Ya’ll know I like to fish, so several years ago a good friend and I took my 12-foot boat over to Pee Dee River to go fishing.
I told him, “let’s go up to Smith Lake,” which is a lake that feeds off of the river. To get to the lake with a boat, you have to go through a small passageway of water that leads into the lake. That day, there just happened to be a large tree log that had fallen right across the passageway. We figured the water was just low enough and ef’en we could lean back far enough, our little boat would glide ride under that log.
I was sitting in the front of the boat and I leaned backwards as far as I could to get under the log. Just about the time we started under the log, a rather large bobcat came out of nowhere. He leaped up on the log, which was right above my head. Why, I was so close to that bobcat I could count the fleas on his belly.
Then that old cat had the gall enough to raise his upper lip and show me them teeth of his. Now folks, if that won’t make you check your britches, taking a dose of laxatives won’t help you a bit. Saying this was gonna hurt wouldn’t have done narry bit of good ‘cause I figured I was headed for the Pearly Gates right then and there.
But you know, as I’ve said before, “the Good Lord looks after fools and mules.” Why, somehow that big bobcat disappeared and we just glided right under that log. You can bet your bottom dollar we didn’t look back either.
Finally we got to our fishing hole and started getting our rod and reels ready. I wanted to catch myself a trophy bass. To do this, I had brought my new 80 Zebco spinning reel, spooled with a quarter-mile of 113-lb. test monofilament Stren line and was bolted on a 12-foot BassPro graphite heavy duty rod. I then tied the biggest plug I had in my tackle box, which happened to be a 10-inch Broken-back Rebel plug with nine treble hooks attached to it. I had caught a lot of big bass on this here plug and I was very careful not to lose it.
No sooner than I got that Rebel plug tied on when a big bass swirled right behind a large stump not far from our boat. Why, I bet that Cyprus stump was six foot across. Well, I drew back with that 12-foot heavy duty rod, hoping to deliver that 10-inch Rebel plug right into that big bass’s mouth. There just so happened to be just enough wind blowing that the 113-lb. Stren line carried that 10-inch Rebel plug right across the top of that big old stump.
Now I was in a predicament. How was I gonna get that plug out from around that big stump? Should I just row over there and get my plug or should I just flip the line off the stump?
Well, I never did like to spook a fish, so I gave a big yank on that heavy duty rod, hoping to pull that 10-inch Rebel plug with them nine treble hooks over the top of the stump. I be dog gone ef’en them hooks didn’t hang on that big stump deader than John Brown’s body.
Well, that kinda ticked me off so I gave another big yank and that big stump started coming up. All of a sudden I noticed the water level in the lake falling. I eased back on pulling and the water level came back up. I tried that several times, with the water level going up and down, up and down.
I knew this won’t gonna work, so I just rowed over there and took out my Swiss Army knife and sawed that big stump right off clean with the water level and got my Rebel plug.
Next week, folks, this here tale gets bigger and better.
J.A. Bolton is a Richmond County resident and member of the Story Spinners Guild, which meets in Laurinburg.