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Return to Amistad

Returning to Amistad always reminds me of coming here with a bunch of my Lawton Bassmaster Club guys for a fun fishing trip. We came every year for most of the 1970’s. We would come down for the first week of October and fish 5 days or so. Then Amistad was a new lake and the fish were numerous and naïve. Of course so were most of us too, not numerous, but certainly naive. We caught tons of 2-5 pound bass, but never caught one over 6. That was pretty heady stuff for a bunch of bass club guys who were mostly learning how to fish anyway.

I remember seeing a chartreuse skirt on a spinnerbait for the first time and thinking “No way will a bass bite that gaudy thing”. Wrong, to say the least. I tried it anyway and Yikees, those fish just hammered the thing. I thought bass were pretty smart then because I seldom caught them very well. Come to find out, the bass were not as smart as I thought. Every time I think bass are “logical” I get proven wrong.

We fished out of 15 foot long boats with outboards less than 60 hp. It took a while to get up to Cow Creek, but we thought it was worth the ride to get to “untouched” fishing water. The wind made it pretty interesting coming back most days what with stick steering and all. We were nothing if not tough. We did have a ball. That’s one of the best things about belonging to a Bass Federation Club. We were lots of similarly thinking guys having a good time chasing bass.

My, how things have changed. I’m getting my stuff ready for the tournament and it is quite a bit different from the equipment I used back then. My Triton 20X3 carries quadruple the horsepower and is like the Queen Mary compared to those skinny old boats of “the day” and most other modern bass boats as well. No more wet, back pounding boat rides. Without the smooth ride of my Triton Boats, I would not have survived so long in this business.

My red Ambassadeurs have morphed into Revo’s with 7.1:1 gear ratios and actual anti-backlash mechanisms that work. Those old Fenwick gold colored fiberglass rods have become Elite Tech Graphite that weigh less than the guides on those old rods. Then there is Trilene Flourocarbon, Power Baits and Tru-Tungsten Swimbaits and the list goes on and on. Oh yeah, I have a few Picasso spinnerbaits that feature chartreuse as part of their skirt color too.

It truly appears that life is coming around in a circle for me and every day is worth maximizing. That is my goal this year; to enjoy every minute of every day to its fullest and make the most of every opportunity that I am offered. I am looking forward to the opportunity to capture some of the ancestors of those 5 pounders I caught here in the old days. Quite a few of them have doubled in weight since then, thanks to modern fish management and the stocking of Florida strain largemouths. I hope my hands can stand the strain. Oh yeah, I can take it because I have Xtreme Fishing Gloves too.


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