February Fishing Story

This month’s fishing story is submitted by Kistler Rods President and owner, Trey Kistler.

I’ve got a funny, yet thought provoking, fishing story you might enjoy reading. Here it goes…

Back in the fall of 2004, I headed up to Lake Sam Rayburn, Texas with a good friend, from Maryland, to get in some largemouth fishing. He was greatly anticipating this opportunity to catch a few of East Texas’ monster largemouths. Considering where he comes from, there are not too many heavy largemouths. However, being from up north, there were plenty of strong smallmouth bass that fight harder than any largemouth of the same size.

We were there during the Fishers of Men National Tournament Classic representing Kistler Rods as their sponsor. We gave away a bunch of rods, met anglers from all around the country, and did a little fishing in between. The first day out on the water with a local guide, Jeff Bucanon, proved to be a very successful trip. We were chunking rattletraps and ripping them out of the grass most of the day. It was very productive, but a lot of work, so I started to toss a weightless Senko and just let it sit there for awhile. More often than not, a nice bass would pick it up and swim off with my worm. I love to see that line moving horizontally to the boat, don’t you? One of the fish I caught had a weird shaped head with a spot on its nose. It weighed about two pounds, we guessed. We nicknamed him "Mr. Conehead". Man we laughed and told other stories of strange fish we had caught in the past. The day ended too quickly as we headed back to Jeff’s lodge for a great meal and good company. Tomorrow morning seemed too far away.

We awoke to a day with perfect weather conditions and eagerly hoped for bigger bass bites than yesterday. On our way out to the boat, my buddy said we ought to thank God for this time and pray for a big bass. So I agreed to say a prayer right there in the dark with my friend and Jeff. I thanked our Creator for blessing us with that great opportunity to enjoy His creation. We asked God for a ten pound bass. Now I believe God can grant such wishes if it is His will to do so because he loves to please His children.

We headed off to the same hot spot that we had fished the day before. Luckily, it was not too far from the boat ramp. I liked that it was so close because it was COLD that day and I didn’t bring any warm gear with me to the lake. We started ripping traps through the grass again, with a little success. A few fish here and there on a Senko, but wait, what is this? That bass looked familiar to us, could it be? "Mr. Conehead" had eaten my senko, AGAIN! Same mark on this nose, same bump on his head. We couldn’t believe it! That bass must not have much of a brain or he was just really hungry and those Senkos were irresistible to him. Either way, we had another long laugh making fun of poor ol’ "Mr. Conehead".

After a few hours, I had forgotten about that prayer I had sent up to heaven, until, BANG! A fish hit my rattletrap right at the boat so hard I almost let go of the rod. I actually saw the fish hit the bait and in that split second, I pushed the release button on the reel and let that big ol’ bass peel drag. Keep in mind, every time I go out fishing, I feel I have to be testing new rod designs, so I was using a 6 foot medium Helium LTA with only 8 pound test line. Now I know that is not the ideal set up for Sam Rayburn fishing, but I like to experiment. For a few minutes, I was scrambling around the boat while fighting that giant bass and I was screaming "thank you Lord for answering our prayer"! Could it really be a ten pound bass that we had prayed for earlier that morning? I just knew I had broken my personal best. It really didn’t matter much at the time because I mentally began thinking about which of my office walls would display the replica of this ten pound bass. "Get the net"! "Here she comes"! "Don’t catch the bait on the net, Jeff"! "I don’t want to loose her"!

Silence came over the boat…..No way! A ten pound bass was in the net that’s for sure….almost a lake record even!  The problem was that this was a striped bass, NOT a largemouth bass! Man, I’ll tell you what, we were all disappointed to see all those stripes on that fish! I bet you have had this happen to you before and I can sympathize with you, brother. If you haven’t yet been fooled by a big catfish, drum or striped bass, then wait your turn. It will happen to you on the day that you least expect it. It might even be the day of a big bass tournament. You’ll be sick to your stomach, after that ten pound monster largemouth lands in the net, and it turns out to be a trash fish!

The moral of the story is this….pray specifically! In your daily or once in awhile prayers, be specific with God and he might just answer one of those requests, if it is in His will. Also, we must have faith that our father in heaven knows what is best for us. He is just like a good earthly parent who wants to give us what we want as children. Parents know what their children need, but it doesn’t stop the children from asking many times for the same thing.

So, I hope you enjoyed my little fishing story and gained a little insight as well. Never pray without being specific if you really want or need some help from above. Have faith in what God has planned for your life and appreciate everything God has blessed you with in the meantime.

Your fishing buddy in Christ,