Larry's Short Stories

Fishing With Brenda

Sure, it’s a long-arm picture, but a legitimate 7 pounder – 23 inches. This is the fish that was making me feel guilty.
Sure, it’s a long-arm picture, but a legitimate 7 pounder – 23 inches. This is the fish that was making me feel guilty.

On this particular Sunday afternoon I was feeling a little guilty, after having caught some nice bass earlier in the week; so, I decided to ask Brenda if she wanted to go fishing. She did! We put in at a 10 acre watershed impoundment called Cooper Lake. The wind was blowing lightly from the south, over the dam and toward some scattered dead trees in the north end of the lake. We headed in that direction, fishing along the way.

My first experiences with largemouth bass were fishing with Dad in farm ponds and lakes like this, in Marion County, Missouri. There were never many big bass, and a catfish or carp was just as sporting to Dad. His favorite lures for bass were the Lazy Ike, Hula Popper and a weedless Silver Spoon. Crank baits and spinners, with a medium weight rod, have always been my preference.

The largemouth is arguably the most popular game fish in the southern half of the United States and it has always been amazing to me just how many small farm ponds and lakes don’t get much, if any, fishing pressure. On one seven acre lake, a few days ago, three of us caught 100 bass

A 14 foot jon boat with a trolling motor is just about right for small lakes in Missouri.
A 14 foot jon boat with a trolling motor is just about right for small lakes in Missouri.

in less than two hours – but nothing over 15 inches.

Largemouth bass don’t hold quite the same magic for me as rainbow trout or king salmon, and I’m not serious enough about bass fishing to have a “bass boat” or fish the big public lakes. But in 30 minutes or so, I can be fishing from the bank of any one of a number of small farm ponds in the area or sitting in a jon boat in the middle of a larger lake. In any case, there are lots of bass in these small waters and once in a while, there are some really nice ones.

Approaching the first trees, Brenda started catching fish; we were fishing nearly the same crank baits, just a slight difference in color. She was hauling them in while I was taking them off, taking pictures, running the boat and switching from crank bait to spinner, trying to change my luck; but my luck didn’t change. She caught six nice bass, one really nice, and I caught a couple of small bluegill. At the end of the day, it wasn’t the number of fish I caught that mattered – it was a great time fishing with Brenda.

Brenda’s prize largemouth from the afternoon – 21 inches.
Brenda’s prize largemouth from the afternoon – 21 inches.
Larry's Short Stories