Bass fishing a family affair

Published 12:36 am Sunday, March 9, 2008

I woke up yesterday morning at the break of daylight to the sound of 20 or 30 high performance bass boats roaring across Lake Concordia. A mix of sleet, snow and rain was slowly falling.

A glance at the outdoor thermometer sent a chill through me…It was 34 degrees. Now what kind of idiot(s) would go fishing on a morning like this?

The answer is me and thousands of other bass addicts. I drove down to the landing and watched as a husband and wife team suited up for the 6 mile run to the north flats. Yes ladies, the bass bug can bite the ladies as well as the men. Not my wife.

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I would have a hard time getting her out of bed on a warm morning to catch the early bite. What drives these die-hard sportspeople to go through such extremes… to brave snow, wind, rain and all that Mother Nature can dish out? It’s hard to explain.

The bass does not really fight that hard. You pitch a jig by a cypress tree and feel that slight thump on the end of the line.

A hard hook set and a 30 to 60 second battle and it’s over. So what’s the big deal? Why is the largemouth bass the most sought after freshwater game fish? Why do people spend billions annually pursuing this fish that can best be described as ugly?

The bass is mostly a head with a huge mouth attached to a short stubby body with big bulging eyes. As I write I too am trying to figure out the allure of the largemouth bass. I am at my new tackle shop now.

As I flip the lights on the first thing I see is a picture of my Dad holding a huge 8 pound largemouth. It was a very emotional moment and I took time to sit and think about the past.

I lost my Dad way too soon on Dec. 1, 1986. The picture on our wall was snapped in 1959 when I was 2 years old. I have another picture of that same fish with my brother and I standing bedside dad. I’m in diapers and the bass is almost big as me.

The bass is a huge part of my life. Mom says I was raised in the bottom of a bass boat so it’s no wonder I am what I am today, a bass addict.

There’s more to getting the bite than landing the fish. The bass is a predator and man is a predator. The feeling you get from fooling a bass into biting something artificial something that is not real is like no other and it is very hard to describe this feeling to a non-fishing person.

Over the years I’ve noticed a big part of a successful trip is sharing it with others. Hence, my outdoor columns and radio work. I’ve written thousands of columns and shared my experience over the radio for 14 straight years.

When I first started sharing all an old veteran basser; a very quiet and but successful fishermen said, “Eddie one day you’re going to regret telling all your secrets.”

Well I’m still at it 30 plus years later and I have no regrets. I love to help others catch fish. At the end of every trip good or bad the true fisherman, the sportsmen, can’t wait to call up his or her buddies and share what they caught and learned on that trip.

I will continue sharing what I learn on the water and passing on what others share with me and I have no “regrets.” Thanks Dad.

Eddie Roberts writes a weekly fishing column for The Democrat. He can be reached at