Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I Caught You A Delicious Bass

I never was much of a fisherman.

In high school however, a couple of my best friends, Mike and Jim took me bass fishing. Mike and Jim, identical twins, loved all manner of outdoor sports. Hunting, fishing, the works.

I had no rods and reels for fishing, but they said they had plenty and I could use some of their stuff, so off we went.

Monroe, Louisiana has a few bayous that run through town, and in one area where Desiard Bayou ran close to the road, an old man had a little shack and a bunch of aluminum boats for rent. (There's TONS of fish in these bayous.)

I can't remember the price, but you could rent a boat for the day for about $5, and $2 for a floatation device, usually a seat cushion that floated.

So we went down there and rented one and paddled off.

The plan was to slowly paddle up and down the banks of the bayou and cast our lures into the vegetation that grew along the bayou and into the water. In theory bass liked to lay in these grasses and whatnot and wait for bugs or whatever.

I was totally ignorant of this, but totally into it too. Sounded like fun to me.

Before we had gone, Mike and Jim patiently taught me to cast lures with an open faced reel. We were in their yard and just simply tied a weight to the line and I learned the basics of casting a lure with one of these reels. You had to be careful or you could end up with a "bird's nest" of tangled line if you didn't cast the lure in a certain controlled way.

I took to it pretty quickly and we had gone and rented a boat.

What had me totally hooked on bass fishing for a long while was that first day of fishing with Mike and Jim, I caught my first bass within 30 minutes or so and there were enough bites on our lines to keep me out there for however long they wanted to stay.

I was having fun.

They taught me how to attach a rubbery plastic worm to the hook a certain way and on that day and many other days in the future we seemed to have the best results of catching bass with a 6 inch purple worm.

Bayou water is dark like a glass of tea is, and I never could quite figure out just how the bass were seeing these dark purple worms in that dark water, but they sure did.

If three men are in a boat fishing, the guy in the front and the guy in the rear have the best shots at having a good cast, but I caught the first bass that day, and by the time we quit fishing I had caught four bass big enough to have kept.

Three teenage boys are full of themselves and after we had been fishing a while, we saw some friends of ours from our high school coming toward us in a canoe.

Now I'm not the sharpest guy in the world, but even I thought it was pretty risky for 3 guys to be out fishing in a canoe.

At any rate, they came over to us, we had gone to the other side of the bayou by then and were working our way back up, fishing the other side.

Mike knew that these guys would be freaking out when we showed them all the bass we had caught, so he decided to play a joke on them.

As they slowly worked their canoe over to where we were fishing at the time, Jim took the paddle and turned our boat so that Mike was pretty much out of their line of sight.

Mike had a "joke" lure in his tackle box that he was trying to attach to his line before our friends got over there.

The lure looked like the classic rubber ducky, like you would have in a kid's bathtub, only smaller. The little hard plastic ducky had two, three pronged hooks hanging from the bottom of it. In the water, the ducky would float just like a small little bathtub ducky but had these scary looking hooks on the bottom.

The guys got over to us and of course they asked how the fishing had been going for us.

Jim held up the 7 or so bass we had on the line at the time and said, pretty decent, only John and I haven't caught anything. These are Mike's fish.

Their eyes got big and of course they asked what type of bait we were using.

Jim said, that's why these are all Mike's fish, he has a certain lure he's used to catch all of these and he's the only one of us that has that lure.

Mike pulls his rod around and shows them the little ducky "joke" lure on the end of his line. "Yeah, we weren't catching anything until I tried this lure and the bass LOVE it. I can't hardly reel em in fast enough."

The guys in the canoe each got a good look at his lure and one of them asked where he got it. Mike said, "Sutton's Sporting Goods."

The guys in the canoe looked at one another and one of them said, "Man, we're going to go get some of those lures, right now!" and the said their goodbyes and paddled off.

They had just gotten in the water when we had seen one another, and here they were, heading off to buy lures that didn't exist anywhere other than on Mike's fishing rod.

We laughed about that for years. The looks on those guys faces at Mike's impressive catch.

We also were amazed that we were all three able to keep straight faces throughout the whole exchange and not blow the joke.

We kept fishing for a good long time that day, but we didn't see those guys come back out to that part of the bayou again. We caught a decent batch of bass, but every one was caught using a purple plastic worm.

At the end of the day we would either give the fish to someone fishing on the bank near the old man's dock we rented from, or we would just catch and release.

The fun was in the fishing.

We wondered if they actually went to the sporting goods store and asked for and described a little yellow duck lure to the workers there.

I wonder if some guy somewhere tells a story about having once worked in a sporting goods store and three guys came in wanting a bass lure that looked like a little yellow rubber ducky.

It appears that the joke was on me, sort of. I tried to google and find a joke lure like I described here for the picture. There are some lures similar to the one I talk about in this post, but they look more like a real baby duck and are real lures.

Who knew?


Mert said...

Still though, that's pretty funny! :D It reminds me of when I was in the Persian Gulf in '90, on the USHS Mercy. A new 3rd class petty officer right out of corpsman (medic) school acted as if she were better than us, the ones who had actually earned their rank "in the trenches". So we sent her to the Lab on the ship for fallopian tubes, and we told her they were vials for blood drawing for a special test. ;) Being that she was just out of school, she should have known better. Heck, she's a woman, she should have known better...Which made it all that much funnier to our group.

Hammer said...

That's great. I can just see the look on the clerks face when they asked for those ducks. I like the napolean dynamite quote on your post title.

Scribbit said...

A delicious bass? HOOT! We quote that movie constantly here . . .


photowannabe said...

Great story John. Seems like there is always a jokester in every group. That was a pretty good mess of fish you caught .

Travis said...

Great story. I never did much in the way of fishing. Just a little bit the few times we went camping.

I'm mostly a city boy. You had to go a ways to get to anyplace to do any decent fishing, and I figured if I was going to go somewhere, then I was gonna to something I really enjoyed when I got there.

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