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paul.

my new ragetail pb!

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"just a matter of time". honestly that was one of the first things that ran through my head once i started using steve's baits several months ago. with baits of this quality, it inevitable that eventually mrs. BIG is gonna come calling. all you gotta do is make it count when she does and close the deal. steve is constantly talking about opening up our minds to the "opportunities" these phenomenal baits present. well i seized one of those fine opportunities tonight and ended up hoisting my new ragetail pb. :) not that these baits have not produced some fine fish for me, because they sure have with plenty of 4's and 5's in the mix. but i told steve i wasn't posting one until i got a really nice one. and i think this one qualifies. 8-)

earlier today, i found a couple of late spawners. the little male was probably about 1.5 lbs. the female dwarfed him and i knew she was at least over 7. but she was cautious. i would describe her as locked on but wary. when i find a nice bed fish, the first thing i do is absolutely nothing. i just watch. i see how the fish is acting. many times i intentionally let it see me or the boat just to see how she will react. this tells me how "catchable" she is. based on this fish's behavior, i diagnosed her as a "come back in low light" fish. i figured she could be had then.

so as the sun set, returned to the nest. it was too dark to see the fish now, but i could tell by the swirling movements in the now glassy calm water that she was still there. time was short, but my confidence was running high since i had the rage craw tied on. it had been a while since i had bed fished so i had to mentally talk myself through it before i cast. "don't get too close, don't let the line lay on top of the water, don't overwork the bait" - all the things that will make or break you with a big sow on a bed. once i figured out my best angle of approach, i went to work. on the first and second casts, i could tell both fish were getting very worked up by the increased swirls around the bed. third time was the charm. i reeled the bait into the nest and just killed it. i could literally feel both fish looking at the bait bait as the water around the nest churned with agitated fin and tail movements. gave the craw a twitch. "tick!" that was the little male. quickly pulled the bait away. i didn't want him. twitch, twitch with the super sensitive crucial rod. THUMP! with authority. that had to be her! i lifted the rod tip just a hair to make sure she actually had the bait in her mouth. yep. time to drive some steel. stuck her hard and held on. she surged for deeper water but i turned her and she gave a couple of beautiful jumps in the fading light. it is sights like that that define what this great sport is all about and put a big exclamation point at the end. proudly lipped her and saw that she had been drilled perfectly "top dead center". no way she would have gotten away without breaking the line. unhooked her and quickly got some nice photos before releasing her to fight again. she was a gorgeous fish. well over 26 inches. could've easily been over 9 pre-spawn. but i wasn't complaining. this was probably her last spawning fling of the spring before moving off into deeper water to recover and she was totally spawned out. even skinny, i thought she was a gorgeous fish. THANK YOU STEVE AND RAGETAIL for a sweet memory that will last a long, long time. believe the hype, every bit of it. ragetails rock!

here's a pic. hope y'all are catchin' some too. :)

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That fish, even though spawned out, still looks in great shape. Way to go Paul, once again!!

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I caught several 5+ fish this year running the rage craw through known bedding areas during low light morning and evening.I mentally marked the exact locations where I seen the spooky hogs lurking.This is yet another great way to use this bait.

I am not as good at telling great fish stories though. ;D Way to go man,and thanks for the post.

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Wonderful story, nice fish, great pic!

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Nice fish, Paul!

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Nice fish and great story

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