J.B. Webb — How many rods should an angler take?

Staff Writer
Herald Democrat

The question above has been discussed and cussed over time. If you are a tournament angler, I can see carrying more rods and reels. I’m guilty of doing it. You can only use one at a time.

Putting 10 or 12 on the deck is asking for one or more to get hurt — mashed eyes on rods and broken rods or reels if you forget and step wrong. With the price of top-name rods and reels stepping or stumbling on one hurts the pocketbook.

Let me also throw in why cats aren’t my favorite pets. Remember when I wrote about the cat in the truck? Well Wednesday morning when I walked under my carport and was unlocking the door another cat who is using my truck to get to its spot in the rafters came diving out hit the top of my truck hit my hood and was gone. This one scared me too but not as much as the one in the truck.

Now if you are just a fun fisherman in a smaller boat, three rods are plenty. I should practice what I preach. Wednesday Charlie and I hit the water at 6:30 a.m. in his smaller bass boat. It started out as a perfect day, cool with a light northeast wind and the sun just coming over the trees on the east bank.

I had five rods and he had four or five plus a long-handled net. The floor looked like under my pecan tree after a high wind; rods, not limbs, were everywhere. I had gotten a tip from a friend of how and where he was catching some bass. Charlie and I skipped our shallow morning back of Little Mineral fishing run and headed for new water.

When we got to where we wanted to start fishing, I got into the back seat. I was careful as a two-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs since every time we go fishing something happens. This is the funny thing, Charlie said he had dreamed of going to deeper water and that’s what my friend had said.

We started fishing rock points and banks close to deep water. We could have left those extra rods at home. We used two rods each to catch all our fish — one with a Topwater lure and one with a Shakeyhead. These two rods were the work horses. Charlie was throwing his old school Heddon Chugger and I was throwing a Heddon Zara Spook Jr. I missed a fish, Charlie caught one and we kept moving and fishing the same kind of baits.

Charlie caught another and had four fish in the boat before I caught a big bream. As the sun got higher, we begin looking for rocky banks and points in the shade. Charlie was killing me; I was sitting in the back seat watching him catch more fish. I finally got a small bass in the boat.

The sun got higher but the Topwater Bite never stopped. When it did slow down we picked up our Shakeyhead rods. We were throwing 1/8 oz Heads; I was using a 4-inch YUM Dinger in Green Pumpkin Chartreuse. Charlie was throwing a 6-inch Green Pumpkin worm. I watched him set the hook more times than me. He kept saying the bite was so light he didn’t know he had one until his line moved off.

I caught two more on my Shakeyhead and YUM Dinger giving me a grand total of four and a bream. Charlie caught 11 — 15 bass and a bream isn’t bad fishing for five hours. Most of our fish came off rock points and banks in five-to-seven feet water close to a drop-off into deep water.

The day would have been a lot more fun if we had only had four rods in the boat. We had to be careful any time we moved in a hurry like getting the net. He and I both tried our other lures but Wednesday they wanted Top-water and Shakeyhead baits; those other rods could have stayed home. We could have fished longer but I had to go to the doctor that afternoon for my yearly grease job and oil check. The crowning glory of our day of fishing is we didn’t have anything happen to us and that’s rare.

The lake is rising — it’s getting to where I like it and now they have opened the floodgates. I don’t like to fish on blue-bird days but Wednesday it didn’t seem to matter. The rest of the week look like days to be on the lake. Stripers are excellent; bass were good for us,; crappie are slow and catfish must be good as there is a lot of jug fishing going on.

One last thought — don’t get cute with the receptionist in the doctor's office. She was grilling me with questions and asked had I been out of Texas lately, I truthfully answered yes, that got her attention. She asked when and I said today. That excited her a little, then I told her I was on the lake and when I left Little Mineral I was in Oklahoma. I don’t think my idea of what’s funny impressed them.