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Bass, That Fight Like Jack Crevalle

Bass, That Fight Like Jack Crevalle Bass, That Fight Like Jack Crevalle
By Jim Hammond

In all of my 48 years I have always enjoyed fishing for largemouth bass because you can catch them many ways with many types of lures and many styles of fishing. The downside to largemouth is they usually don't fight very hard or long.

You know what I mean, you set the hook and get a great fight for about 30 seconds and then it is over and they come right to the boat. The best thing about the fight is the hook set and the blast of energy following the hook set. Sometimes it is like setting the hook in a stump and the you get a short fight. It almost sounds like I am bad mouthing bass because they do not fight long but I am not, this is just how they are. All fish do not fight like a bonefish or stud redfish.

Well, this past week I had the opportunity to have my opinion, changed of the short lived fight with a largemouth bass. I went to Little River Plantation in Ashburn, Georgia. This is a private resort that by far has some of the best, world class bass fishing that this angler has ever experienced.

We started out by arriving at the lodge, where we were then taken to one of their 20 lakes. Now their advertisement says that these lakes are home to white perch, crappie, blue gill bream, catfish and the fightingest large mouth bass in the country. This caught my attention, fightingest largemouth in the country, what does this mean, do the fight ten seconds more, jump more, strike harder, what does this mean. How can you have a largemouth that fights harder than another. Were these people feeding these fish something special. Do the employ Arnold Swartseniger to work out with them. What is a largemouth that fights harder than any other. Is this a special breed, what are they doing differently than anyone else.

As we approached the lake, I knew I was about to find out what the deal was with these bass that were the fightingest large mouth in the country.

We unhooked my little Carolina Skiff J-16, loaded up our rods, camera and one Plano Soft Tackle bag that was full of all of my special bass fishing lures. By the way, a Carolina Skiff J series boat is a great small lake or pond boat. It has all of the room that you need, is stable and the one that I have has a MotorGuide foot control trolling motor on the front and a MotorGuide hand control trolling motor on the rear. I also have a Honda 9.9 for those long runs but I did not need it on this lake.

Scott backed me down the ramp, I turned on the rear mounted trolling motor and off of the trailer the boat came. Scott came aboard and we were of, in search of Mr. Largemouth. We started by tossing a spinner bait and working it slowly, Scott calls it slow rolling it. See, we were fishing the day after a big front had come through and we also had a big high pressure and a bright, blue bird sky. Now for you bass fisherpersons, you know that this is by far one of the worst conditions to fish for bass, so I did not think we were going to catch more than about 10 or 12 fish all day and I was pretty sure that we were going to work hard for those strikes.

We were running the spinner baits along every stump and log looking for our first fish. We were also trying to establish a pattern. Establishing a pattern is very important when doing any kind of fishing, especially when we thought it was going to be tough. Scott was working the shallow water and I the deep water. On about my third cast I felt what seemed like a tap, then another then wham, I was hooked up. I am hollering, get the camera, this is a big fish as I angled the fish towards that boat. This fish was fighting hard and I knew I had a good one. After what seemed to be a very long battle with this fish I had it to the boat and as I lipped it I was shocked that it was only four pounds. I would have sworn that I had and 8 pounder. Well, I discounted this to the first fish of the day and I was using a new Pflueger rod and reel that I had just received and I did have Power Pro on the spool. Maybe it was just me and my new equipment.

The next fish came from shallow water as my spinner bait bounced off of a log, the fish was just there. Scott, being a real bass fisherman as he used to fish BASS and is a real good fisherman, had his drag cinched down just like all bass fisherman. This fish was about 3 1/2 pounds and was doing the same as the one that I had just caught, did not want to come to the boat. What are these fish eating to give them so much energy. Now that was two fish and we both thought that they were much larger than the turned out to be. We continued to work our spinner baits in and around the sumps and stick ups, catching a fish here and a fish there. On one stump we caught five fish with five cast, all about the same size 3 1/2 to 4 pounds. And everyone of them fought like a 7 or 8 pounder. Between Scott and I, we had caught about 25 fish and all nice ones.

He said he was going to fish something else and started digging around in the tackle bag, looking for some sort of deep diving crank bait. He had left some sort of crank in the boat from our last bass fishing adventure and was looking for them. Now I have had many types and colors of deep diving crankbaits but until now had never known how to work them properly. Scott cast out and turned the handle on the reel until the bait hit the bottom and then slowed the retrieve down to a crawl, keeping the bait just in contact with the bottom. Every now and then the lip would get hung and he would have to stop and let the lure float up just a tad. Now I was paying close attention to this as he has taught me much about bass fishing and I was eager for more knowledge. His second cast produced a strike and he was at it again, catching fish on a crank bait. I noticed that he never reared back and set the hook as I was so used to seeing him do. He just lifted up on the rod tip and the fish was hooked. This fish did not want to come to the boat and about 2 minutes in to the fight, yes two minutes, are you believing that a largemouth would still have the energy to last two minutes, it came out of the water and what a fish it was. this was the largest so far, a six plus pounder. He continued to angle the fish and after another minute or so, Scott was landing a very nice fish. We both ooohed and aaaahed for a while and he sent her back to the depths that she had come from.

I had now put my spinner bait down and was paying close attention to Scott as he worked the lure in and around the stumps and loges that littered the bottom of this lake. A cast of two later and he had another nice fish on. This was a five pounder and now I was asking if I could use one of his deep diving crankbaits. He tossed me one and I immediately tied it on and was in the hunt. My cast was long and my initial retrieval of the bait was just fast enough to get to the bottom where it could dance around and bounce into the many logs that seemed to hold these very nice fish. On my second cast I also had a strike, the novice in me wanted to and did set the hook. Wrong thing to do, I pulled the bait away from the fish or out of its mouth or something because I did not have one on the other end pulling back. When you gat a strike, it is hard to not set the hook but to make this deep diving crank bait work effectively, you must lift up on the rod tip and just turn the handle.

I made two more care and on the third, my lure was again visited by a hungry fish. This time, I lifted up on the rod tip and turned the handle. I was hooked up and once again on a nice fish. After several minutes, I was landing a nice 5 plus pound largemouth and then it hit me. These fish fight like Jack Crevalle that jump out of the water. What have the people at Little River Plantation of Georgia done? Some how they have created the perfect largemouth. A fish that fights longer and harder than any bass that I have ever had the pleasure to set a hook in. These fish are without a doubt the fightingest large mouth bass in the country.

By days end Scott and I had managed to catch over 60 largemouth in this one lake. We caught them on spinner baits, deep diving crank baits, six inch and 10 inch worms and brush hogs. Both Scott and myself talked all the way back home about how hard these fish fought and I just couldn't get over how they did not want to come to the boat. Great job, Little river Plantation of Georgia.

For more information on this unbelievable fishery, you can contact them at:

Little River Plantation of Georgia 2415 Warwick Highway • Ashburn, Georgia 31714 229-567-0394 or 229-567-3584 [email protected]

I know one thing, I will be back.

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