Print Story Bass thumb
By riceowlguy (Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 07:02:07 AM EST) (all tags)
A condition I don't mind having...

Bass (the fish, not the instrument) thumb is what happens to you when you go to "lip" a largemouth bass and take the concept of lipping seriously.  As you can see from the image, you actually don't grasp the fish by the lips, which, believe it or not, have teeth.  You grasp it by the inner part of the lower jaw.  Since I don't tend to catch bass that are large enough to require lipping as opposed to just holding it by the body like I do with most bluegill/perch/bream/whatever, I forget the rules.

However, yesterday evening after work, I hit Brushy Creek for the first time (I changed my mind about it  again on Sunday).  It was awesome.  My experience basically matches that of the angler in this article, except that I wasn't fly fishing this time, but using small spinners.  I managed to find some spinners that didn't have treble hooks, thank goodness.  I think treble hooks are unnecessary (basically, if you are going to get a hook-up with a spinner, the fish is going to have to really try to eat it, and switching from three hooks to one doesn't decrease the chances of hooking up more than maybe ten percent) and often cause major problems in releasing fish.  The last thing that happened before I headed back to the car was flipping my lure right in front of a dark shape I was pretty sure was a catfish, and having it get hit, and then, as I went to set the hook, bitten off cleanly.  I guess that's the price to pay for having landing a one-pound bluegill feel like an epic battle.

I had a sad thought as I landed and went about releasing this truly monster bluegill, which was that I really, really would have liked to go home and e-mail my grandfather about this trip.  He liked the big panfish.

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Bass thumb | 8 comments (8 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
I had a dream about fishing the other night. by toxicfur (4.00 / 1) #1 Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 08:13:51 AM EST
Between that dream and your diary, I'm really starting to think I should go buy a cheap rod and reel and go out to the pond near my house.
If you don't get a Bonnie, my universe will not make sense. --blixco
Lots of people by riceowlguy (2.00 / 0) #2 Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 09:57:19 AM EST
such as my father, assume that large fish can't live in small water.  (He was incredulous when I said I'd been fishing in Brushy Creek)  The section of river I was fishing was literally in some lucky folks' backyard (oh, how I would love to retire to one of those houses!) and I was the only one out there.  Lucky me!  The biggest bass I've ever caught came out of a tiny pond in a public park:

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There's good eatin' on them things... by greyrat (4.00 / 1) #3 Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 10:18:39 AM EST
And fix your pocket!

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There wasn't much good eating on this one by riceowlguy (4.00 / 1) #6 Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 10:51:23 AM EST
As long and deep as it was, it wasn't very fat...probably a spawned-out female.  Otherwise I doubt I could have reeled it in with my ultralight rod.

As to my pocket, I'd just whipped out my cell phone to hand it to some random stranger so he could take that picture.  The clock was ticking on being able to release the fish to be caught again by the next lucky person.  I was in a rush.

Maybe I could fix it in Photoshop...

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Yeah. by toxicfur (4.00 / 1) #4 Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 10:43:12 AM EST
My ex-gf and I used to regularly fish for bass and panfish in a tiny pond in NC, in the middle of a state park - the biggest things in the pond, though, were the catfish, who weren't biting anything we had. We also used to fish in the creeks in the NC mountains - nice trout there. My favorite form of fishing will always be surf fishing, though. There's just something about standing hip-deep in the surf that freshwater just can't replace.
If you don't get a Bonnie, my universe will not make sense. --blixco
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Yeah by riceowlguy (4.00 / 1) #5 Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 10:48:14 AM EST
I enjoy that "I might get eaten by a shark" feeling too, and miss it when I'm standing in a river (although, at first light, the "I might get bitten by a copperhead" feeling is almost as good).

Kidding!  I like surf fishing too, but I generally don't have much luck with it.

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Dude. by blixco (2.00 / 0) #7 Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 03:39:16 AM EST
Nice.  And no-one called in an airstrike on you for being in "their" creek!

I swear if I could get out of being at work for, oh, a day of the week....any day, would be quite cool to go fishing.  It's been so many years since I've been, I doubt I'd do anything more than wade around.
"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin

The law vs. the law by riceowlguy (4.00 / 1) #8 Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 04:53:05 AM EST
In Texas, all rivers and lakes are public land.  As long as where I park and get into the river is public property, I can wade/float up and down the river as long as I want with impunity.

However, as a wise old Texas fisherman once told me, "If somebody comes up to you with a shotgun demanding you get off their property, that shotgun's all the law he needs."

It's never happened to me, thankfully.

I've pretty much put all the fishing gear up for the rest of the trip.  Once my folks get back into town, I'll be less inclined to go.  Plus, after Tuesday, I'd probably just be disappointed.  I need to come back up with my 4-wt fly rod and give it a whirl that way.  Fly fishing is so much harder (the general rule on the local rivers is that fish are always in the hardest possible location to cast to, i.e. right up against the bank under a low-hanging tree branch), but so much more satisfying for that very reason.  Even with the spinning rod, it seems like these rivers reward casting skill.  Cast a lure into the middle of the river and start'll catch nothing all day.  Delicately sneak a nice sidearm lob cast into a tight spot, right up against the bank (like, within six inches), under a tree branch, and my experience the last couple days has been that it's about a 75% probability you'll get a strike, and it will be something fairly large.

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Bass thumb | 8 comments (8 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback