As you may have read in my previous post, Lost And Found, I was lucky enough to have a very upstanding citizen-angler find one of my beloved fishing combos when I absentmindedly left it behind at Westlake last week. Plus, I also scored my first ever spinnerbait fish … which turned out to be a PB LMB! All of this following a week of other big fish being caught, my wife selling her first book-cover photograph, the Caveboy winning the game ball for his amazing efforts on the field, and me landing a huge voice over gig for Legoland. So, you can say I, and the entire Caveclan, have been on a bit of a hot streak, as of late.
Yesterday, I headed back to Westlake to meet up with my rod’s benevolent savior. When I met up with Tom it was very sub-tropical feeling … warm, humid, and overcast. Unfortunately, he didn’t have time to hang and fish. So, we made the handoff, and I started working the shoreline. I started by throwing a buzzbait on my newly reunited rig, and then the Talon spinnerbait I had scored the PB on, both for no love. I picked up the Custom Cave Jig dressed with a Yamamoto Flappin’ Hawg and began hammering the remaining spawners and nailed four quick fish, all in the 3-4 pound range (no pics) – again reaffirming it’s dominance as a bed bait this season.
I was about to call it a day as the weather began getting a bit wacky. In fact, it felt like tornado weather … very weird for So Cal. I called “last cast” as I slung a Malibu-rigged Senko (194) near a notch in the shoreline. I shook and dragged it only slightly when I could feel the faintest of pick-ups on my new Big Bear spinning rod. When I felt the line begin to tighten I leaned back into what I thought was a solid hook-set on a BIG fish. But, after only a few seconds, she quickly came unbuttoned. I reeled in the half of the bait that remained on the hook and decided to give her a few minutes to settle before giving her another go.
While I was waiting, I was pitching the new Senko to a bed where I had previously landed the male but couldn’t entice the female, when another fisherman walked up to start his day. I asked him to steer clear of the notch as I was targeting a big fish there. He cordially agreed and began tossing an A-rig from just past my target area.
I decided to give it one more shot and then head out. Sure enough, on that first cast, I detected a very tentative, noncommittal nip at the bait with no follow through. Of course, now I had to give it another go and placed a perfect cast just outside the notch. I was shaking and dragging it about 1/3 of the way back when I felt a slightly stronger tap, followed by the line moving towards deeper water. Once again, I leaned back for a solid hook-set and could feel my offering slide right out of her mouth. I let out a frustrated grunt as disappointment began to set in. However, it only lasted a mere second … after all, I’ve been on a roll lately!
Suddenly, my line got extremely tight again. She had come back for a second attack on my bait. This time, when I leaned back … KABOOM! Fish on!! She didn’t give much headway at first on the 8# Yo-Zuri Hybrid. Then, she moved to the right and came up for the first of three water-clearing jumps. I could now see she was a beast. It was dogged fight, but she finally surrendered. The other angler exclaimed, “That’s a toad!”, as I lipped her. Yes, big. Yet, noticably newly spawned out and on the chew to bulk back up. Still, she tipped the scales at 5-12.
A big thanks to my shore-mate, Steve, for snapping this great pic. Ironically, it turns out that he was fishing with Tom when they found my previously lost combo. Coincidence or supernatural?!? 😉 I packed it up and called it a day. But, not before Steve nailed a nice 4.75 pounder on a buzbait. Which now has me itching to get back out there ASAP to “get my buzz on”!