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As I sit in the recliner reflecting on winter fishing, watching snow fall, and typing away; my thoughts drift back to last February.  I had just received my brand new Cuda 12 from the Jackson Kayak factory and it needed to be slimed real bad!  Scott and Tammy Holston were itching to get on the river and so was I.  Smallies were on the menu and the water temperature was creeping into the mid-40s.  It was a go.

Saturday rolled around and we were on the river.  We had plans of catching 20+” smallies every other cast.  Reality set in quickly.  Slow rolled spinnerbait – nope.  Crankbait – nope.  Jig – nope.  We fished slow sections, fast sections, deep sections, shallow sections – nothing.  We were all enjoying one another’s company and what started as fishing became a paddle and a social experience.  Friendships built on the river are what I enjoy most about the sport of kayak fishing.

It happens every so often that my fishing trips become a laid back paddle – usually when the fishing is tough.  I watched Scott fish his heart out.  I watched Tammy crank her 1.5 into submission.  There son James was also along for the ride and fishing his heart out.  We came to  a place where we could stop and talk for a few minutes.  I realized that Scott had thrown the kitchen sink, Tammy had cranked her heart out, and I had thrown everything I had – except a jerkbait.

I tied on my Pointer while we talked and started thinking about the section that awaited us.  I asked everyone to follow me and fish an area thoroughly before we called it quits.  As we paddled into the area, Tammy started speaking of seeing fish on her graph.  The first sign of life all day. Every fish she saw was in the 4 foot range.  I knew my pointer was the go to bait.

While Tammy began casting and covering water with the crankbait, I began casting my Jerkbait into an small area that had produced big fish for me in the past.  I cast into the slack part of this area and cranked the jerkabit down, gave it a couple good jerks, then let it sit.  One thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three, one thousand four, one thous – tick.  I set the hook and the fish didn’t give much – I knew it was large.  One small jump and my heart skipped a beat.  I had an audience and my only thought was to get this fish to the yak – I did.

Though the fishing was slow and only one fish was landed, it was still a great day.  Not because a trophy smallie was landed, but because it was experienced with great friends.