Outdoors Column: Scaring Up a Fish

In the spring of the year, like everything else, fish prepare for the next generation. Bass dig a shallow depression where they deposit their eggs. This is done by the female, usually close to the shore. Pregnant female bass, like most females, are grouchy and aggressive when pregnant. I of course am referring to animals such as cows and pigs, not people. I have heard that pregnant women can be grouchy and aggressive also, but I will not go there. The bass will hover near or in their “nest” and attack anything that comes near. This makes for some great springtime fishing.

 

Our grandson, Zane, came over Saturday afternoon with the sole intention of going fishing. I was busy finishing up some projects but he was able to convince my wife to go with him. He was not needing a fishing partner so much as needing someone to drive the boat so he did not have to take time away from his fishing. It takes a fair amount of maneuvering to keep the boat parallel to the show and about twenty feet out. In open water with a light wind, it is almost a full time job.

 

They heading away from the dock, going toward the dam, following the shore line. They were both able to catch a fish or two as they drifted along. When they got to the dam, my wife had to quit fishing and drive. The wind was trying to push them to shore. Zane was happily fishing along while his driver kept the boat in position. In reaching the leeward side of the island, my wife could relax and fish again in the calm area protected from the wind. Zane was casting toward the island while my wife readied her rod. His lure approached the boat and he was ready to lift it out of the water when a fish hit it, jumping out of the water. Both fishermen were startled and jumped back as the fat old bass splashed, spit out the lure and returned to her nest. After recovering from the scare, Zane cast back to the same spot. The fish hit the lure again in the same way, but the people in the boat were more prepared this time. The bass seemed to be hooked for a few seconds, but shook and swam away. Casting the third time toward the same spot near the shore, the bass swirled up from the bottom, launched herself into the air and splashed down heading under the boat. This time, the hook was set. Zane’s rod bent over double as he fought to get the fish under control. As the big old bass rolled near the surface, Zane yelled, “Nanna, get the net!” Naturally, neither of them had thought to put the net in the boat.  A brief discussion ensued on whose responsibility the net was. As further discussion was pointless, he reached in the gaping mouth and brought the fish into the boat.

 

A brief time was spent admiring, weighing, and getting pictures before she was returned to the water so she could go to her nest and do what nature intended. It is experiences like this that make us remember why we fish. The adrenaline rush for a few minutes of intense excitement makes a person forget about the time spent fishing with little or no success. Even after catching several more nice sized bass, my wife and Zane were still flying high from this one when they got back to the house.