So I might do a little bit of fishing now and then. On this day the red tooner and I are in serious search mode for bass. Bad weather is finally lifting so the expectations are for big bucket mouths. At first I go big with skirted spinnerbaits that look downright sexy. No bites are found so the game is switched to searching deep and slow with fantastic plastics. No love there so the bait gets a color change-up and a downsize. This is a lot like putting a puzzle together with very few clues.
“Eventually I will get one of these fish to cough up some info.” I mumble to myself while rigging up a small baby bass fluke. “Probably a little early for this color pattern….eh. Give it a toss.”
Plink, plink, plink...dinker sized bass start coming out of woodwork. (Sometimes it takes a Mattsabasser a while to figure out what is the flavor of the day.) Each cast is met with a largemouth bass in the 10-12” category. Even though these fish are small it helps provide a few clues and some action. But as quickly as the bite seemed to start, it stopped and the action went back to zero.
“Maybe bring this up to a 5” baby bass…” The wheels in my head are still turning hoping to find the key while still casting the smaller fry pattern. “Maybe do it up in dropshot mode.”
Then seemingly out of nowhere I set the hook another bite. This feels slightly bigger than the others of the day but still well below a 5-pound pull. This fish will quite possibly be king of the dinker fish but still in dinker class. But as I pull the fish to the surface I see the dotted pattern and almost kite-like shape in the water.
“Hello, Mr. Slab!” I state with a bit of glee as panfish of this quality are an exception for me.
Put it back in the drink after the photo op and then switch up to the 4” baby bass and baitfish setups. The action seems to absolutely die and I am waiting on the bench for the love bus getting not so much as a honk or a wave. Wanting the big fish I continue to grind out the rest of the day with bigger baits.
After what seemed like several hours I finally get the heavy thump I have been waiting for. Set the hook and the fish starts its run before leaping out of the water once, then twice. It then races down under the boat. I was lucky enough to turn the head of the fish before it reached the anchor rope. From here I was able to keep the head aimed towards me and guided the lip to my hand.
Put the fish back and stop my pole from plopping into the water. Then the debate began in my mind whether the bucketmouth or the crappie would be the fish of the day.
“Crappie.” I acknowledged shortly after the gear up and heading home. “I might catch a few bass here and there but don’t see too many crappie slabs.”
My name is Matt and I’m a fishaholic.