Just another quiet day

Just another quiet day
The Beast

The Beast

Zachary Paufler

Orchard Park New York

Species: Smallmouth Bass

Date Caught: 08/22/2011

Kept / Released: Released

Region of Catch: Region 5

Length: 23.5

Weight: 7

Lure / Bait used: Lure | 1/2 oz. Green pumkin w/ orange head Hack-Attack Flippin' Jig

I was fishing with my mother at Chautauqua Lake. Winds from the NW at 15 - 20 mph, needless to say it was a bit choppy. We weren't doing to hot so I suggested we pull out and try near by Cassadaga Lake. It was about 6pm when we took off from the ramp. Due to the recent weather our game plan was to find the thickest cover and go to work. We pulled up on a stretch of matted milfoil and I dropped the trolling motor. We pitched and flipped our way through the jungle mats pulling out a same keeper here and there. I looked down at the depth finder and noticed we were about to come up on a steep break. There was about thirty more feet of the mat ending with a huge platform dock. When we pulled up on the dock I skipped my jig as far back as I could and watched my 17lb fluorocarbon line begin to make it's slow decent to the bottom. We were in about twelve feet of water so I assumed where my jig landed to be about in six feet. The second the jig stopped I began to count it down to the bottom. One one-thousand......two one-thousand..... then the line popped. I immediately tightened down and jammed the hook set. It felt like a snag because the fish did not budge. I thought, "Great Zach you just buried your 5 dollar jig into a log ten feet under a dock in six feet of water" but then it started to move. My line wrapped around a post, I maneuvered the boat and freed myself and the fish then it made another run and wrapped up in another post. Once again I played the fish and moved the boat out to deeper water. Finally I laid on the front deck stuck my arm in the water and lipped this monster. Feelings of excitement and relief ran through my body. I measured the fish and my mom snapped off a few pictures. It was a surreal experience, but after all that it felt even better to release the fish for another angler.

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