With the river still looking like you could plow it and the heat and the humidity, I decided to hit a pond at night. Rummaging around in one of the tackle boxes I found a couple old three bladed buzzbaits. These big old buzzbaits are probably twenty five or thirty years old and going on who knows how many rubber skirts by now. With the passage of three decades (and hopefully the statute of limitations), I can tell you that back in the day I must have snuck in every farm pond and lake around at night armed with these jumbo buzzbaits and a couple musky jitterbugs in search of jumbo largemouths. We knew the name of every farmer with a pond that would let you fish and the bedtimes of those that wouldn't. And the nights that were the best were just like last night, hot mucky and humid with the threat of a storm that never materializes. I didn't have to sneak in this pond but everything else felt just the same. One of the guys my brother and I fished with back then could tell a mean fish story and I'll never forget him describing a buzzbait strike. He'd say "The lure was working...booger,booger,booger,booger,WHAM!."
Which was just the way the bass hit the big buzzbait last night. The pond was calm and it was hard jolting strikes that startled you if you weren't ready for them. The pond was lined with cattails and weeds and I had heavy braid and a light flipping stick. Just about as far from the ultralight smallmouth fishing I do mostly now as you can get. Most nights back in the day you would fish for just a few strikes but they would quite often be big fish. But some nights the fish would really want the buzzer and you would get numbers. Tonight was a bit of both, I guess I caught eight or ten pretty good bass and the one nice one that measured 21 inches long. One thing about all the rain weve been having is its hell on equipment if your out in it alot. My scale had quit being reliable weeks ago but it had a built in tape measure. Well after measuring this fish the rusty looking tape wouldn't retract, I think Im just going to buy a cloth tape and keep it in the pack. After snapping a picture I released the big bass and just sat by the pond enjoying the night sounds and thinking about old times. Back then I was young and had a good job that let me fish 150 times a year. And being young I knew everything there was to know about bass fishing. It seems the older I get the dumber I get about fishing because I realise just how little I do know. But I did know back then that big old buzzbait caught big bass. For four or five years I spent every spare moment chasing women or largemouths. Both obsessions peaked on two days back to back down a red dirt road in 1985 in Georgia. On the first day I pulled over and asked a pretty girl walking barefoot in a flowered sundress if she needed a ride or maybe was free for dinner and she smiled sweetly and climbed in. The next evening (after sleeping most of the day) I caught a ten pound plus bass on a buzzbait just like the one I used tonight. Its funny how you forget most things but those two days in Georgia I remember like yesterday. Another memory associated with the big old buzzbait was of another character we used to sneak in ponds with. We'd ride around in his old truck looking for ponds while he'd tip back a big gallon jug of moonshine. One night we had to climb a pretty good fence to get at this one pond and while straddled he slipped and fell, one leg on one side of the fence, one on the other. He rolled off and croaked "yall go ahead Ill be along directly" and layed there in the grass the whole time we fished the pond. After sitting and enjoying the memories and the frog song, I noticed it was starting to brighten in the east. I got up and fished my way back around to the truck, catching one more and losing another that jumped clear of the water before throwing the buzzbait. All in all, like always, it was a great way to spend a hot summer night.