Big bass bonanza

July 21, 2008

Faith Outdoors

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been fascinated by the largemouth bass. I think I was first hooked when I watched the late Curt Gowdy’s weekly fishing program, the American Sportsman. He often would fish for bass in Florida and usually tied into some big ones.

I’ve been trying to do the same here in Minnesota. Specifically, I wanted to catch a fish over 20 inches and weighing more than 5 pounds. Within the last few years, I have reached the 20-inch mark twice, but neither fish weighed 5 pounds. One of those fish came from Lake Calhoun last summer.

Over the last few years, I have done a lot of bass fishing on the Minneapolis City lakes — Calhoun, Lake of the Isles and Cedar. I know these lakes have the size fish I am looking for and I figured it was just a matter of time before I tied into one.

That time came on Sunday. I had specifically picked this day because it came the day after a busy six-week stretch of photographing weddings every weekend. I shot one both on Friday and Saturday and decided to reward myself with fishing on Sunday.

The alarm went off at 7 a.m. and I was tired, so I fell back asleep. I woke up again about 8:15 and was leaning toward staying in bed. Then, I looked out the window and saw bright sunshine. Something inside me said I needed to get out on the water, so I did.

It was a beautiful day and the city lakes were bursting with people in kayaks, canoes and on the beaches. The fishing was slow at first and I wondered if all of the human traffic was playing a role. Then, around 11:30 or 12, I started catching fish. My first bass of the day was a plump 17-incher that inhaled my plastic worm. That was a good sign. I figured I would catch more and I was right. Within an hour, I caught an 18-incher, then a 19-incher.

At about 2 or 2:30, I moved to another area and was going to fish two spots that had produced in the past. On the first one, I popped a 21-incher that weighed 5 pounds, 11 ounces on my digital scale (in photo, on the right). Then, just a short while later, I caught my second 19-incher of the day (in photo, on the left). Even though the fish were going, I quit fishing and headed in so I could make 5 p.m. Mass at Nativity of Our Lord in St. Paul. I wanted to give thanks to the Lord for the nice fish He gave me.

The good news is, there is lots of summer left. On these lakes, the fishing gets really good later in July and all through August and into September. And, I’ll be there to try and catch them. I’d be happy to land some more big fish, but I’m thankful just to have the opportunity to enjoy beautiful weather and good fishing. Thanks be to God!

About Dave Hrbacek

Staff photographer and writer for The Catholic Spirit. Also, avid outdoors enthusiast with a passion for hunting, fishing and photography. Married to Julie and have four children, three boys and a girl.

View all posts by Dave Hrbacek