The Pet Bass

In my post of May 19, 2011, [The Suwanee River], I mentioned the pet bass that the bait camp operator showed me. Now for “the rest of the story”

When my ex and I first drove into Suwanee, Florida, it reminded me of Port O’Conner, Texas, there was only 1 motel, 1 restaurant and 1, bait camp, just another sleepy, Gulf Coast, fishing village, but offering marvelous trout fishing!  This opinion quickly changed as I walked out the rickety, ramp to our guide’s boat.

At my barbers encouragement, on the first trip to Suwanee, walking out of the bait camp, the proprietor said, “Sir, watch this and look down into the water right below us.”  He picked an old oar that was leaning against the side of the building and banged it 3 times on to the walkway.  Looking down I saw a big fish come floating to the surface, a huge bass!  The proprietor then took a coffee can full of dead shrimp and fish cleanings and dropped them to the bass, who promptly inhaled them. The bass, they can survive in brackish water, continued swimming around and he continued, saying, “This past spring we scooped it up in a long handled net and weighed her, a little over 14 pounds.  Ha, Ha, I think we’ll just grow us a new record here.”

The fine trout fishing prompted me to keep my boat in Suwanee and in early March of 1979, prior to my move back to Texas, I went down to get the boat and for one last fishing trip.  Walking into the bait camp I exclaimed, “How’s everybody?”  The proprietor smiled and said, “We’re all fine, but I got some bad news.”  Thoughts of a fish kill or a fishing ban flashed through my mind as he continued, “We’d gone to the cafe for supper and we guess that some bastard snuck up the canal here Tuesday night 2 weeks ago and caught our bass.  I hope the S.O.B. chokes on the bones!”