Author: Rachael Stutts (Smiley)
As a child my poppy took me fishing at the paid catfish ponds. I would always catch the most fish,every time we went. One time I caught so many that my pop didn’t have enough money to pay for them all,so my uncle Michael had to help them clean fish for the whole weekend! This time spent with my family is treasured memories that will last me a life time.
I have always loved to fish but it wasn’t until this year that I became “hooked”. Its really Jason’s fault that I started fishing again. We got kayaks for a wedding gift 3 years ago and really didn’t start using them until this year. My husband (Jason) and myself started fishing this February in a lake near by. I was using a Zebco reel and Beetle Spins® as lures. Needless to say I caught mostly bream, if I caught anything at all. Then we started our river fishing adventures.
In March we got out onto the river. Jason taught me how to use a spinning reel, and I retired my Zebco’s. He also got me to start using bass lures. I’ll never forget my first spinnerbait fish because it was a bream! I thought to myself, I’m trying to use a bass lure for the first time and of course I catch a bream!
River fishing was definitely a change. I started catching bass every time we went out. The first time I ever had to back reel with my spinning reel is a day that ill never forget. I was using a crankbait that I picked out at Walmart myself. It was a medium diving crankbait. I was throwing behind a rock and I felt the bite and set the hook. And the fight was on! I yelled, “I got one,” to Jason and he started paddling over towards me. The bass made several dives where I had to use the back reel. Jason helped me land my biggest bass to that date, a spot over 2lbs!! Ill never forget the feeling that rushed over me and the huge smile that I couldn’t erase!
I was “hooked,” there’s no doubt about that. While leaving the river one day we saw a truck that had a riverbassin.com sticker on it. So that night we joined the site, and began to make friends with our new “family”. This was May 1st.
Jason knew about shoal bass, and he had caught a couple when he was younger, but we had yet to catch one on our new river adventure. We started fishing the river in March and didn’t catch our first shoal bass until May 14th. This is also a day I will never forget. We were out on the river for the afternoon and I was throwing a jerk bait that I had also picked out myself. I threw up river next to a stick up and WHAM!! I hung into what I thought was a toad!! I had to use my back reel again and I’m thinking to myself, I’ve got another BIG spot. Jason helped me land him and he starts yelling, “Its a SHOAL bass, its a SHOAL bass!!!” We were so excited!!! That time I think Jason was even more excited than me. But he is Mr. Excitement. My first shoal bass which fought like a 2lber was only
13oz! - From then on I was HOOKED!
We went to the river every chance we got! And continued to catch many shoalies. And they kept getting bigger and bigger! We participated in my first ever bass fishing tournament in Macon in July. This was a great time for sure! Jason won the tournament and won a new kayak and a Bass Pro Shop gift card. He bought me my first ever baitcaster! Until then I had been against ever using a baitcaster because I felt like I couldn’t throw one, but he talked me into it and since he had the gift card, I thought,”OK”. Well, I was wrong about being able to use it.
I practiced in the yard several days before actually going out onto the river. My first trip out I skunked! but still had fun using my new reel. Then on July 15 I caught my first real “toad”. I went fishing with Paw Paw for the first time. On that day I caught my biggest bass to that day! I was throwing next to the bank behind a blow down. And WHAM, I hooked into a monster. Jason and Paw Paw came running. I was using my trusty J-11. I was also using my new baitcaster. I fought him for a few minutes. And Jason came to help me land my him and it was huge,4lb, 5oz. Buddy was I excited! So excited I could barely even talk! :)I was good for the rest of the day. My smile was planted on my face!
My biggest shoal bass( well, it might be a shoal/spot hybrid) came soon after that July 18. I was very proud of myself then, because I told Jason I was going to fish a creek that came into the river because he told me long before that water flowing into the river can hold big fish. WHAM! I hooked into a monster. It was huge! I was throwing a perch colored J-11. While fighting my biggest shoalie or spot or spollie, whatever it might have been there was another bass just as big trying to get the lure out of its mouth. And I landed a 4lb monster!! I was on top of the world because that was my 2nd fish of the day, and the day had just started. That was also the time I caught more bass than I had in a day. 16 total for me 41 between me and Jason! I caught a 2lb 8oz shoalie, a 2lb 1oz spot, and a 3lb 2oz largemouth!! My best day on the river EVER!
My biggest bass period, came on a day when I was throwing a black spinnerbait. It was September 3rd. Now the last time I had used a spinner bait all I caught was a bream. That changed! I was throwing at some fallen
trees where Jason had lost a big bass the day before. And before I knew I had a monster on. All I could say to Jason was, “o my God!” and I had to shut up and focus on the fight. I broke my lucky rod getting this
one in but it was worth it! 5lb 5 oz largemouth! My biggest bass EVER!!!
My journey of riverbassin has been an adventure for sure! I’m am definitely “hooked” on riverbassin and will be doing it for the rest of my life. It’s a
great way to spend time with my husband and meet new awesome people. So far this year we have caught 681 bass. 166 largemouth, 162 spot, 327 shoal bass, 19 redeyes, and 7 spot/shoalie hybrid. We keep a log of all the fish we catch including date, weight and lure used. Now I am a true Riverbasser for life!