I was out and about in my `Yak at daybreak to have a go at some of New Jersey’s Largemouth Bass. It was one morning when I wish I had brought the `ol GO PRO, because what happened really needed to be captured digitally to dispel later claims of any fisherman’s tendency to stretch the truth. I hadn’t been on the water more than ten minutes, when a big Hawg nailed the Zoom Fluke I was tossing. It gave me quite the fight! The monster dove under my kayak several times, peeling off line and making the drag scream all in the name of breaking me off.
After several spectacular jumps- each of which had me thinking “there she goes”- the beast of a Bass dove under my `Yak once again. It is what happened next, that still has me still saying I`d have a better chance at winning the Lottery before seeing this happen again. The powerful Bucket Mouth leapt into the air literally in front of my kayak and I was stunned- still can’t believe how high it jumped after it broke the surface! As it came back down, it hit its head on the front point on my `Yak then slowly slid off the side back into the lake. I stared in disbelief not able to believe what I had just seen. Not sure how long I stared at the bow.
Surprisingly, the Bass returned to its senses, continuing to pull in darts to the left and right while continuing its powerful head shakes as I took up line. Finally, not wanting to give it any more chances than I already had, I finally netted the warrior greenback. What I saw next had me doing the headshakes of disbelief- the monster was barely hooked in the lip! I quickly removed the Zoom Fluke, snapped a couple pictures and released the beautiful Bass back into the lake.
Then I realized something was wrong. Although the Bass had appeared to be recovered, it couldn`t hold itself right-side up when returned to the water. Apparently the Kamikaze Bass was indeed just that,.and was now looking at the end of the road. Now I always try to practice Catch & Release, but I don`t believe in wasting a good fish, when it`s injured and isn`t going to make it. So that valiant Kamikaze was enjoyed by a Friend who had been asking me for a fresh fish which I was happy to filet for him. The Hawg Bass was 20 inches 5.3lbs. My heart is still racing as I recall the fight. Thanks great warrior for helping me LIVE THE PASSION
Ken Beam is an adventurous outdoorsman from Port Murray NJ who takes you on his excursions and shares his experiences throughout the New Jersey Wilderness on his website Adventures With Ken. From fishing the Delaware River, hunting quail in the Pine Barrens, spearing suckers through the ice in Califon to hiking the beautiful Stokes Forrest to call coyotes, Ken enjoys sharing the Great Outdoors of his home state of New Jersey.