Finding a Fishing Honey Hole for Large Mouth Bass

I Thought I’d Seen It All

By —— Bio and Archives--January 20, 2019

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I Thought I’d Seen It All
Some folks are naturally accident-prone. I am. My boyhood best friend and mentor Jaybird said that I should write a collection of stories about my accidents. If I do, the first story will be about the time we discovered the honey hole.

In angling parlance, a honey hole is a place nobody else knows about, and we found one where a creek had overflowed its banks, flooding a cow pasture. Big bass were thrashing minnows in the shallows.

No creatures are deadlier at ambushing than these bucket-mouthed behemoths. Lurking in shadows, they attack anything that swims close by, and the pasture’s fence posts provided ideal cover.


Quietly we waded, casting near one post after another.

I chose the Lucky 13, a large lure painted half red and half white with treble hooks on each end.

Jaybird caught a bass beside a post and stepped aside to let me fish the next one. My aim was off, and the hooks snagged the post.

“Wait!” the old black man whispered, “Let me chunk beside it before you get untangled.”

The instant his lure lit beside the post, a bass devoured it. Enviously, I watched the trophy fish tail-walk the surface, as Jaybird, grinning ear to ear, fought him. I bent my rod almost double, trying to make the hooks release their grip on the post.

Suddenly they did. Feeling the rod go limp, I turned to see why. Whizzing at the speed of sound, the Lucky 13 whapped me in the face, knocking me off my feet. When I surfaced, the world was black, and what Jaybird said froze my blood.

“Lord have mercy — you just blinded yourself! Hold my shirttail while I lead you out. I’ve got to get you to the hospital quick.”

What the doctor said was even more chilling: “I thought I’d seen it all. Only one thing to do — push the hooks through and snip the barbs.”

After numerous deadening shots, he went to work. Unbeknownst to me, the lure smacked across my nose with such velocity that the hooks snagged scalp on each side of my head, pulling the skin back over my eyes. Finally, the doctor freed the hooks on one side, and an eye popped open.

“Thank God!” I gasped. “At least I’m not totally blind.”

Still mumbling, “I thought I’d seen it all,” the doctor struggled with the other side. After much pulling, twisting, pushing and snipping, he removed the remaining hooks, and the other eye popped open, allowing me to see the doctor, Jaybird, and several nurses, all shaking their heads in absolute incredulity.

Henry David Thoreau once said, “A man has got to believe in something. I believe I’ll go fishing.”

I agree, but as Jaybird said when we returned to the honey hole, “You’ll have to use another lure. The doctor kept the Lucky Thirteen … said he was going to hang it on his office wall with these words beneath it: ‘I thought I’d seen it all.’”


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Jimmy Reed -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Jimmy Reed is an Oxford, Mississippi resident, Ole Miss alumnus, Army veteran (Vietnam Era), former Mississippi Delta cotton farmer and ginner, author, and retired college teacher. His short story anthology, Boss, Jaybird And Me, is available at Squarebooks.com (telephone: 662-236-2262). His latest collection of faith-based short stories, entitled One Hundred By Five Hundred, is also available at Square Books (telephone: 662-236-2262) and at amazon.com. To receive Reed’s free weekly newsletter, send an email address to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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