Once upon a time I was a soldier in the United States Army Reserves. As you can gather from previous blogs that I have published, I served while my country was at war and therefore overcame some varying degrees of adversity. This post is not going to be about those times. Instead, I want to share with my readers a good time that occurred right at the end of my deployment. It was my last annual training event and it took place at a boy scout camp that contained a lake. At this time of my Military career I was coming off of my last deployment, and was awaiting discharge due to a severe back injury. That meant that there wasn’t a lot expected from me during the training, and that I could sneak away to fish. Now as a disclaimer I would appreciate some discretion here, as the term sneak means that what I was doing was not entirely above the board.
Anyways; so there I was casting on the shore while everyone else was hard at work, feeling guilty as all hell. This guilt did not however prevent me continuing my quest to see what lay beneath the surface of the lake. I was using a medium light spinning rod, with a minnow rigged carolina style. There were some weeds on the bottom that I would have to pull off when I reeled in, but I did not have a lot of tackle. I was lucky that I could pack what I did have.
I sat there waiting for the inexplicable tug of the line for awhile with no luck. This was fine for me as I was enjoying the vibrant green scenery that I missed out on for the good part of the last year. That enjoyment was short however, as just then my rod bent with the tug of a fish. It bent again and stayed bent so I set my hook. The fight was quick and fierce as I was using my heavier tackle and this turned out to be a yellow perch. This is not saying anything bad about this perch as it was a large specimen of its species. I de hooked the fish and plopped him/her or whatever the fish identified as back into the water. At this point I was content this was the first fish I had caught that year and it felt good. Nonetheless, I re-baited and cast out again.
For the next hour I caught a bunch more yellow perch ranging in sizes from small to large. Then the bite dried up and I began to think about packing it in and returning to my camouflage clad buddies back at the cabin. At this point I think I felt a tap on my line and my interest perked. There it was again a small tap then nothing, as if it never happened. I waited and waited seeing if whatever it was would come back but nothing happened. “Well that’s how it goes” I thought as I began to reel in my line.
There was something odd about the line however. It felt as if there was a wet sock on the end, perhaps some weeds? I gave a sharp tug to try and free it and all of a sudden, the line streaked across the water and my pole doubled. “Well I’ll be Damned”, I screamed in my head. I had a big fish on the end of my line. This fight was furious as the fish seemed to try every trick in the book to escape from me. It first tried to run out of the small bay I was in and I tightened my drag to slow him down. It then turned and ran straight towards some weeds hoping that he could lose me in a thicket of lily pads. I used my rod to turn him and that’s when it happened, A large green and white fish broke the surface in a beautiful display of bucket mouth head shaking. It was as if it was right out of a bass fishing show, a truly amazing sight. After that jump it seemed as if the fish lost steam and I was able to reel it to shore. I picked it up de-hooked it and began limping back to my buddies so I could brag and take photos.
This was a good end to a career and I am happy that I can share this memory with you through this blog. I hope that you enjoyed this fishing tale as much as I did re-living it. Until next time folks, I wish you tight lines and good eats.