My Son’s First Bass
My son and I headed to Lake Union this evening to fish for smallmouth bass. He had mixed feelings about going. This was most likely because his previous attempts at targeting bass (not very many times over the past several years) were skunkeroos and definitely not for lack of trying. I told him that this was going to be the day for sure. My only goal this evening was to do everything I can to help him get his first bass. Nothing else mattered.
We got to our first fishing spot at about 7:15pm. I told him we would be starting with soft plastics rigged drop shot style. Then, if that didn’t work we would throw crankbaits. We definitely had a game plan in place. All we needed now was a little cooperation from the bass.
I think bass fishing suits his preference to move the lure to give it life so to speak versus the still fishing method he had just learned last month when targeting trout.
Fifteen minutes pass and he tells me he wants to try a crankbait now. I suggested that we ought to stick with the plastic worm until the sun was closer to setting.
Another fifteen minutes passes and he asks again to try a crankbait. I told him that we will stick with what we have in another spot for a few more minutes and then we’ll switch.
The second spot we tried yielded nothing with the drop shot, so I tie on a Rapala DT6 onto his line, per his request. You have to love the DT6s if only for their cast-ability, and I don’t even think that is a word, for crying out loud! The amazement on his face when he saw how far he tossed the DT6 said it all and confirmed it. He’s at that stage and age where a “mega-cast” as we’ve been calling them, between father and son, is the only way to go. I stayed with the drop shot.
I told him that the third spot was going to the “money” spot. He asked why I called it the money spot, I told him because that was where he was going to finally get paid in the form of catching a bass for all of his efforts. I also told him that this spot his been not only pretty good for me, but also his fish-catching sister.
We made our way to the third spot and final spot, fish or no fish. The time was just after 8:00pm now and although we were running out of sunlight, I remained optimistic.
My son was making awesome mega-cast after mega-cast in the spot despite fishing fairly close to trees. On the cast that counted, a few seconds after starting his retrieve, I saw his rod bend down fiercely. I looked out toward the line and saw that the crankbait was too far out to get caught up in the rocks and before my mind could conclude that he had one on, my son shouted, “I got one!”
For those of you who target smallies, you know how well they can fight, and the one he had at the end of his line didn’t disappoint. The smallmouth impaled itself on two tines of the belly treble.
We managed to flag down a passer-by to ask if he could take a photo before we released the bass. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the camera in auto mode. I apologize for grainy and poor photo. And while this isn’t that big of a bass, it is a decent one as a first fish for a seven-year-old.
I retired the drop shot rig for the day and employed a Rapala Husky Jerk. It didn’t help.
We continued to fish for about another twenty minutes. In that time he asked if he could try my casting reel and initially, I thought, “No way Jose! I don’t want to mess around untangling a bird’s nest.”
On the other hand, the day was done and I suppose my casting reel could benefit from fresh line anyway. I proceeded to show him the ropes and emphasized one key thought – you must stop the spool from spinning before the lure hits the water.
He actually did well for a first timer, but his thumb is going to need to get a little bigger to push the button and hold onto the spool. The one bird’s nest he made was minor and didn’t take long to undo. We had to pack it up shortly after that.
Final Score: Son: One. Dad: None.
If having him out fish me will keep him fishing with me, then so be it! May my kids catch more than me every time!
Conditions: Clear Skies, Low Seventies
Rapala spinning rod mated to an Okuma spinning reel with 6# Stren Mono.
Shimano Compre rod mated to a Rapala 6Sxi with 6# Stren Mono
Cabelas Mag-Touch rod mated to a Shimano Curado 101d with 8# Spiderwire Mono.