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Best and worst day I have had in a long time

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Note: This report isn't about catching giant, big, or even ones that might be considered decent bass by one's own standards. This report is about finding confidence in fishing and regaining an immediate desire to get back out there.

I have been out of the fishing game for a long time. Refer to this thread if you wish for a little history on my fishing background: http://www.bassresource.com/bass-fishing-forums/topic/181804-re-discovering-a-hobby-15-20-years-later/#comment-2048709

Carrying on, I've been in a bit of a slump the past couple times I've been out. Either missing hooksets or just not getting a bite at all on baits that worked in the past--just overall feeling discouraged.

I still told myself that I would catch something as I was pulling out of the driveway this afternoon. 

~80 degrees outside, just had a cold front and rain come through late last week. But water and outside temps climbed a back up a bit.

I had had fair luck pulling fish out of a certain part of this pond in the past. It's in a sports/recreation multiplex park kind of venue. In this park there are 3 ponds, my primary pond was overrun with people, which usually I'm the only one out there--this specific spot in a slackwater cove away from the two giant fountains. So I went to the front of the park with two adjacent shallow ponds. At this point it was 5:15 or so, with the sun diving into the horizon. 

Fish were active, that much I could tell. I tried tossing a weightless green pumpkin Senko on my spinning rig, a worm I still have yet to find the magic in. And a shad colored lipless H20 Express crankbait/rat-l trap type lure on my casting rig.

Got my first bass at 5:45 on the lipless crankbait. I had cast out where fish were breaking and began reeling in, looked over to my right and saw a swirl right at the bank so I began quickly retrieving and abandoning the cast. My lure stopped retrieval, and I assumed I got hung up on a tree limb. I yanked again to dislodge and saw the white belly of a LMB, so I brought him in. I'm being generous in assuming it was a pound:

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Fish were still swirling all over. I could see them running and bumping(and missing) my lure for the next hour or so. Which was somewhat aggravating, but I was having fun. I caught a fish, and achieved my goal for the day.

It was twilight now, ~6:30. I moved to the other pond closest to my car and started casting in a little cove where I saw some activity. I threw out my final cast and felt a bump. Tried to set the hook and yanked the lure out of the water("oh well"), as soon as it hit the water again a fish cranked it. 

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Once again, being generous--estimating 1.5 pounds. I snapped the pic and went to pull my lure out. He swallowed it. I began panicking, because I didn't want to kill this fish. I pulled out the pliers and began surgery by the illumination of the baseball field's lights and the dying sun. Trebles were caught on the gills, it was a bloody mess, I cut the line. Dunked him to give him some water and brought him back out. He was still flopping around and slipped out of my hand and the lure dislodged. But the damage was done, I released him and he tried to swim, so I sat on the bank and watched him for a few minutes. He flopped one more time and I picked up my stuff and left. I'm assuming he died, but I do hope that he recovered. 

In summation: it was the best day I've had in terms of size since picking the rods back up after such a long break. And I nailed two fish on a lure I hadn't had previous success on. Confidence is back. 

It was the worst because I couldn't save the fish, that was potentially my PB(even as small as it was, don't laugh). 

 

 

 

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I know its not what you want to hear but don't take it too hard. Bass are predators but they are also prey for various birds. Bass die, it happens. We have all had that happen. 

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1 minute ago, Gundog said:

I know its not what you want to hear but don't take it too hard. Bass are predators but they are also prey for various birds. Bass die, it happens. We have all had that happen. 

Indeed, and that's why I'm not beating myself up over it too hard. I figure his corpse will provide for other fish, turtles, or birds in the long run. Circle of life and such. 

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Fish long enough and you'll have some fish die on you, it just happens. Best thing to do is have the proper tools for hook removal, and to be educated on the best and proper ways to remove a hook depending on where the hook is located. I suggest checking out this post and maybe it will help in the future :)

 

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Dont worry too much man, you did the best you could to save him.

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You'll lose one every now and again and although it's a bummer, it's just part of the game. Congrats on having some success and getting some confidence back! :)

 

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You could always take the fish that died home to eat. When slinging hooks into the water, eventually it will happen. Don't feel bad

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I had a bleeder yesterday.  Would have taken him home but he was sub-keeper sized.  Turtle food! 

Later I made up for it by removing an extra hook from the gullet of a fish that had been previously caught and broke off.  As he swam away he turned and gave me that "thank you" flip of his tail. ;)

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7 hours ago, TnRiver46 said:

You could always take the fish that died home to eat. When slinging hooks into the water, eventually it will happen. Don't feel bad

The thought didn't even cross my mind. I wasn't prepared to bring home fish anyhow.

I'll just piggyback this post with these pics. Short story short, I went back to the same pond this afternoon and pulled in two bigger fish(I'm guessing in the 2-2.5lb range) around the same time as yesterday on the same rig. Not pictured are two palm sized bluegill and 3 fist sized freshwater clams that I managed to hook. So that's back to back days in raising my PB.  

Dead fish was where I left him. :(

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Thank you all for the words of encouragement, by the way. 

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Nice fish! Keep setting records, glad to see you are back into fishing going every chance you get 

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On 10/25/2016 at 8:41 PM, TnRiver46 said:

Nice fish! Keep setting records, glad to see you are back into fishing going every chance you get 

Work and real life got in the way this past week, but I did want to share that I've once again upped my PB. Happening in small intervals, but I'm not complaining. Same fish 3 different angles. I'll exclude the selfies I attempted. Apparently my arms aren't long enough. 

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