Well if you measure the trip by the pictures, then it looks like a very productive evening, but the truth is I got here at 3:30 in the afternoon. I had already missed 3 strikes before 5 PM and would miss 3 more before 8:30 PM when I started catching fish. Peter was able to catch a nice one in a north cove at about 7 PM, and then we went to an area that I like to check on periodically. The bass don't seem to hang around in there all day; it is strictly to feed, and if you wait them out you will always catch one there. Five of our bass tonight came within 20 feet of each other, and the cove bass was a few hundred yards away.
It was cold and late, my belly was emptier than it looks in these pictures, but Pete had 2 bass and I had none. I enjoy watching my brother catch fish, but I'd kind of like to land one of my own now too. So I watched how he worked his craw, and it was Texas rigged but he was giving rapid, very tight shakes on the bottom, whereas I was using a much larger craw and fishing it more like a worm. He had also added a small bead behind the weight to give it a little clack as he moved across the bottom. Even though you couldn't see the craw in the murky water, you could tell my little brother could feel it and knew exactly what it was doing. So I pulled out a Strike King Fat Baby, in red bug and slowed it down on a Shakey Head.
Peter pointed out something with the bass in here, that they all have small mouths relative to their bodies. It seems you will never find a thin fish in here, but I will need to go back through photos to see some of the larger girls I've caught in here. These are large mouth bass, but the bucket does seem a bit smaller when compared to the body, maybe this is growth rate, a sexual dimorphism, or genetic isolation. I don't know, but they do remind me of river bass and fight like them too.
I believe the brush hog that my brother is using is a discontinued item from Northland. It is a much smaller, and skinnier main section than I typically see on brush hogs. The color is bluegill, and this is the same color and company that made the slurpie stick baits I loved so much. I pulled out a hawg that was similar in size but much darker in color, with no response. The water may be darker here and it may be night, but I continue to have better luck on the clear water colors. I wanted a lighter colored plum, since that has been a go too for me on tough days, but the red bug has worked well for me here tonight, and a few days ago at a very clear lake. A gentleman at the other lake sneered at my fat baby, but 4 bass later and not a bite on his shiner, he asked me where he could get some. I don't knock live bait fishing, but it just doesn't hold my interest as well. Some nights its good to sit with the kids and drowned worms, but overall I would like to teach them the enjoyment of challenge and the reward of lures.
As for myself, I really didn't have a good reason for not meeting with others who believe. I always make time for fishing, but for the people of God, I have been lazy at forging relationships, and too proud to sit with other hypocrites, but it appears that God is not going to let me alone on this.
As we made our way back to the strike zone for the second time, we were approached by two women. One of them asked me if I would like a gospel tract, and I told her that I am a Christian, so she should save it for someone that is not. I started to head back to my fishing spot but she persisted, how do I come to call myself a Christian? "Well, I was born no different than all men, a sinner. The Bible is very clear on this that all have sinned and the wages of sin is death. Sin has robbed me of a free will in that I was born a slave to it, and have led most of my life in either denial of that, excusing it, or out right glorifying those things that God hates. God has also been very clear from the beginning, to include in His word, a scapegoat, one way, not the confusion of many, but One, His Son, His very self, to die on my behalf. He says, I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the father but by me." She said she had been coming here on Saturdays for the last 2 years, and that this was the first time she felt she had met someone who truly believed. I thanked her but I told her that it wasn't her opinion or mine that mattered. She did question where I go to church, and to that I had to be honest that I don't. I have accountability at work, at home, but at the lake this was truly a first. If I am truly honest I have always disliked church people. There are some that are babies to the faith, some that are cold, some that play church, some that are legalistic and would make everyone in their own image instead of directing them to Christ. Then there is me, proud and arrogant, debating for the sake of my own ego rather than humbly approaching another person, made in the image of God, with love. Every Saturday for 2 years, one Christian and whole lot of rejection. As she turned to my little brother and asked him if he was saved, my heart sank, because I couldn't say with a certainty what he believed. We have not hung out much in the last 2 years till recently, and though we talk now, and share that which we both love, we have not approached the reason for the breach. I think he is in his mind a self described good person, but there are no "good" people that can ever stand before a holy and just God. I miss you Peter, but it would be wrong for me not to point out certain things.
Well, it is a new year and I would hope not to go backwards in any of things that are good, but whether fishing, working, parenting or playing, let all be done to the glory of God.
Forty years old and still in awe of the outdoors.