Rod and reel overboard!

I have no clue why it hasn’t happened sooner. Dozens of times I’ve made a last-second grab for a fishing rod headed towards the deep. I can think of three or four times when one actually splashed but I had it back in-hand within a few minutes.

But last night one of my favored reels became an innocent victim to an aggressive bass and an inattentive bass fisherman. The latter, of course, was me.

I’d taken 19-year-old Cameron Hershberger to the watershed east of Newton where the bass fishing’s been pretty good of late. He’s in visiting his grandmother, Jane. The bite’s been best in the mornings but my schedule would only allow an evening trip.

So, I’m fishing a Texas-rigged red worm and am unhooking a two-pounder when my cell phone rings. It’s an elderly buddy calling and I always take his calls. I hurry, unhook the fish, drop it and the lure back into the water. The worm’s scrunched up on the hook and maybe two feet below the boat – maybe.

Just as I opened the phone the fishing rod bucked and tipped up as a bass hammered the lure. I made a successful grab for it mid-pole. But as it kicked up the butt knocked another rod up and over the side of the boat. Cameron made a valiant grab but missed the sinking rod by inches.

That’ll teach me to let a lure dangle in that pond. I should have already learned my lesson.

About ten days ago I was fishing with Sherry Chisenhall, working on something in the boat, when a bass also grabbed a dangling Culprit worm barely below the surface. That time the rod’s butt hooked on the underside of my knee before it could fly out.

But all’s not lost. I have a pretty good idea where the sunken rod is at. Sometime soon I’ll head back and drag a chain stringer with all of the clips opened back and forth through the area.

To make sure I focus on that effort I’ll probably leave my fishing rods in the truck.

Well, at least if I take one along I danged sure won’t be letting any more lures dangling in the water.

The bass out there are nuts and super-aggressive – but I guess that’s probably why I keep going back.