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True Fishing Story: BIGGEST CRAPPIE I EVER (nearly) CAUGHT.

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My old fishing buddy, Pat, past away last year but if he was here, he would, grudgingly, back me up on this because real fishermen never lie.

Now in that part of Alabama (I'm currently living in Costa Rica) crappie fishing is taken seriously, and they are especially hard to find during the dog days of summer. But me and Pat, being such smart fishermen, had a secret honeyhole. There is a place in nearby Hokes Bluff, where some of the lawless element regularly strip cars and push them off a cliff into thirty feet of water.

Now me and Pat had figured out that when the temperature approaches 95 degrees and above, about half the crappie in the whole Coosa River seek refuge in amongst these old cars. On this particular day, we were getting close to the 30 fish limit of good-sized slabs. We were getting the best action by dangling a weighted minnow straight down about 3 cranks off the bottom. I had a 2nd pole rigged with a chartreuse metal flake grub on a 1/16th hot pink jig head-my special secret weapon.

I was giving Pat some of my valuable insight into the finer techniques of fishing, while he was being ungrateful, as usual. Now my secret weapon was just lying there, dangling over the side, when all of a sudden, it LEAPT into the air. Only my cat-like reflexes saved the day. Even Pat was impressed with the way I reached back with one hand, spun on one foot and jumped astraddle the side of the old bass bomber, all in one fluid motion. With one size 13 Nike in the water, and the handle on the anchormate in a very sensitive area, I snatched the rod out of mid air. While I was thinking evil thoughts about the idiot that mounted the anchormate in such a stupid place and contemplated the nausea spreading from my lower torso, I became aware that the zebco 33 in my hand was smoking.

At this time I was getting deep into fishing as a relaxation hobby after taking bets from some friends and family that used to put action on the horses and some sports betting. This was a time where sports betting wasn’t nowhere near as popular as it is today in the US. With recent regulations it’s difficult to watch sports without being told what the odds are for this or that team. Back in the day I was using one of those bookie websites services to run my shop without much hassle. Getting started and becoming a bookie for close friends and relatives was a breeze. So I liked to take some time off and go fishing with Pat on the days when there were not big games.

Pat was not as calm as I was. PLAY 'IM GRIZ, PLAY 'IM! was all he could holler. Now, I've seen just a few crappie that were 3 pounds when put on the scale, and I have a place over my mantle reserved for one. As I was coming out of the fog of pain, I realized, this bad boy would tip the scales at 4Lb. 7oz. Wily fisherman that I am, I began to pump the rod tip, just enough to keep him off the bottom, without breaking my 8Lb Trilene. Pat had added another verse to his song; PLAY 'IM, GRIZ, PLAY 'IM, HE'S A WORLD RECORD!!! echoed across the river! I noticed somebody had stepped on the styrofoam minnow bucket.

Shiners were flipping in a film of water on the deck of the old bass bomber. I was prepared though, I have learned some tricks to deal with this type of fish. It seems the wily old crappie didn't live so long without learning a few tricks of his own. Just as I had him worn out, getting ready to bring him up, he swam into a '57 Chevrolet and rolled up the window on my 8 Lb. Trilene. It was over. Just like that. I guess the old paper mouth was a good sport 'cause once he got the slack in the line and unhooked himself, he rolled the window back down, releasing my jig.

We didn't talk much going back to the ramp. I believe Pat thought it was me that crushed the minnow bucket, ending our day. He did say one thing in the truck: I TOLD you to play 'im. No conversation while cleaning the fish, except I remarked how it wouldn't take so long if he hadn't kept so many little ones. I guess he didn't hear me. As I was getting in the truck, he said, "Try it again tomorrow?" Says I: It's "sposed to be 100 degrees with no wind." Says he: "Perfect! They oughta be jumpin' in the boat!" Says me: "I got some more o' them chartreuse metalflakes......"

Now like I said, Pat's not here to back me up, but I've got UNDISPUTABLE evidence, as you'll see if you ever come to visit. A beat up old Graflex with a Zebco 33, 8lb. Trilene, and a hot pink 1/16 oz jig with a chartreuse metalflake grub - hanging over my mantle. Life is good!

Updated 30-10-2019 at 03:00 by frenzyboating

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