You live, you learn

I had a really interesting experience on Friday at the Smith Mountain Lake tournament. I was fishing a dock when I happened to notice a 5-pound bass swim right past my boat. She didn't seem to have a care in the world. Then, a minute or two later, a 3-pounder did exactly the same thing. Now, I don't claim to be the smartest angler around, but I do know when I see two bass do that it's time for Charlie to go bed fishing. It's not something I like to do — I don't see very well — but sometimes you have to take advantage of the opportunities you're given.

I caught the smaller male in short order. And then, to my amazement, I saw another 3-pounder swim into exactly the same area. One male replaced another in just a few minutes. I've never seen that before. Usually it takes a few hours, at the least. Like a good Elite Series pro, I caught the second one, too.

With no more males around, it was time to go for the bigger female. Like her boyfriends, she fell prey to my plastic worm rather quickly. In about an hour I had put almost 11 pounds of bass in my livewell. The crazy thing about all this was the order in which the bass were caught. I've always been told that if you catch the male first, the female won't bite; or at least it's darn hard to get her to bite. That's basically an article of faith among bass anglers. That didn't happen here. I took two males off the same nest in a matter of minutes. The female wasn't bothered at all by that. She was willing and able to fight with my plastic almost as soon as it hit the water.

I said before that I don't like to bed fish. Maybe a better way to put that is that I find sight fishing difficult because I can't see the fish under the water. I'm always amazed by guys who tell me about fish on beds that I never see, regardless of how big they are or how clear the water — or anything else for that matter. Some guys say it's a matter of having the right sunglasses with the right polarization in them. Maybe, but I still believe it has something to do with your natural vision. Some people see better than others, pure and simple. I've always wondered if wearing glasses has anything to do with it.

Anyway, my experience at the dock last Friday leads me to believe that I'd better look more closely at sight fishing and the skills it requires. It seems like a pretty good way to catch bass to me. Next week I'll write from Pickwick and give you a preview of what to expect. I'm thinking the fishing will be spectacular.

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