It was 60, with a howling north wind when we launched the boat on Percy Priest, June 13. It was just dawn and for 30 minutes, all we did was fight the wind.
I had a jogging suit on over my shorts and I was underdressed.
Mark Campbell had on some kind of jammies and he was a’shivering. Sixty-degrees is not that cold but the wind was straight off a polar icecap. Global warming my great aunt Fanny!
So we took shelter in a cove and all of a sudden, someone started throwing golf balls at us. We were in the middle of a stripe jump that covered about three-acres. In 45 minutes, we put 40 stripe, six bass and four bream in the boat.
Then, they quit and we came on over home. A good, albeit somewhat cold morning. The bass wanted the GitZit, the stripe wanted Flash. Flash is a 1/6-ounce, in-line spinner that will catch anything but a common cold.
Back at the ramp, two women were about to launch a kayak and a paddle board. I explained to them, Priest was white-capping and dangerous even in a bass boat.
They thanked me in a manner I took to mean, “Mind your own business.” So I did. The one in the kayak, I feel sure, had never been in one and she could have used one several sizes bigger -- if you get my drift.
She immediately got it stuck on the back of some guy’s boat trailer. But off they went. Neither had a life jacket. Oh well, catfish and turtles have to eat, too. You can’t fix stupid. I see it daily at most boat ramps.
Friday, June 14, 3:30, A of M. It is a nice 48 degrees. We head for the Caney. In the dark, down on the river, it has warmed up to 46. We launch the boat. Not another hooman in sight. That is unheard of for a Friday in June. But, did I mention, it was 46 degree -- cover your tomato plants.
It is still dark as the inside of a housecat when I get the first hit. A brown trout of about two pounds. Several non-productive casts later, I set the hook and something very large starts pulling the boat around. Finally, the hook pulls. It is extremely hard to land big fish on the tiny hooks on a Flash in-line spinner.
Then, I catch a walleye, throw him back. And the Campbell sets the hook in Ole Moby. Moby proceeds to pull us all over the place until I identify him as a big carp.
Then we start catching walleye. Unbelievably, Campbell catches the same one I caught. Easily identified by a torn gill cover. In a couple hours, we caught about a dozen walleye, four or five trout, six or ten stripe and a hybrid or two.
By then, we were just about froze and the hordes were descending with flyrods and kayaks and such. So, we come on over home after stopping at the Waffle House to warm up.
See, it ain't supposed to be no 46 degrees in June. It is a reverse global warming and I suspect it is all Al Gore’s fault.
But in two days, although we did not keep any, we caught a whole lot of fish before we come on over home. We caught and put in the boat, stripe, hybrid, bass, walleye, bream, and trout.
Best I can cipher, in about five total hours of fishing, we caught around 65 total fish of various tribes. Good fun, all around.
So, mark that in your books. It was two cold days in June.