Fishing Déjà Vu: Has This Happened To You?Fishing Déjà Vu: Has This Happened To You? Ever had a fishing experience repeat itself months or years later, exactly the same as before? Here's a big fish story that was unlikely to be repeated, but it did!
By Carol Martens
If you think back on your life, can you identify an experience that you have had that you know will never happen again? Just like Jordan Lee winning two Classics in a row, I doubt if that will ever happen to him again, or anyone for that matter. Unlike the Classic wins and other repeat performances in various sports, my story is duplicated in almost every way.
These are two shining moments from the past that I will never forget. They happened exactly a year apart and are unlikely ever to be repeated.
Shining Moment One
Aaron and I were fishing a final team event at Castaic Lake in California. Our first fishing spot was all the way back in Elizabeth Cove. Arriving there in the shadows of dawn, Aaron told me to stay in the back of the boat and let him catch a four pound bed fish we had found during pre-fish. The back of the boat is always okay for me because I can cast in every direction but the front.
That morning I chose to cast as far as I could behind the boat into the creek channel. I was using my favorite set up, the Texas rig with a ¼ oz lead weight and 6-inch California oxblood worm. When I reeled up the slack, I felt a tic but missed the hook set. I made a very long cast back to the same spot and I hooked a huge fish.
When Aaron saw me reeling it in he went into panic mode and fell into an open locker while running to the back of the boat. He got up on the engine to try and intercept the beast with a net.
I must quickly explain why Aaron was in a panic. A few tournaments before this one, I lost a huge bass. It was on Pyramid Lake and on our first spot in the early dawn, I hooked what would have been a lake record bass. It broke me off on our prop right before our eyes.
So needless to say, Aaron had his doubts that I could get this beast safely in the boat. But I did get the 9+ pound bass to the boat, and Aaron netted her. Fortunately, I learned how to bring a big one in on light line the hard way.
Aaron then proceeded to catch his 4 pounder, which helped us win the tournament with the biggest weight and largest bass. We got Anglers of the Year, and I got a free rod for catching the largest bass of the tournament.
Shining Moment Two
In my mind, this is where the impossible happens. Exactly a year later at the same event at Castaic Lake, we went to our first spot in a small cove off Elizabeth Canyon. Once again, Aaron asked me to stay in the back of the boat and let him catch a 4-pound bed fish we had found during pre-fish. Once again, I casted my Texas rig with ¼ oz weight and 6-inch Oxblood worm as far as I could to a wall in the back of the cove. Not happy with the first cast, I reeled in and casted again. It was like a flashback in time, because I hooked a huge bass. Within a few seconds we boated a 9+ pound beauty.
Once again, we won the event with the largest weight and the biggest bass, and we got Anglers of the Year again. And yes, I earned another free rod for biggest bass.
So there you have it. Same everything right down to the size of the fish we caught, and even our awards. That was over twenty years ago, and to this day I remember all the details and the part it played in building my confidence as a woman angler.
A Side Note:
In the past I fished as a Pro with Bassmaster’s and a couple of other Western circuits for about 15 years. I actually fished against Aaron quite often.
The only time I finished better than him was on the California Delta. I was able to locate a really neat area and used only one color of a small Robo Zipper worm on you guessed it, a Texas rig. It was another shining moment for mom.
I can truthfully say that I’ve always caught my biggest bass during tournaments and usually on a Texas rig. This may explain why I still say “I LOVE A TEXAS RIG”. When everyone else is using reaction baits, I will usually be throwing a Texas rig and catching fish, because those hard-to-get topwater fish aren’t always on top! Just saying.
Me Fish Another Tournament?
Most of you have heard of the U.S. Open that is held annually on Lake Mead in Nevada. Over the past 20 years or more Aaron has always fished it as a Pro and only missed a few events. He actually is one out of three guys who has won it three times.
I have fished it as a pro approximately 10 times and as a non-boater 6 times. The event is three days of fishing with no off limits for pre fishing except one day before the event starts. This was one of the toughest events because many of us would fish the whole week before with one day off, and then 3 days of tournament fishing.
It used to be held in the heat of summer which was killer (I still have nerve damage in my feet from those days). In recent years they have moved it to mid-October which is much nicer.
It’s been close to 5 years since I fished it, and this year my good friend Liz has convinced me to fish as a non-boater and is sponsoring me. Liz has been fishing the Open for years as a non-boater and I’ve come with her many times for the fun, to socialize and write articles. I never dreamed I would fish the Open again and thanks to Liz, I am. In addition, my sons Aaron and Chris are fishing, so there will be 3 Martens fishing along with 400 other anglers.
I bet I can write a humdinger of an article with my up close and personal experiences. Can Aaron win for a fourth time and can Grandma Carol endure this grueling event? More to follow soon, I hope!
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