Friday, May 10, 2013

What Did You Do With That Spinnerbait? (05/10/13)

Hello Folks,

Our weather has been quite unpredictable over the past week or so. There has been a low pressure system lying southwest of us and stalled. A lot of rain has been dumped just west of us bringing some flooding to smaller creeks and streams. It is now slowly moving northeast and bringing unstable weather into our area. Each day this past week we've had showers and/or predicted showers from this weather pattern. Along with this weather has come a lot of easterly wind. Today, the air temperature reached 82 degrees along with threats of thunderstorms this evening. Our weather forecast remains the same for tomorrow and the slow moving low pressure will finally move off the coast by Sunday bringing much cooler weather.

The time off the water gives me time to reflect on past outings I've enjoyed while fishing the Susquehanna River. Along with these reflections come many funny anecdotes. I thought you may want to hear some during our slow/down times on the river.

My first short story I will call "Trashy Ladies" (1993)...

I have a very good friend who I used to do a lot of river fishing with almost twenty years ago (1993). I won't use his real name so as to keep him anonymous. But I will create a fictitious name just for this story. I will call my friend Bruce. Bruce and I used to fish for the same bass fishing club and we would often meet during the weekday evenings to spend a few hours on the Susquehanna River chasing smallmouth bass.

It just so happens that I picked Bruce as my fishing partner for a club tournament which was launching from a private ramp that used to be under the old Pa. turnpike bridge. A new ramp exist there now and is owned by the city of Steelton, Pa. We used to weigh-in the three biggest bass we caught during these club tournaments. By the way, I also belonged to another bass fishing club back in the day that was a "paper" club... Which means that we measured the bass using the "Golden Rule" and then immediately release them back into the water.The "Golden Rule" calibrates the weight of the bass according to the normal length/weight of a largemouth bass. We used these calibrated weights for both largemouth and smallmouth bass.

I had been out during the week prior to the tournament with my good buddy, JC Nuss. Many of my local friends may know JC as the boat salesman who's wife is part owner of Lakeside Marine in Harrisburg, Pa. JC and I were evening fishing by the pylons of the old turnpike bridge crossing the Susquehanna River above the Harisburg (Pa) International Airport when we came upon a lay-down that was pushed hard against one of the TP pylons. JC told me that he had fished this tree earlier in the week and was able to pull several nice bass off of it. We fished the tree and did quite well that evening. I now had a good idea where Bruce and I would start fishing on the morning of our club tournament.

On our early morning drive to the tournament launch site,  I told Bruce that we would fish that lay-down tree when we first launch. I also explained to him how productive that tree had been for JC and me while tossing spinnerbaits.

The club members launched from under the TP Bridge and we waited to see where the other boats were headed before making our way over to the TP Bridge. There was absolutely no one else around!

We grabbed our spinnerbait combos and started casting in and around that lay-down tree. As luck would have it, we caught absolutely nothing! Bruce, of course, started to question my early morning decision. I silenced him rather quickly by asking where he had pre-fished that week for us. Like usual, he hadn't pre-fished at all... LOL!

It turned out to be a rather slow day of fishing for the club members. Bruce and I worked hard for each and every bite as the hours ticked by. I was able to eke out a limit (3) of smallmouth bass, but Bruce only had one keeper. With only an hour and a half remaining in the tournament, Bruce was crying the blues!

I told him earlier in the morning that we would return to that productive tree at the TP Bridge pylon later in the day. It was now time to head back upriver and try that tree once again.

Bruce had lost several spinnerbaits throughout our day of fishing. I remember asking him what knot he was using and he told me a "palomar knot". There was absolutely no way he was tying a correct palomar knot and losing that many spinnerbaits!

Before we took off for the bridge, I told him to tie on a 1/2 oz. spinnerbait due to the current... "I don't have anymore spinnerbaits", explained Bruce. "What!? You mean to tell me that you lost every single spinnerbait you had along?" Now, if Bruce was in any other B.A.S.S. District 3 or State Tournament, he would be out of luck, for sure. But being that he was with a good friend, I told Bruce to go into my spinnerbait box and pick out one that he would like to throw. I had only one stipulation... I would tie that spinnerbait ont his fishing line using a palomar knot. :)

I fired up the big motor and we ran upriver to the TP bridge. I decided on the run to gave Bruce the first cast at the tree since he was already two fish behind me.

Whack! "I got one!", he screamed out. Okay, let's get this one in. We don't want to count our chickens before they hatch. I came off the trolling motor, grabbed the net, and netted that fish. We got the fish safely into the boat and it measured in at 18.5"... "Nice fish, Bruce!"

Bruce started dancing, yes, dancing on the back of my boat and singing loudly the popular country song of the day, "Trashy Women!" I told him he better shut up because Tony Cicero (Sr.), a member of our club, was fishing a prominent ledge below the TP Bridge and he wouldn't hesitate to come up to where we were fishing to see just what all the "commotion" was about!

I jumped behind the console, turned over the big motor, and slowly returned to the tree. As I was making my way back, I made the decision not to "front-end" Bruce, but to give him the first cast once again. "19.5"!!!".... "That's the biggest fish I've ever caught on the river!", Bruce told me... Dang!

A few minutes before, Bruce was crying the blues and now he's as happy as a lark and singing "Trashy Women" on the back of my boat.

The day ended with Bruce taking first place and lunker among the other club members while tossing MY SPINNERBAIT! I did well, too, and came in just behind him in second place.

While I was preparing the boat to tow, Bruce cut off the borrowed spinnerbait and returned it to me. But I remembered him telling me that the lunker bass was his personal best. So, before getting into my truck to drive us home, I grabbed that spinnerbait that he was using. I got behind the wheel and asked him to tell me again how that was the biggest smallmouth bass that he had ever caught on he river. After he repeated his story, I tossed him the spinnerbait and told him to put that spinnerbait on his dresser at home to always remind him of the lunker bass he had caught that day and released safely back into the Susquehanna River.

You would think that this is where the story would end, but it's not!.

About two weeks later, Bruce and I were once again out on the Susquehanna River pleasure fishing. I asked him what he did with the spinnerbait that I gave him. You guessed it! He lost it while fishing... I bet he tied it onto his fishing line with "his palomar knot". LOL!

It was the last time I gave him a lure as a keepsake... :)

Take Care and Be Safe!