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The Biggest Bass

During my time in the military I have met many interesting people. None more intriuging however than Jeff. I met Jeff through another friend of mine and learned that he was also a big outdoor enthusiast. Myself, Jeff, and our mutual friend Eric, did practicaly everything together. Hunting, gun shopping (almost daily), and we would fish every chance we had. We fished here, there, and everywhere. Some days were good, others were not so great, and a few days were horrible. With all the good, bad, and ugly days, three things were held constant: We always took my boat because I was the only one of us who had a boat, Eric allways outfished me on my boat (the audasity! He obviously doesn't know the rules), and Jeff never caught any fish. Jeff is an outdoor kind of guy and being from Texas, home to some of the best bass fishing in the world, there should be no doubt that he knows how to bass fish, right? On a particular outing to Lake Cambell the unthinkable happened, the consistency was broken, the world was coming to an end... Jeff caught a fish!

Lake Cambell is very close to my house so I have had countless opportunities to fish it's shallow waters. Jeff and Eric also began to know the lake's contours, inlets, and terrain as well as myself. Reeds lined the shore in several areas and became a regular stopping spot to hunt for the elusive largemouth; however, fishing the reeds can be extremely deceptive. Lures stick, bump, snag, and hang on every reed it comes in contact with, often feeling like a strike. These spots had been productive waters for Eric and myself but Jeff... Well Jeff doesn't catch fish. Over and Over Jeff would claim to have had a strike or had a fish on and lost it but Eric and I both knew he was just feeling the effects of his lure hitting and bumping the reeds.

Jeff doesn't catch fish for reasons I can only begin to understand. The first of which I believe is his tackle selection. We were about to depart for a day out on Cambell when Jeff showed up ready to go. It was then that he decided to show Eric and I his new secret weapon against the Lake Cambell bass. When we saw the beast he was holding in his hands, Eric and I could only laugh inside. To the unkowing observer it would appear to be a joke, but we knew better. We knew Jeff couldn't wait to get out to the lake and tie this fifteen inch long, five inches in diameter, purple grub to his line and heave it into the water just knowing that the bass have been waiting for this very lure. Why on earth a lure manufacturer would create such a monstrosity I can only speculate. One thing I am nearly certain of, is that it wasn't created to be fished in Washington bass waters.

The day went on Jeff continued to heave his secret weapon into the water and Eric and I continued skipping, flipping and pitching small jigs and plastic worms picking up most of our strikes on seven inch blue zipper worms, which Jeff tried convincing us weren't much different than the "thing" he was using. Finally, the question came... "Why are you guys catching bass but I'm not?" asks Jeff.

"I think it might have something to do with what youre using, Jeff," I replied and Eric agreed. After some intense persuasion, Jeff was finally convinced to use one of our zipper worms and put the beast away, but just for a few minutes. After a couple casts to the reeds using the zipper worm Jeff was hollering that he had a fish on. I thought to myself as I am sure Eric did as well, "Oh boy here he goes again..." I explained to him once more that the reeds can feel an awful lot like a fish on and to calm down a little. Jeff is mildly highstrung and is easily excited. Then Eric exclaimed, "He does have a fish on! HOLY S_ _ T!" We had seen him hook into a fish once maybe twice before, but we have never seen him actually land one. Eric and I both began to coach him on how to land the fish without losing it and somehow he actually got it in the boat.

Jeff cried out his victory screems louder than I have ever heard. He jumped around, congratulated himself repetadly, screamed out his triump some more, and said "If I caught a bass this big on this worm, imagine the size of bass I would have caught on my secret weapon!" Eric and I then decided that we ought to get him calmed down and get the fish back into the water for a clean and safe catch and release. It took some time but we were eventually able to relax Jeff enough that he complied and placed his one pound trophy back into the lake. I couldn't understand why Jeff, who comes from Texas, was so estatic over this one pound bass. I had to ask, "Jeff, thats real cool that you caught a fish and all but I can't understand why the hell youre THAT excited over it."

Jeff's reply was simple, "I know, I know. I'm sorry. I just cant help it. Thats the biggest bass I've ever caught in my life!" Well maybe Texas doesn't have that great of bass fishing after all.

Submitted by Dan