So, there’s a saying that “A bad day fishing is better than a good day working” – that may sell t-shirts, but whoever came up with it, never had a day fishing like I did. About the only thing that could have gone worse would have been if I had rolled my kayak and went for a very cold swim.
For starters, I overslept by about an hour. Then, in my haste to eat breakfast on the go, I spilled coffee all over myself.
I get to Don Carter State Park and go to unload my boat only to have one of the ratchet straps jam. It’s not bound up with twisted strap, it just won’t budge. I struggle with it for about 15 min, including tapping it with a hammer before it finally decided to release. I still have no idea what jammed it.
So, I hit the water almost 2 hours later than I wanted to. The wind in the main channel is really rough, but I struggle to one of my favorite coves and drop anchor, sheltered from the wind and waves.
Everyone keeps telling me that I’m wasting time with my 30+ year old, Zebco 33 reels, despite how well they work. Keep getting told that, considering I mainly throw crank-baits and jigs with the occasional artificial worm/lizard, I should switch to a bait-caster. Well, with some trepidation, I picked up an inexpensive, Pinnacle rod & reel bait-casting combo @ Walmart for $41 yesterday. (Hey, I’m on a budget and I hesitate to spend a lot on an experiment.)
I read up on how to use one last night.. All the tricks on adjustable magnetic brakes, the friction control, casting holding it sideways with my thumb on the spool… After all that I decided I was loading BOTH of my Zebco 33’s as backups!
So, back to the cove where I’m anchored. It’s a nice, large, hidden “bay” that you have to paddle back through one cove, down a narrow passage to find. It’s about a half mile across and I’ve had good luck back there. Not to mention, there is plenty of room to practice casting the new reel. After about 20 tries of plunking the lure in the water less than 15ft from the boat, I hit the “Sweet spot” on the resistance and magnetic breaks and the lure sails out about 50 yards. I do about a dozen, almost perfect practice casts and decide to toss a real cast towards the point where I know there are usually some hybrid bass hanging out. I let ‘er fly towards the point and…..
I’m sure that the stream of profanities that I bellowed out echoed along the lake to the ears of some fisherman, a mile away who thought to himself “Someone must have just tried casting a new bait-caster… Poor bastard!”
So, birds nesting a reel isn’t the end of the world. I tossed this one in the back of the boat and pulled out one of my good old 33’s. Spent about an hour trying various lures around the coves covering about 2 miles from Don Carter north. NOTHING! The wind was horrible, bouncing my boat around as I went from cove to cove. Somehow, my landing net must have shifted… and, on one nice cast, my crank-bait snagged the net and flipped it over me, landing it in my lap and conking me on the back of the head as it went over!
Again, some fisherman, a mile down the lake, heard a stream of profanities and thought to himself “Poor bastard!”
I sat there for a good 15 minutes, trying to untangle my lure from the net. Every time I would get one treble hook unsnarled, and start on the other, the 1st one would get tangled again.
Somewhere down the lake, that fisherman heard me and just said a prayer for the sanity of the poor, poor bastard that was cussing up a storm.
I finally gave up and put back in to the ramp at Don Carter. I wound up having to cut the barbs off the treble hooks with my angle cutters to get it out once I got back to my car. I’ll have to replace the hooks before I can use that lure again.
Maybe, in a few days, I’ll take the bait-caster out, tie some washers the line and practice with it in the field beside the house. Either that, or blow it to bits with the shotgun… I’m not sure yet.