On a late spring Saturday morning, my father-in-law, O.H. Buck, my dad and I had driven into the bottoms along the Trinity River north of Dayton, Texas. We’d taken this opportunity to go camping, hunting and fishing and Saturday afternoon, both of them were hunting squirrels and I’d taken this opportunity to try out Buck’s jigging pole.

The only difference was that we’d rewrapped the rod and left over 6 feet of line on the tag end where a spoon was attached. Usually we jigged from a boat and used a short line with 2 hooks, but this time I’d be walking stealthily along the backwater, back from the almost level, bank, using trees for some cover, trying to make the spoon look like a small fish, darting about the shallows, for a better word, we called it dabblin’. In the same area this past duck season, while sneaking ducks, I’d come across a man using a cane pole and a long piece of line with a spoon attached. He was bass fishing, had several on his stringer, we both quipped that this was a good area for mallards and bass, but neither of us had ever encountered another group in this place!

Hearing Buck’s .22, pop in the distance, I knew that we’d have squirrel for supper, but my attention was focused on the long, Calcutta pole that I was dabblin’ in the shallow water of a slough off of the Trinity. My bait of choice, tied securely on the end of 6 feet of 60, pound, braided line, was a silver spoon, with a single hook and fluorescent attractor, that I dabbled along slowly, awaiting, what I had hoped for, was a savage strike from a largemouth bass.

The savage strike wasn’t long in coming! The 3 pounder set the hook when it engulfed the spoon and when its thrashing around subsided, I hand over handed the cane pole back towards me until reaching the fish that I unhooked, then walked back and tied the stringer to a handy tree near the water and slipped the bass on.

My dad’s 20, gauge, boomed, probably another squirrel, as I walked past where the bass had hit. Dabbling along, trying to use the trees for cover, 100 yards down the slough, another bass smashed the spoon and I held on, but this one was a 14 incher, not the big, splashing fight of the bass on the stringer. This was a keeper too so I unhooked it, walked back to the handy tree and slipped it on. Deciding that this wouldn’t work too well, me walking back to this particular tree with anymore fish, I carried the stringer until I’d fished a spot, then I’d find a tree, put the fish in the water and keep on dabblin’

Staying back from the bank was made easier with the long pole. However, it looked like the more hidden I became, strikes would follow, so trying to get my 190 pounds behind a 6 inch tree was impossible, but the pole helped me to get back away from the fish’s line of sight.

Walking almost a mile down the slough, I picked up another bass, a 16 incher that I slipped on the stringer, then turned around and walked back to our camp. This was really a different kind of fishing for me, sneaking along, dabblin’ the spoon in the shallows, waiting for a strike and most surprising, catching 3 bass. The bass would fry up real good for breakfast, too!