my favorite piece of structure. After losing a small northern pike on a dew worm hung from a bobber, bass #1996 inhaled my jig and pig as I hopped it around some debris on the bottom. I was unable to fool any others on the lake and was blanked on a smaller pond nearby. While fishing I crossed paths with my brother-in-law, David, who was goose hunting and he suggested that I try a spot where we had success earlier this fall.
November 23, 2006 – Bass #1998 at 2-15 on a jig and pig
His advice produced three bass in less than fifteen minutes. All the fish hit my Rattlin’ Jig (black/blue) with a #11 pork frog (blue) as I worked a beaver lodge. The second of the three fish joined the record book at a respectable 2-15. Another half hour on the lake failed to produce a bite and I headed for Thanksgiving dinner. I couldn’t help but wonder if fate would be so unkind as to leave me one bass shy of my goal. However, I still held out hope that I could entice one more bite the following day.
I reached the beaver lodge at 8:12 am on the 24th and quickly retied my jig and pig as I eagerly awaited my first cast. I didn’t have to wait long as only seconds after my jig hit the bottom, I felt the familiar tap of a hungry bass. I reared back to hammer the hooks home on #2000…and missed. In the seconds that followed I felt the despair of potentially missing my shot, possibly uttered a few uncharacteristic and colorful words and began to reel in my lure for another cast. To my surprise, a bass suddenly appeared out of nowhere and slammed the jig as it rode inches below the surface. I’m not sure exactly what happened next, but I would have to give the bass credit for hooking itself as I think I kind of went on autopilot before winding up with a firm grip on the lip of #2000.
Looking at my watch, I recorded the time at 8:13am. I proceeded to measure the length of the bass and it was documented at 13 inches. Having met my 12-inch minimum criteria for a weight measurement I reached for my scale despite already knowing the result before making it official. I’ve seen a few bass in my day and can usually give a reasonable, fairly unbiased estimate. In this instance, I was right on the money. The fish weighed in at 13 ounces. You see if I had to pick a favorite number, it would be 13, which I would admit to inheriting from Dad. It’s on my license plate and Dad’s. He sported the number on various athletic jerseys over the years, as did I when it was available. Therefore, it seemed fitting that my quest would end upon landing a 13-inch, 13-ounce bass at 13 minutes after eight o’clock in the morning.
After snapping a couple of photos of what would coincidentally be (believe it or not) my 113th 13-inch bass, I decided to work the area for a few more minutes. I managed to get one more bite but busted off on the hookset despite retying after #2000. Following a few more half-hearted casts I decided to head back to the guesthouse. I’d spent fifteen minutes on the lake and left satisfied upon having reached my goal. The 2006 season had been good to me, and I didn’t care if I had to wait until 2007 to begin the pursuit of my 3000th bass.
Another shot of Bass #2000, complete with the beaver lodge in the background
Well, the pursuit of the 3000th bass is well in the rearview mirror as I presently sit 112 bass away from #6000. But that’s a chase for 2022 as there’s more Friday Flashback and plenty of other stuff before we bid farewell to 2021. Talk to you later. Troy