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Thursday, August 2. 2012
The sun was almost up as Bill Priddy cast the silver Rebel fishing plug about 36 inches out from the bank and was greeted by a solid strike, with the bass immediately taking to the air. Looks like this stock tank had been stocked with bass before, the rancher didnâ€™t know for sure and Bill and I were checking it out. Bill slid the 3, pounder on to the sandy bank, unhooked it and slid it back into the water, commenting, â€œWhat a way to answer the rancherâ€™s question.â€
This trip to our newly acquired McCulloch County hunting lease was set up to scout for dove, the season opened in 2 weeks, but the rancher â€œinsistedâ€ that we check out this 2 acre stock tank, so mixing scouting and fishing, we â€œkilled 2 birds with one stoneâ€!
My bait of choice was a yellow Piggy Boat, pictured to the left, an early â€œsafety pinâ€ spinning bait, almost snag less if the hooks were installed properly, almost weed less and a proven â€œkillerâ€ for small lake and stock tank fishing, but his success cast a knawing doubt, if this was the right choice of baits. Several casts later my doubts increased, so I thought Four more casts and Iâ€™ll switch to a Rebel.
At the same time, in my peripheral vision, I noticed movement to my left. Turning toward the movement, along came this brightly colored snake, a big one, almost 5 foot long, dark, red bands, with black, yellow and black rings. First thing that came to my mind was the old saying "Red and yellow kills a fellow. Red and black is safe for Jack." Letting it slide on past, I thought it was some kind of a king snake, but later after consulting â€œBingâ€, I determined that it was a Mexican milk snake, pictured below from Wikipedia.
More casts, no hits, as Bill plugged away, out scoring me with his Rebel. Casting down, parallel to the bank, about 2 feet out from the shore, my Piggy Boat stopped, thinking I was fouled on some unseen, underwater obstruction, pulled on the object until the reel clicked as the drag paid out, but this wasnâ€™t a â€œfoul upâ€, it was a fish!
The fish headed away from the shore for deep water, taking line, more like a redfish, then it came to the surface clearing the water and I saw it was a big, big bass. More runs, more jumps, the splashes attracting Bill as he walked over to me, but I was winning this â€œfightâ€ and soon I slipped the big, bass up onto the bank. Lipping it, unhooking the plug from the corner of its mouth, I held it up for us to admire. He had a Deliar in his pocket and we weighed the bass, 8 pounds, 12 ounces, not a 12 pounder, my personal best, Bill was with me when I caught that one too, see my August 6, 2007 post, "A Really Big Bass", but still, this was a nice one too!
Keeping on fishing, we didnâ€™t notice any doves coming into this tank and as the morning heated up, still no doves, the bass stopped too. It turned out, the doves werenâ€™t watering at this tank, but we found 2 more that afternoon that they were using and had wonderful shooting, 2 weeks later.
Years later, my sonâ€™s and I went up to the lease to fill our corn feeders, after this chore was taken care of, we had some time, the boys choose to go after some bull frogs and I opted for bass. I drove up along side of Hwy. 190 and with my spinning rod and trusty Piggy Boat spinner bait, climbed out of my Suburban, went through the fence, walked over the tank damn and began casting out into the 2 acre tank. Years earlier, before dove season, Bill Priddy and I had scouted out this tank and enjoyed some good fishing, catching several almost whoppers, me adding an 8 plus pounder, but didnâ€™t see any doves that morning.
Catching and throwing back several 2 pounders, I worked my way around the tank and along the shore, not 50 feet in front of me, on its side, was a big fish. Walking up to it, it turned out to be a bass, a big one, its gills were barely moving and made no effort to escape to deeper water.
Never having seen this before and putting my rod down, I knelt beside the fish. The fish made no effort to escape my grasp as I turned it over. There was no sign of injury on either side, so I edged out into the water and tried to resuscitate the bass by moving it forward, forcing water over its gills. No luck with that try, so I replaced it on its side stepped out of the water and the bass had stopped moving its gills! It was gone and loosing heart for fishing, I left the bass on the edge of the water. The next morning, no bass, I bet it fed some turtles?
If predators donâ€™t get â€˜em, bass have the ability to live a long time, 16-20 years. My best guess was that central Texasâ€™ hot weather and low oxygen content of the water could have combined to kill it. For sure, extreme cold didnâ€™t cause this oneâ€™s death.
Iâ€™ve always wondered if this was the big bass that I had caught several years before?
Posted by Jon Bryan in Fishing at 11:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday, September 17. 2009
What is it best called, frog hunting, gigging, grabbing or shooting? Iâ€™ll choose just plain frogginâ€™. It is the most different of all the hunting sports. Thinking about it, I have never gone frog fishing, as such, but have caught a bull frog on a small, frog colored,Â popper and was rewarded with quite a battle onÂ my fly rod.
Frogginâ€™ is a nocturnal sport and a must, for success, is a good strong, spot light. I believe that when the light is shined in a frogâ€™s eyes it mesmerizes, hypnotizes or paralyzes them.
Gigging is the best way to capture frogs on larger bodies of water. A gig is a simple tool, a four foot, or longer, pole with a sharp instrument attached. It helps if the instrument also has a barb on it. If you know the bottom, wading is a fine method to use to sneak up on them, otherwise, a boat, or skiff, is required. Just shine the light in their eyes, sneak up quietly and stick â€˜em with the gig and into the toe sack with them.
The best part of frogginâ€™ is the eatin'. Just skin the legs, cut them off of the frog, wash them, dip them in corn meal and fry. Smaller legs are very good grilled and my favorite, are legs cooked in a butter, jalapeno, garlic and lemon/lime sauce â€“ Frog Jon.
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hunting at 08:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, November 28. 2008
My years of Quail hunting in Arizona, Georgia and Texas have been wonderful and even better is a dish that I accidentally, through trial and error, invented, â€œJalapeno Quailâ€. Â
As the name implies, the ingredients are Quail legs, however, Dove, Bull Frog, Teal or Woodcock legs can be substituted.Â However, I do find large Duck, Goose or Pheasant, legs too tough.
Depending on how many legs, one or two jalapenos, sectioned into 1/8 inch slices, sliced garlic pods or a copious amount of Garlic powder, Â½ to one full stick of butter (no margarine!).Â You canâ€™t use too much garlic or jalapenos!
Clean and wash the legs and prepare your ingredients.Â Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after slicing the jalapenos!Â Melt the butter in a cast iron skillet, and when melted, add all of the ingredients at once and simmer, covering the skillet with a lid, for 10 minutes, then stir and turn the mixture, recover and cook until done. Â
Feeds as many as you have legs for.Â Small legs are very good served as an appetizer.Â Frog legs can be a main course. Â
Best if served hot, but be sure and eat all of the ingredients, peppers, garlic and all! Â
Wash your hands thoroughly before the meal to remove any jalapeno residue because it really burns when you get it in your eyes!
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hunting at 08:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, May 18. 2007
Frogginâ€™ is a nocturnal sport and a must, for success, is a good strong, spot light. I guess that when the light is shined in a Frogâ€™s eyes it mesmerizes, hypnotizes or paralyzes them.
Continue reading "Froggin'"
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hunting at 08:15 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
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