If You Only Had a Year?

“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.

If I only had a year left, I'd hook up the Phoenix and hit the road!

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?

Thanks to the sponsors who make this all possible:  Scoutlookweather.com, Lowrance Electronics, Phoenix Bass Boats, Mercury Motors, Motorguide Trolling Motors, Costa del Mar Sunglasses, Bass Angler Magazine and Mississippi Van Lines.  Without all of you, none of this would be possible.

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4 Responses to If You Only Had a Year?

  1. Pingback: If you only had a year left?

  2. Bud Kennedy says:

    I never thought about it in quite the fashion you describe. I tended to think about it in terms of if you won the lottery what would you do. My wife and I have actually talked about this. We both spent a lot of time fishing in New England during the 80s and early 90s. We became addicted to smallmouth fishing and to this day we both believe it is the best type of fishing there is even though its all good. The club I belonged to in those days would hold one tourney a year on Lake Champlain. It was always the highlight of the season and most of us would spend extra time there just to enjoy the area and of course catch more smallmouth then you could shake a hook at. We also liked Lake Winnipesaukee in those days particularly in the early fall when the top water bite was absolutely heart stopping. Our most exciting trip for smallmouth however was in a small lake in eastern Ontario near the small town of Deep River. While staying at the K/O lodge we took a guide trip to big bass lake and between the wife and I we boated close to 100 fish in a 5 hour trip. These smallmouth tended to run in the 3 to 5 pound range and some were larger but few were smaller. If I had only a year New England and Ontario would be on my bucket list. I too would like to have a go at peacock bass and then perhaps a little saltwater fishing for tarpon and redfish before returning to my place at Santee. That would be a great way to go out.

  3. Joel Harris says:

    It would depend a lot on the amount of money. I would say #1 on my bucket list is a trip to Alaska and to fish the great waters that they have. That is where I would take most of my family and spend time with them.
    #2 would be like most bass fisherman to travel to some of the differant lakes we have here in the USA. I have caught peacock bass and never left Florida to do it. I would love to get back there and do some Snook fishing then go up to the pan handle for Reds. I also like most would love to go where I could catch a mess of Smallmouth.

    Fishing has consumed most of my life outdoors so that is where I would love to be when my time expired.

    • steve priest says:

      tough, wherever i went, i would want my wife, my brother and my dad with me, my favorite fishing partners.

      definetely would be heading to the amazon river for those peacocks. have yet to get to fish texas so falcon, rayburn, toledo bend, choke canyon, any of them i would be amped to go to.

      p.s. if you want to jump on a plane this spring, just say the word and we will be on erie in no time. smallmouth fishing is nuts as long as the wind cooperates.

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