The greedy bass

Though I literally have dozens of “favorite” outdoor activities, one my all-time favorites is camping and fishing bluegill out of a canoe.

Last year a friend told me about a lake in Barron County that has simple hike-in campsites and a good population of 7-9-inch bluegill.

I enjoyed catching sumo gills last year, and really liked the campsites at well as the lake, and to be perfectly honest, after 20 years of hard work in this county I am really thinking that I would not mind living here someday.

This week I returned to that lake with my perfect golden retriever Ruby who has promised me that she will never run away again.

Monday, May 14

High 77, Low 51

On the drive from Necedah to Cumberland today I saw two road kill black bear. Last week I saw another one and it would appear that that is becoming more common. Though we have become numb to the gazillions of whitetail deer that we see laying in our ditches I do not think that I will ever feel that way about my friend the bear.

The portage into this lake is only about 50-yards from my truck, there is a light rain falling, it is late afternoon and I really want to go fishing, and did I mention that I just had a lot of laughs with my buddies at Indianhead Sport Shop in Cumberland?

Anyways, I built a simple camp, rigged my poles, told the pup to get into the canoe and off we were to the land of giant bluegills. My weapons of choice were either a yellow or black hair jig tipped with a waxie but after a while I learned that the bigger gills were more into red worms, and was really enjoying myself as I was steadily adding 8.5-9-inch gills to the piece of wire that I was using for a stringer.

My luck changed when I had to call into a KAMO meeting at about 7:20, and did not get a bite after that but paddled back to camp with 15 dandies.

Tuesday, May 15th

High 83, low 51

I had a really good feeling about catching shallow water gills today, and was on the water about the time the sun came up. My first plan was to try and drift the lake with jigs and maybe catch some crappies. I did that for a couple of hours and only caught one gill. Next I tried shallow water in a secret spot that I was told to fish and all I could catch was 3-6-inch gills.

Today I could only fish until about 3:00 as I had a speaking engagement for Cumberland Healthcare, which in reality was the reason that I came on this trip about two weeks earlier then I did last year.

With about an hour before I had to quit fishing I finally started getting some dandies near a deadfall, but then my pup who was on the shoreline checking out the world, decided to climb out on the deadfall and I did not get another bite.

Because I am a sophisticated redneck I knew I had to do some form of cleanup before my talk at the “Mens NightOut,” and so I jumped in the lake and let me tell ya, I did not stay in long, it was chilly. I tripled up on the cologne and got the job done in town.

Wednesday, May 16

High 85, Low 53

My old buddy Paul Bucher sat around the campfire with me last night and we solved every last problem in the world! I was on the water shortly after the sun rose this morning, and did I ever have a cool experience. With my very first cast towards that deadfall, my aimer was off and my bobber ended up in the branches with the jig in the water.

So I tie up another rig and am watching my new setup float around when all the sudden the branch with the bobber in it starts bobbing up and down, then the bobber breaks free and I am watching my rig as an apparently hooked up fish is swimming around the lake.

After about 20 minutes my friend returns and swims by the bobber and jig that I am using. Just like that my bobber on the pole I am using vanishes and before you know it, the fight is on and I landed a 16-inch largemouth bass.

I had not ate a bass in years and made the decision that this fish was hitting the frying pan and let me tell ya, it was yummy.

My daughter, Selina, is a junior and had her Honors Banquet, so I had to pack up early and head back to Necedah and I just kept thinking about the days before I was raising kids and how long I would stay on these trips compared to the last 20 years.

Could be this old redneck will be living on lakes like this beauty in Barron County, and then headed right to another one in a year or so!

That bass got greedy!


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