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Bobby Bass

Fishing Opener!

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Lake Iwanttobethere fishing opener arrived on schedule and with it the trailers and trucks and fishermen of all shapes and sizes and all mostly dressed in rain gear set out on the water. A typical opener for most. Cool, damp and cloudy skies were the norm for the day. Some fish were caught and few more were lost and a story or two might have been emblished. Long lines at the access greet early morning fishermen and trailers are parked along the road and in the ditches. Under the green hoods of rain parkas old faces looking young again with expecting eyes held on to tillers and motored out onto the waters of Lake Iwanttobethere. Trusted combinations of hooks and sinkers and beads on new line were lowered out of eyesight into the cold water, and hopefully into the hungry mouths of waiting fish.

Mental checklists are gone over again and everyone could hear someone reminding someone else about making sure the plug was in at the landing. Waders were pulled on and somehow they had gotten smaller since last fall. Boats were eased off sunken trailers to be tied off to the side of the dock and trucks are driven out trailing a telltale stream of dripping water across the cement access. With each boat launched the next parking spot got farther and farther away from the lake. Wet waders off and tossed on the front seat of the truck and with windows rolled up and last check to make sure everything needed was taken, the doors are locked and slammed closed. The walk back to the waiting boat goes quickly.

An hour later and you have been on "Your spot" now without a bite. No worry, it's the first day of fishing and you got to put your time in. You sit with a thermos coffee cup steaming in your hand with your other hand holding on to the well-worn cork handle of your favorite rod resting against the gunnel of the boat. A pause in conversation with your partner as you both take turns commenting on boats passing you on the way to "Their Spots" You are halfway through telling a joke when your rod twitches in your hand, or at least that is what your fishing side of your brain tells ya. You stop in mid word, swiveling your head so your eyes can follow the line from your rod tip down to where it enters the water and you wait.

Your fishing partner still waiting for the punch line of the joke turns away from watching a passing boat to see you staring over the side. His eyes follow your eyes and you both sit in the now quiet boat watching the spot where the line enters the water. With more concentration then you had when you were repeating your wedding vows you hold the rod in your hand and watch. Twink, Twink, there you feel it.... Your partner says something but you don't hear him. Leaning forward on the boat seat your other hand finds the reel handle. You ever so slowly turn your body to face the line going in the water, slowly turning the handle what little slack line you have out is reeled in. Looking like a cat you wait for that next little Twink and BAM you set the hook with a graceful snap of your wrist, you wait for it and feel weight on your rod. Checking the tip you see it bounce a few times and with a grin you turn to your partner and say " Fish On" and that says it all. You have a fish on, Hahah you don't have a fish on. I win the bet for first fish, I am not skunked, what a great opener!

A moment later after yelling to "get the net" the ten inch walleye is at boat side. Your partner takes the net and returns to sit back down at his seat in the bow. Holding the line just above the sinker you hold the fish up and admire it like it is the trophy that it is. Quickly you return the fish back to the waters of the lake. Already it has grown into a twelve incher and by lunch I am sure it will have grown into a fifteen inch keeper. Tomorrow at work it will have been twenty inches and only your skill could have gotten the fish to the boat. Next year sitting on the same spot the story will be told over hot thermos coffee of the trophy you released right on this very spot. For now though as you bait up again you caught a fish and fishing season is here..

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