Notes From the Dockside: The Bass Queen and the eagle
The Bass Queen and I had been out on Lake X a week earlier. It had been a blistering day with an unrelenting sun beating down and no wind. It was a tough day to be fishing. We had fished almost half of the eastern shore of the lake and had only one light strike.
Finally I suggested that we switch tactics. We had been fishing plastic worms close to the bank and obviously it wasn't working. We had now worked our way down the bank to deeper water so I suggested that we move out a little farther from the bank and start throwing crankbaits.
On the third cast The Bass Queen caught a fat foot-long bass. A few minutes later she caught another bass that was a couple of inches longer. It looked like we had discovered the secret and in the next couple of hours we caught and released a total of seven bass that ranged in size from a foot to fifteen inches long. It had been a good day of fishing.
It stayed hot throughout the week after that with bright sun and cloudless skies. Finally on the next Saturday the weather started to break as temperatures and the dewpoint dropped. The wind also picked up. It was a whole lot cooler when The Bass Queen and I returned to Lake X.
It is a good day to go fishing. The Bass Queen checked the weather forecast. It was supposed to storm later in the evening. That was perfect. By the time the storms rolled in we would be home.
As we were launching the boat a father and three sons who had launched before us were having motor problems. The father told us he had just bought the motor and it apparently had not been used for a couple of years. The motor started to cough and sputter and finally it caught. We followed them out through the channel to the main lake and they went south and we turned north on the lake. The Bass Queen told me that we might check on them later to make sure that they did not get stranded out on the lake.
We started again with plastic worms in the shallows and like the week before, they were not working. So we quickly moved to deeper water and started again with crankbaits. The wind was stiff and it was blessing that it kept us cool which was especially nice after last week. However, it also was a hindrance since I was having a tough time going against it even with a fifty pound thrust trolling motor.
Within a few minutes I picked up a nice plump fourteen inch bass on a crankbait but realized that I was not going to make headway against the wind. We switched to the other side of the lake and worked the west shore with the wind to our backs.
I switched to a couple of different baits and caught nothing. Finally I picked up another fourteen inch bass on a lipless crankbait. But The Bass Queen did not have a strike yet. I kept switching baits for her but nothing seemed to work. We ran into the father and sons again. They were looking for panfish and were not having much luck either. I suggested a bay right across the lake and they moved over there.
We moved back to the eastern shore but ran upwind so that we could again have the wind to our back. Suddenly we felt a chill. We had not been paying attention and now we looked to the west. Black storm clouds were building upon the horizon. It was looking nasty.
"I think we should head in," she said. The dark clouds seemed to overwhelm us and the sky was black. I told her to give it couple of more minutes. I wanted to see her catch at least one fish. She reluctantly gave in and I quickly changed baits for her again.
I looked up to see an eagle gliding overhead. It was the first time all year that we have seen an eagle at Lake X. I yelled to The Bass Queen and she looked up to where I was pointing. The eagle twisted and turned in the wind currents, perfectly silhouetted with its black body and white head and tail against the darkening sky. We watched as the eagle suddenly dropped from the sky to the surface of the water, grabbed a fish and soared upward, disappearing over the tree line.
"That was beautiful," The Bass Queen said. Three casts later she pulled back on her spinning rod and it was pumping as a fish ran off. The fish dove but she brought it back and a moment later I was netting it for her. It was the biggest bass of the day.
We heard a clap of thunder. It was time to leave. The wind was stronger now and black clouds were piling up on each other. We turned the motor on and raced to the bay where we had last seen the father and three sons. He was frantically pulling on the starter cord and as we got close his motor kicked in. He flashed us thumbs up and followed us back to the landing.
We pulled our boat out and then I helped him load his boat on the trailer.
By the time I got back to our van raindrops were splattering down. On the way home it poured and rain washed down the windshield. It was going to be one heck of a storm.
We were about half way home when the Bass Queen said, "It was the eagle." "For what?" I asked. "I wouldn't have caught that fish if it wasn't for the eagle. It was there to bring me good." I see no reason to disagree with that.
Editor's Note: The Notes From The Dockside is an exclusive feature appearing in the Hudson Star-Observer on the first and third issues of each month.