“So if you only had a year to live, what would you want to do in that time?” It was one of those dinnertime questions that just comes out of the blue and I was really surprised that I really didn’t have a group of things that I felt like I hadn’t done in my life. I’ve been lucky and have had the opportunity to pretty much try anything that I wanted.
My primary passion in life has always been the outdoors and mostly fishing, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the only things I could think of that I wanted to do involved different lakes that I’d like to fish. After that realization, the list came pretty easy.
The first lake on my list would have to be Lake Champlain, located on the Vermont, New York and Canadian border. I love to fish for smallmouth, but living in Mississippi, I rarely get the chance. We only have smallies in one lake; Pickwick, and the largemouth population is so good there that I generally end up fishing for them when I’m there. I’ve never been to a place where 50-100 fish a day catches of smallmouth were possible and from what I hear; Champlain is the place to go. I’d have to list Erie or maybe the Thousand Islands areas of New York as backups for this trip.
Next, I think I’d have to try something more exotic. Let’s say to trip to South America for Peacock Bass. I’ve never caught one of these colorful fish, but I’ll always remember the first TV show about them I ever saw. Jimmy Houston was fishing in some river in South America that I believe was in Venezuela. He hooked a Peacock Bass that had to weigh about 12 or 13 pounds and it drug his line down into the rocks. After what seemed like a 5 minute battle, he got the fish out and to the boat. What stuck in my mind was the frayed pieces of monofilament all up and down the first few feet of his line. Any fish capable of doing that is an adversary worth going after.
Now back to my lifetime obsession with the largemouth bass. Since I’m limited for this discussion to places I’ve never been, I’d have to say that I’d most like to go to El Salto in Mexico. I’ve made 10 or 11 trips to Lake Guerrero in my younger days and those trips were fantastic. But the primary problem with Guerrero at the time was that you caught number but not much in the way of size. From everything I’ve seen or read about El Salto, it has numbers with a pretty good chance of catching the bass of a lifetime.
I’d probably also want to make a trip to California during that year. I just not sure which one of the lakes out there would be the one to visit. Clear Lake has some monsters swimming around and for some reason; the California Delta has also been one of those places I’ve always wanted to go. Probably because they have a pretty good frog bite there. Hey, it’s my year, so I’ll probably just go to both.
Of course, there are other places I’d like to go. I’m thinking Santee-Cooper during the spawn, Amistad in the Fall when the frog bite is on, Guntersville, Pickwick and Wheeler at any time of year, Lake Norman in late Spring, etc, etc. The list goes on and on. I’m positive I could fill almost every week of that year with a trip of a lifetime. I’d certainly love to try. How about you? What’s your list?
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