Bear animation

Soakin Wet
Todd Craig
Helena, AL

After working until midnight one night, I decided I needed some R&R, and what better way to get it, but to go fishing?! I hurried home, got my pole and gear, jumped into the car and headed out for the old 'honey hole'. It took about one-half of an hour to drive to the lake, and another 30 minutes to hike through the woods, but I wasn't tired, not me, I was going fishing! Finally, I was at the cove I enjoyed so much. Not just any cove, it was my cove. A place where all my troubles seemed to vanished. A place where the big oaks stretched out their branches and provided shade from the hot summer sun. This is the place where all the worries of telecommunications were forgotten. This was going to be a beautiful Carolina summer morning, and I was where I loved to be.

Jumping Bass

Jumping Bass

I set down my tackle box and fixed the pole for a Carolina rig. I just knew this was going be a great morning for fishing. I threw my line in and carefully worked the bottom. Nothing, not even a nibble. After about 20 minutes I decided to put away the lures and tie a night crawler on the line with a floater. (After all, I had worked the night shift and was getting a little tired.) I threw the line in, then sat back and looked around at the beautiful scenery. As I laid back gazing up at the sky I must have dozed off. I awoke to a great splashing sound, and, as I looked up, saw my pole being dragged into the water. I immediately jumped to my feet and dove for the pole, but just missed it. As I stood there watching my favorite pole go deeper, I made the crucial decision not to let it get away. I waded in, feeling the bottom with my feet. Then suddenly I felt it! I leaned down and sure enough, there was my pole wedged between two rocks. As I picked it up and examined the bent and broken reel, there was a magnificent tug and the pole flew out of my hands, out into the dark murky lake. That was the last I would ever see of that pole, or so I thought.

A week later, as I was reading the local paper, there on page three was a picture of a fellow outdoorsman holding up a 13-pound bass. The caption at the bottom read, "Record Bass Caught Complete with Its Own Pole." As I stared at that picture, I realized that it was my fishing pole in the picture! I found the man's address and went over to explain the story. He never gave me back the pole, and the bass is mounted on his mantle. I go back to that fishing hole a lot with my new friend, Bob. When I look over at him a smile comes across my face, because he's still using that same pole I lost, that hot summer day.