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3/18/02 Fishing Tip -- Decisions... Decisions...

    Boy, this is a tough time of year to decide what type of fishing should I go do.  The largemouth bass spawn is on the verge of busting loose, the stripers are stacking up to spawn, the hybrids are stacking up as well.  Then there is the sand bass moving up the creeks and the crappie staging for their spawn.  It is hard to make that decision on what to fish for.  I guess the thing that gets me back on the water chasing largemouth is the allure of catching that 13 pounder and getting it entered into the Share-A-Lunker program.  As much as I love sitting on the creek bank reeling in sandies on ultra light tackle or the way a striper hammers a sassy shad, the vision of that big bass at the side of my boat is an overwhelmingly driving force to get back on the lake.  It is this force that makes me re-spool my rods every week, this same force set's my mind into dreamland of where my first cast should be when I get to the lake.  I spend more time thinking about bass fishing from February till late April,  just thinking about likely spots to land a hawg.  Do I stick with the tricks that have landed me the 11, 10, and countless other good bass?  Do I go back to those methods that I have continuously broken big bass off when fishing -- never getting one to the boat?  Or should I try some of these new tactics that I keep reading about?  Inevitably, I end up at the same haunts throwing the same baits I always throw, only mildly shifting my habits.  I just know that the next tap I feel or the next time it feels sluggish it will be the one.  You just never know.  On my last trip we were fishing a mild sloping shoreline and I had cast my split-shot rig out to deeper water to catch the edge of the grass line.  I picked up and it tugged back.  My heart pounded feverishly as I rared back setting the hook on what was supposed to be my lunker entry.  Ended up only being a 2 pounder, but my adrenaline was flowing and it reminded me why I stand in the front of that boat in the cold and rain -- because you just never know...

    Right now is the best time of the year to catch a lifetime bass.  I saw this happen last weekend on Purtis Creek to a guy.  He landed a beautiful 9.7 pounder on a craw worm in 3 foot of water.  It was the biggest bass he ever caught in his 40+ years of living.  He braved the cold and wind and boated a fish of a lifetime.  In his excitement he managed to kick over his tacklebox and make a mess of the boat, but it was all worth it to land a fish as beautiful as that one.  You never know, he may catch one bigger.  For that matter, you may catch one bigger.  Hooking into those big bass this time of year is more on the lines of luck than skill.  Getting that fish to the boat is the hard part.  Loosing one will make your heart sink to your knees -- trust me on that one.  Putting one in the boat will cause the world around you to stop.  I'll never forget that man's smile when he was measuring the fish and telling us the details.  He was on cloud nine and nothing could bring him down.  

    Get out there and do some fishing, if bass is not your fair, everything is good fishing right now.  The big fish are up and moving and now is the time to take advantage of it.  After all, you just never know.

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