My Best Catch of The Year……
A couple of weeks ago we drove to Destin, Florida where we met our middle daughter and her 2 kids – my granddaughter, Elise, who is 10 and my grandson, Michael, who is 12. It was to be a week of relaxation interspersed with regular fishing trips on the many ponds on the three golf courses that surrounded the house they were staying in.
I didn’t bring any fishing gear as my daughter assured me that M.T. (Michael) had everything we would need at the house. I knew that made sense as I had given M.T. a couple nice used open face spinning outfits we had taken in on ALFC’s trade-in program a year or so ago. There was some concern about the line, but that could be addressed by a quick trip to the fishing store if necessary.
As we pulled in Saturday afternoon M.T. and Elsie (Elise) met us with some big smiles, hugs, and lots of enthusiasm. Before we could even get out of the car there were quick shouts about activities, the beach, and of course, fishing.
Once the car was unloaded Elsie grabbed Grandma (Dixie) and wanted to show her the “village” and, slyly, get her involved in some long delayed “girl activities”. M.T. was all about fishing in a couple of the closest ponds. The sooner the better!
I agreed that would be the perfect plan and asked him where the fishing gear was. He immediately pointed to the front porch and said, “There it is, Grandpa.”
Well, “it” wasn’t what I expected. I had worked with M.T. for 2 years getting him proficient at casting an open faced spinner. What I saw on the front porch was 2 beat up Zebco spin cast outfits.
Now I’m by no means some sort of “fishing elitist”, but I had brought M.T. to the next level at least 18 months ago. “What happened to the open faced spinning outfits I gave you?, I asked.
“Oh, we left them at home. This is all we have here.”, he responded.
That just wouldn’t do in my mind. It would be going backwards. Yea, spin cast outfits would work, but for accurate casting and trouble free operation I’m a solid open face guy. So we had a problem.
I grabbed M.T. and we made a quick trip to the local fishing store and within an hour had two “O.K.” open face outfits. Nothing special, but adequate for casting for largemouth’s in the surrounding ponds. We also bought some jig heads, some twister tails, and some not-so-great spinner baits.
Soon we were on the nearest pond, M.T. demonstrating that he well remembered how to toss that open face outfit accurately. Within a few minutes he hooked into a decent 1 – 1 ½ lb. bass. Then another. And another. That jig and twister tail was doing its job. My spinner bait not so much so.
As we worked around the shore of the pond I spotted a float bobbing about 50 ft. off shore. “Hmmm. I’ll just toss out at it and, if I can hook it, we can add that to M.T.’s tackle box assortment which he is so proud of”, I thought.
Old as I may be, I’m still a pretty accurate caster and with one toss I hooked the cork. As I started to pull it to shore it got heavier and heavier. That was strange. But I continued to reel it in to shore and lo and behold as it got closer a rod tip appeared to be following it. Soon I saw the complete rod AND a nice 3000 size open face reel.
I grabbed the whole thing and drug it to solid ground. It wasn’t pretty. Lots of “gunk” covered everything, but it appeared to be intact. Rod, reel, line, and of course, bobber. M.T. exclaimed, “Wow, Grandpa, that’s really cool!”
Long story short, we headed back to the house and proceeded to take the reel off the rod and clean it up with some dishwashing soap and a scrubbing pad. Damn! It looked almost new! I took the line off and then took the spool off the reel. There was still grease in it. It was in great shape! The rod cleaned up just as nicely. Some soap, some elbow grease and it also looked new.
After oiling the reel I grabbed some new 8 lb. mono and restrung the it. Now for the final test.
We went outside, put a jig and twister tail on the end of the line and gave it a cast. Perfect! The reel worked great, the drag was smooth as silk, and the rod looked almost new.
For the next week we now had a spare outfit that was just about as good as the two new ones I had bought when we arrived. And given that I was “out-fished” by my grandson most days we went out, my first days “catch” was definitely my best catch of the year so far!
This issue we have some great deals for you to gear up on some new reels at a very reasonable price, as well as a few “must have” new products.
Thank you for your wonderful friendship and support. All of us here at American Legacy Fishing truly appreciate your continued loyalty. We are so fortunate to have so many friends who share our joy and obsession with two of the world’s greatest sports. Thank you once again for all you do!