April 2016

Many people first learn to cast a fly rod on a bass or bluegill pond. They provide great opportunities to practice casting, learn fishing techniques, and be successful. I still remember my first day casting to bluegills with bright yellow poppers on a pond in south Georgia and the thrill of my first bass on the fly.

When people think about fly fishing, they often overlook many of the species that are a blast to pursue on the fly, one of which is the largemouth bass. For my Alabama fishing trip, a friend near Mobile invited my dad and me to come and fish at his family farm. Having learned to cast in a local bass pond in Thomasville and with many experiences since, I was excited to target the species in another state as a part of the quest.

Leading up to my spring break, I really anticipated the chance to check off another state, and when I finally arrived in Alabama, my buddy Thomas and I were able to achieve this goal in a big way. It had been a while since I had last wet my fly in a murky bed of lily pads, so when the first bass hammered my frog-popper, I was reminded of the strength and explosiveness of these incredible fish. I ended up having one of my most successful warm water days, landing many fish on both subsurface and popping flies.

I recall one fish that lurked under a log near the bank. Of course when I casted to this structure, my fly got hung up on the bit of weeds growing from the log. Hoping to free my fly, I yanked my line, and the bug jerked through the weeds. My third tug was answered by a gaping mouth smashing the popper and ripping it from the structure, naturally eliciting a “Bro, did you see that!”

Though they aren’t one of the most popular targets of fly fishermen, bass provide super fun experiences. When the bucket mouth opens up under an unsuspecting white chug bug, I jolt in excitement and aggressively set the hook, feeling the tug of one of freshwater’s most aggressive fish.