Trust Your Instincts... Cosmic Sh*t Happens... Especially When Fishing...
Have you ever had a gut feeling that completely overcomes you? You may be totally preoccupied with something entirely different, but a nagging itch in the back of your mind begs to be scratched. It's something that you can't ignore and you know that if you do, you'll be making a big mistake and potentially missing out on a significant opportunity.
Well, a few weeks ago when I was out on the water, I was affected by this very feeling. I returned to Lake X: a fishery that I've put a lot of time into over this past year. About 6 1/2 months ago, on Mother's Day, I fished this very lake and caught my biggest bass of the year: a 6.64 lb, 22 1/2 inch New Jersey giant that absolutely eviscerated my Storm Arashi Glide. The fish had immense power and ripped my rear hook hanger clean out of the bait, rendering it useless (Just as an FYI, Storm replaced the bait no questions asked after I contacted them and relayed the story. Buy in confidence). I was lucky to land this monstrous bass and just got her to shore before the bait was dismantled. I knew there was another giant in the same vicinity as where I had just caught the behemoth. They were up shallow and there was good water clarity: it was one of those storied spring days where the fish were extremely active and showed themselves. Without even thinking, I kept the same Decoy Snap tied on and simply swapped my wounded Arashi Glide with an XL Nezzuma Rat. I wanted to present something different with the big, slow moving wake on the surface and thought that I could generate another quick bite.
To put it plainly, I got greedy and put the prospect of landing another giant ahead of retying (which should NEVER be overlooked). Well... what happened on my first cast? I threw at an extremely awkward angle under a protruding tree branch to target a very small open patch in the cover a good distance out, immediately backlashed, broke off with an audibly loud, "SNAP!" and sent my Nezz into the next solar system. The current had picked up and it was so far out that I couldn't locate it visually. I scoured the water to no avail in the high end-of-day sunlight, and even communicated what had happened to a couple kayak fisherman that came through the area minutes later. They couldn't seem to locate it either. After an hour so, darkness set in and the thrill of catching such an NJ beast was overshadowed by losing one of my favorite baits out of sheer stupidity and hastiness. (ALWAYS RETIE... ESPECIALLY AFTER CATCHING A SIX PLUS POUND FISH! ALWAYS CHECK YOUR LEADER WHEN FISHING A BRAID TO LEADER SYSTEM. IT'S YOUR LIFELINE! (PUN INTENDED)). I drove home completely dejected. However, based on the fact that the bait floats and the prominent current empties into a particular corner of Lake X, I always kept a shred of hope alive that I may run into the bait again some day.
Well, keeping this hope alive proved to be invaluable. Fast forward 6 1/2 months to the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Here is a summation of the events as they unfolded as taken from my Big Fish Synergy Instagram page:
"In a stroke of incredible good fortune bordering on ‘miracle’ status, I found one of my beloved @tripletroutlures custom painted XL Nezzuma rats that I had broken off almost 6 and 1/2 months ago on Mother’s Day (after catching a giant). Always check your line!!!! In my one moment of laziness, I experienced this crushing loss and it has irked me ever since. Last Saturday, I was fishing the same lake where I had lost the Nez and had a strange inclination to check this one spot that the current empties into. I’ve always had it in the back of my mind that I would run into this bait again. I visited the spot and there it was, glistening in the sun, stuck in the mud! After fishing it out, I was overjoyed. It spent 202 days in the water and was still virtually as good as new. That’s a testament to Scott’s build quality. It only needed a fresh tail, and hooks. (See top photo). I took her home, cleaned her up and installed a fresh set of @mustadfishing kvd 2x short 3/0 triple grips, screwed in a fresh tail and she is good to go! Surprisingly, the @ownerhooks hyperwire split rings and @decoy_katsuichi egg snap were still in great condition. What a Thanksgiving treat, to recover this absolute gem! Always trust your instincts and never lose faith!"
By never losing faith and paying attention to both an inclination and my surroundings, I was lucky enough to recover the Nez rat. I was vigilant enough to notice the paint of the bait glistening in the sun, and logical enough to at least check the one spot that the current was so obviously emptying into. Of course there was no guarantee that it would be there, but there's no harm in at least exploring the possibility: in this instance it panned out. Simply put, I had a gut instinct and I believed in it. Do not underestimate these types of premonitions when out on the water. There's a certain mystique to angling and it's not to be taken lightly. Inexplicable things happen out on the water.
Now for the Cosmic Sh*t. I lost the bait on Mother's Day after catching a big 6.64 lb Mother Bass. It spent 202 days out on the water before I recovered it. Do you know what that equates to in months? Well, let me give you the big reveal: 6.64 MONTHS!!! Does this mean that I had to pay homage to the Fish Gods for bestowing me with such a trophy by lending them my coveted bait for the monthly equivalent of the exact poundage of the fish???!!! We'll never know, but I'd like to think that a larger force is at hand. I've gotta check my Midi-chlorian count asap!