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It was a windy day on Evergreen Lake. The sun was shining bright and the reflection off the water was helping me to keep warm. The air was crisp and the wind was advising it’s control at my every shift on the kayak as I stand among the fallen trees on the water’s edge throwing my favorite finesse search bait the wacky rigged Crabby Bass Whacker in purple with red glitter and grape scent with chartreuse tips. That would be repeated many times that morning against what seemed to be everlasting shorelines causing me to fatigue at times throughout my search. I worked the rock walls and drop offs with every ones go to…the squarebill. And yet again I could not collect. Not even a bite. I threw some other lures which seemed to be in desperation only to repeat the same outcome as before “nada”. I knew there were some great looking coves that would produce, be it that they were out of the wind and partially shaded. The shores riddled with bushes, limbs and fallen trees along with some stumps that screamed “Fish me! Fish me!” I soon stood up and went to work. Man I was pitching like it was no one’s business. I threw that worm everywhere I could get. The wacky rig is great for these situations because you can skip it under the low branches and vegetation hanging over the water’s edge. Again working the edges with my confidence baits.

By now I was getting tired and saw my girlfriend across the lake by the boat launch on the other side of the lake. She had already starting paddling to me and I started towards her as well. She asked if I was hungry or thirsty. I was at this time and the weather was warming up and I had finished both my bottles of water already. She asked if how I was doing and what I thought since we had been on the water for about 4 hrs now. This lake is very large and we had some paddling ahead of us to get back. Feeling internally beat down from the lack of bites that day, I wanted to quit and then I looked across the lake where I saw this cove that had fallen timber and a different hue to the water signaling that it was shallow. I had worked all the edges and shorelines all day and some open flats in this deeper side of the lake because it was cold still and I was merely sight fishing to the extent of just looking at maps and going off instinct and that obviously was not working at all. I instantly said, “Lets hit that spot right over there and then we’ll go”. We paddled to the dock where we thought that there were some fish.

Once we arrived my girlfriend threw her bobber and night crawler right off the point to the right of the dock. She hooked into a 14in bass right away. I was very pleased that she caught a fish and my hunch seemed to be on point (pardon the pun haha). I started to dissect the area with my mind. I soon set off on my kayak to the sunken timber and brush that had not yet started to bud with the signs of Spring. I worked the edges just as before and came to a glorious looking spot that was just short of a big sign telling me this was the place. I stood up once again and started to pitch to the ends of the timber that was sunken below. I dropped my worm and let it flutter to the bottom. I waited a few seconds and then raised the tip of my rod slowly feeling for some resistance of any kind. At this very moment joy and exhilaration overcame me because I could feel something on the other end. I quickly set the hook and brought a 15in bass up. I was so happy. Only a fisherman could know what this feeling is like. All that negative self disappointment lifted instantly and my confidence went through the roof. I then moved to another log and another and then once again there’s another nice fish but a small one around 9″ at best. There were camping sights along a lot of the shoreline of the lake an there was a mother and daughter camping right where I was fishing. I had a small exchange the usual hellos and such. I had fished the area pretty well and waited to fish this rooted out tree that was unbelievable. You could see right into the water and see the visibility that anything beneath the water would a great line of sight. I threw the worm to the right side of the tree and let it drift down out of sight. I waited longer than usual this time not really doing it purpose but rather because it felt like I should. I lifted my rod tip slowly and felt some resistance and then started to speed up to get the best hook set. I soon saw this beast break the water and the daughter did as well unknowingly to myself as I was wrapped up at the moment trying to set the hook so I could land this hog and know that this made it all worth it today. I had not realized that I had drifted a bit more toward the tree and my 7ft spinning rod was in the trees a bit. I noticed that the fish was swimming up with the worm and I had to act fast. I sped up my hookset only to have my rode smash against the branches. I see the bass come out of the water and was definitely a 20+ inch hog quickly followed by my line going slack and my worm started to lunch out of the beasts mouth as it slip back into the shadows of the timber. I grabbed the front of my face and slunk down with my head low thinking about the loss I had just witnessed and then I heard, “Oh I bet that one hurt.” I laughed and looked from where the voice came and agreed. There was a young woman and older woman which I had determined were Mother and daughter sitting on the shore in the darkness of the shade of the trees on their campsite. We exchanged a few more sentences and I sat there for a few just taking in the experience. I was very pleased at this point on how my day had gone despite losing that big fish. After all it was a beautiful day and I was doing the thing I love the most…fishing.

It’s funny how that works you know. I mean you know you’re good but sometimes the lake seems to win and you just have to trust your instincts, knowledge, experience and over all work ethic because we all know that it doesn’t come easy all the time and you have to trust that you are doing all you can and if you end up empty handed its not that you are a bad fisherman. It’s just that the lake won this day and you will be back for a rematch. Fishing is a way of life and you learn to take the good as well as the bad.