Go big or go home


"OK, what are you tying on now because that didn't work."

That was the text message that came across my phone from my fishing buddy, Stevie, as I sat in my boat with a befuddled look on my face after I weighed in one lonely bass on the first day of the Clear Lake debacle. Fishing buddies are pretty hard on each other at times.

My reply? "Biggest freakin' swimbaits I got. Goin' big or goin' home."

When you're 26 pounds behind the leader and probably somewhere in the same neighborhood or slightly more (probably 28 to 29 pounds) out of making the first cut and getting a check, do you think it's a smart thing to go out and fish for just a limit on Day Two? I don't think so. Sure, a limit would mean a few more points, but when you're this far down, a few more isn't worth a whole lot. Nowhere to go but up at this point. Hey, I'm ahead of my hero, Rick Clunn, by 3 pounds. Woohoo.

I really felt like going out this morning I was going to get 6 -7 quality bites throughout the course of the day. I did. Problem was, I couldn't get a hook in them or couldn't get them in the boat. Talk about a frustrating day. I'm sure that my marshal Danny thought I was the biggest goober on Clear Lake. He would have been somewhat correct, as that's pretty much how I felt.

At least I didn't fly into the flagpole like the mallard we saw. That's right, crazy duck flew right into a flagpole that was mounted on the end of a dock. Two drakes and a hen got up off the water behind the dock and one of them just absolutely center punched the pole in a little puff of feathers.

As the feathers floated down to the water, the drake did one of those auto-rotation things down to the water. Sat there for a minute shaking his head, then swam off through the tules. It was one of those moments when I really needed a video camera.

I did center punch a 2 x 6 at about 74 mph. As we were rocketing across the lake, it looked just like a clump of tules laying on the surface until it got right about the bow of the BassCat. Too late at that point. Caught it right in the middle of the lower unit. Lost a few pounds of water pressure for a couple of minutes, then it came back up. Tough lower units on the Merc. Couldn't even find a scratch.

Yes, these are the highlights of my Day One on Clear Lake. A flagpole-beaning duck and a 2 x 6 across the lower unit. Yep, fishing pretty much sucked for me, what can I say. I felt like Pigpen from the Peanuts Gang. Instead of a cloud of dust hovering over me, there was a loud sucking sound that followed me around the lake all day.

So what does a guy in 92nd place out of 93 do on Day Two at Clear Lake? Swimbait, swimbait, swimbait. Need to cover a lot of water. Look for those docks, points, and areas where the females would pull up just before they head back to spawn. No time to worry about just getting a bite — they need to be big bites. Hope the big girls want to play tomorrow.

For more info on Kevin Short or to contact Kevin, check out his Web site at www.kfshort.com.