The reason I haven’t posted anything on my fishing blog is because I haven’t been able to fish. I broke both of my wrists during a faculty/student dodge ball game three weeks ago and I’ve had splints on both wrists since then. I did manage a few casts from the bank last week that produced a couple bass so all was not lost. I figured the fish needed a reprieve 🙂
There is always a silver lining to every story and there are several with my wrists fractures. First of all, it’s forced several of my students to step up and cover for me at school. Second, and most importantly, I WILL NOT have to have surgery to repair the fracture. Third, my hand surgeon has a lake behind his house that is stocked with bass, bream, and hybrid striped bass! He told me I could fish as long as it didn’t hurt. In fact he said to “please come and take out as many under 15 inches that I can.” I told him I normally don’t keep bass but I may make an exception for him. Well, when I’m wearing those splints, I feel like I can do anything and so I made a morning trip Saturday.
When I arrived at 6:45 AM, the sun was just peeking up over the horizon. There was a slight fog hovering over the glass-slick lake. The sounds of birds, the croak of a couple bull frogs, and the dabble of ducks on the lake created a overture to my ears, something I hadn’t experienced in a while. I began working a fire-tiger popper against the bank and within five minutes, I have my first blowup. Of course I missed the fish as I tried to set the hook too soon. I still have to get used to these “paws.” Five minutes later, another blowup but this time it resulted in a hookup. This fish had shoulders on it and it got the best of me as it charged to the kayak, swam under it and then just got off. I guess I didn’t get a good hook set in it. My arms have suffered atrophy because I haven’t used them in three weeks.
Finally, I hooked a nice feisty fish and was able to land my first bass of the morning. I continued to work the bank and found a few patches where I would get strikes and then there would be a section of nothing. I fished for three hours and landed 8 nice bass (a few were over 15 inches).
In the meantime, I probably lost the same amount, having one break the line right by the popper. I retied another popper, this time trying a frog pattern and after about ten minutes of patience was rewarded with the fish of the day. This hybrid striper weighed just under 3 pounds. When it exploded on my popper I could tell that it was either a five-pound bass or it was a hybrid. The thing was VERY angry and took off like a freight train, much to the dismay of my right wrist, which was hurting (it was the one with the largest fracture). I switched the rod to my left hand and vowed out loud that I wasn’t going to lose this fish. I have to admit that I was proud of myself for keeping pressure on it and not losing it.
After that fish I did have another fish snap my tippet so I lost my frog popper. I tied on a new “shad” crease fly creation that I’ve been working on and was able to nearly sight-catch my final bass of the morning. I saw something crashing bait about 50 yards ahead of me and I snuck up on it. On my first cast, a 15-inch bass inhaled the fly. I still have to tweak it but I think I have a winner there.
I ended up keeping two bass to feed my son and myself. All in all it was a very therapeutic morning. My wrists fared well and I caught fish on poppers that I created myself. God is good!
Look out fish! I’m back in the game!