Fishing is good EVERYWHERE around here… on the river, of course, and on the nearby lakes, too. If you want nearly limitless fishing opportunities, well, this is the place to be!
Sometimes, (not nearly often enough) Steve and I will sneak off in the evening and go get a little lake fishin’ in… Nighttime is often the only time we can get away for a bit, and we typically don’t fish the river at night – we don’t have lights on our riverboat, for one thing.
So, off we went last night. We put in at the Fairview access, about 15 minutes from our resort, on Bull Shoals Lake in the Jimmy Creek area. Before we got in that boat, we noticed several pretty decent sized bass and all kinds of little baitfish.
We went down a couple of coves, and started fishin’. Of course, my husband always gives me something different than he’s using to fish with when we’re out on the lake… Hmmm… He catches a couple of small, and one “almost medium-sized” bass, and I had not caught a thing.
I was just happy to be out there, though. Steve continued around the point, and I just kicked back on the boat’s back deck, and looked at the sky… listened to the birds… watched a deer… started thinkin’ about my Dad, Robert Watts, who would have loved to have been there…
You see, my Daddy passed last November, on Election Day. (You can draw your own conclusions, there…) He taught me how to fish when I was 5 or 6. I grew up on a small lake in Missouri that had catfish, bass, bluegill, perch, and one of his favorites, crappie.
So, anyway, I’m just lyin’ on my back, lookin’ up at the sky, and thinkin’ about how much he’d like to be there with us. An hour went by, maybe two… sorta lost track of time, but it didn’t seem to matter.
Steve hadn’t caught anything for awhile, but all of a sudden I got the urge to just sit up, grab my rod, and throw in that big, purple plastic bass worm on a drop rig. I had the feeling I was supposed to say something like, “This one’s for you, Daddy”, but I thought that was kinda silly so I didn’t say anything… but, I did throw in that line and BAM!
Something big hit that rig, but I missed gettin’ a hook set. Had it on less than 5 seconds… Grrrr… reeled it in and the entire bass worm was gone.
My husband just sorta looked at me and said, “Did someone just tell you there was a fish there or something???” I just smiled. “If I’d have said what I was supposed to, I wouldn’t have lost that fish, either. I was supposed to say, ‘This one’s for you, Daddy!’”
Regardless of missing that fish, I was payin’ attention now. Told Steve I wanted to go back and fish the point on the opposite side of the cove, and he said, “OK”. Got lined up on a ledge that dropped off from about 20 ft to 40 ft of water. Started fishin’ again.
Steve was trying various things – sinking plugs, and even some topwater lures. Me? I was rigged for bass, with just a white and blue grub-lookin’ plastic on a jighead. Had a curled tail, decent action…
The first time I cast it out, I felt a sudden “stop”. Looked down at my reel… Folks, my husband had given me a rod that only had about 35 – 40 feet of line on it! I couldn’t believe it… I couldn’t even cast all the way to the bank… And if I got anything on that needed some slack line to play, I was toast… Of course, my Steve said he didn’t do that on purpose.
Yeah, OK… “That’s alright”, I told him… “I’ll beat you anyway! This game is rigged in my favor and don’t you feel bad, but you don’t have a chance, baby…” All I got was a bit of a grin in response… little competitive, the two of us? Yup. And neither of us would have it any other way, I don’t reckon…
Anyway, I’m thinkin’ to myself… “Daddy, help me out here. If you can, get Jesus to send me a crappie, and I’ll know you were in on it…” Within seconds, folks, and I mean literally seconds:
Steve knew I was “gettin’ help”! He started to worry a bit, and rightfully so! We took a picture and released it.
Anyway, then I said out loud, “OK, Daddy, now get Jesus to send me a walleye!” (Yes, I know, that was tempting the Lord, but I figured it was OK… )
Guess what? Uh-Huh…
Steve got pretty quiet… we took a photo and let that one go, too. So far, so good, I’m thinking… so, I said, “OK, Daddy! One more! Get Jesus to send me a really nice bass!” I really knew I was pushin’ it this time… but… yeah… had to say it. And, you guessed it!
Steve netted it and brought it in. He set it down in the boat. He said, “Yeah, it’s a bass… actually, it’s a really nice bass”, with a combination of amazement and perhaps just a touch of, um… jealously, perhaps? No… I’m sure I imagined that…
Anyway, that was the last photo of the evening…
As we were heading back to the ramp, I just started thinking how my Dad must be laughin’ his fool head off up there with Jesus! And that children’s song came to my head that I hadn’t thought of since I was a little girl – the one called, “Jesus Loves Me”. You know the one – Jesus loves me, this I know… for the Bible tells me so…
Anyway, I came up with new lyrics for that song last night. And sang it to Steve all the way home… and again this morning… and this afternoon…
Here is my rendition:
Jesus loves me, this I know… Bigger Fishies tell me so!
Little ones, my husband’s catch… I got crappie, walleye, bass!
Yes, Jesus loves me… Yes, Jesus loves me…
Yes, Jesus loves me! The Big Fish Tell Me So!
Come on out and see us, folks!