On a gorgeous Indian summer day this week, I could not resist going fishing. No friend, no grandson -- just me. I needed some private time, and I was convinced that I would get it because there was no one at the pond except me and a few ducks -- at least for a short while.
After I had a couple of nice bass in the boat, I heard a rattling sound, and a truck pulling a trailer and boat came into sight. The driver got out, launched the boat, picked up one rod and reel and a small paper sack that contained only three plastic worms -- all the same color.
He proceeded to cast a very large plastic worm to the edge of the water and retrieved the lure very fast. The pond has deep banks on one side and very shallow and sloping banks on the other. He fished the entire sloping bank, which took about 10 minutes. It should have taken at least half an hour. Then he turned the boat around and began to fish back the way he had come -- and against the wind.
Since he had seen me catch two more bass and he had caught none, he looked longingly at my side of the pond. I had four bass and only needed one more, so I invited him over, telling him that this time of year that if the bass are along the shoreline, they will be on the deep banks, not the shallow ones.
He thanked me and began to fling a nine-inch plastic worm with a half-ounce bullet weight on it. This would have been a great summer rig for very deep water, but he wasn’t going to do well with it here, even though, at my advice, he slowed down a bit.
After 20 minutes I had caught two more, releasing one of them. My new friend had nothing. I wasn’t about to offer any more free advice unless he asked, so he finally asked what I was using. I told him it was a Wacky Worm. He looked at it and said, “It sure looks wacky, and that’s a fact. You got any more of them?”
I rigged his rod with a four-inch Wacky Worm on a #3 short-shank hook, spent five minutes showing him how to use it, and in the next 20 minutes he caught three respectable bass.
He recognized me from my writing in this publication and said, “Wow, it’s nice to be fishing with a celebrity. Now I’m gonna fish with you the rest of the day and try to learn something.”
I hate it when they do that, especially when I had gone there for some quiet personal time. I told him that -- as nice as I knew how. He apologized and said he had access to another pond that was known for bass so big that they would break fishing lines.
He’s going to take me there next week, and if the pond is as good as he claims, I might have found a new friend -- one who knows how to use a Wacky Worm.
Emory Josey is a freelance writer who has a weekly column. Send questions for him to The Telegraph, P.O. Box 4167, Macon, Ga., 31208-4167, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org