June 19, 2008

Outdoor Corner

by Chris Feeney

Sometimes its better to be lucky than good. That can be said about my entire sports-related weekend.

Iím not sure luck is the correct word for my first experience. It was more like just plain lazy.

It pains me to say this, but Saturday evening I went fishing for just the second time this year. In years past I went fishing twice on the same day. Itís taken me nearly four months to get outing number two in the books.

With my wife and kids at her sisterís for the weekend, and my duties covering the fair complete for the day, fishing seemed like an excellent idea for the evening.

I had big plans as I loaded up four different fishing rods. I even took along my fly rod and all the tackle that goes along with it. So after three trips to the truck, I had everything I needed loaded up and ready to roll.

Unfortunately when I got to the farm I found that the boat was blocked in by a couple of wagons and the loader, which was in the middle of some major engine repairs.

So there I sat stuck on the bank surrounded by chest-high weeds that pretty much insured the fly rod was going to stay in its case. I can barely cast it from wide-open spaces so I knew better than attempting to sling flies toward the water with all of the clutter in my background.

That lightened my load a bit. I also decided to leave my suitcase tackle box behind, more out of desire not to have to visit the chiropractor in the morning, than for any technical fishing rationale.

Thatís where the luck comes into play. It just so happened that both rods I packed to the waterís edge had lures attached that definitely would not have been my first choice to catch fish with.

Letís just say my wife and I have different tastes in bait. I try not to say much when we check out at Bass Pro or Cabelas. I have my fishing tackle and she has hers.

I guess Iíll have to quit snickering at her selections, because Saturday night I caught four fish that topped out at five pounds or larger, not to mention a dozen more decent sized bass, all in a little less than an hour.

With no tackle box in reach, and truthfully no desire to walk back to the truck for a lure change, I reluctantly tossed a goofy looking soft plastic bait into the water. Not only was I unimpressed by the baitís appearance, but I was concerned about how the lure was rigged. It featured a corkscrew type hook that attached to the head of the bait, leaving the entire hook itself exposed at the front of the bait. The corkscrew attached the bait to the hook with a small hoop that went over the hook and was kept in place midway up the hookís shaft by two small plastic spacers.

I was really impressed at how weed-less the first retrieve went. I was sure that the rig was going to be a moss dragger. Of course I was more excited when the water boiled behind the bait, which gave the impression it was a wounded baitfish flailing around close to the waterís surface.

I was all alone but I still laughed out loud when I landed the first lunker bass. A skeptic might chalk it up to dumb luck, the blind squirrel finding an acorn every once in a while. Four fish later that thought was totally erased. Wow this bait really worked.

I guess if I was stubborn, I would have gone to the truck and changed to some of my lures to see if it simply wasnít a great night of fishing, with bass biting no matter what I tossed their way. But like I said before it was better to be lazy than good, and I was happy with my haul (and lack of hauling).

Sunday I was just plain lucky, not lazy and definitely not good. Timber Ridge Golf Courseís annual fatherís day tournament featured 27 teams for the morning session. After the first two holes, I believe my partner and I were in 27th place.

But our luck changed as a couple extremely long putts miraculously went in, and then by the luck of the draw, we found ourselves tied atop the leader board (well not the championship nor the A flight). With four teams tied, a card off decided the prize distribution, and by the luck of the draw, we took second place and were lucky to have that. Being a lazy fisherman and a lucky golfer, sure made for a good weekend.

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