“One more stop!” Jacob Wheeler said, grinning mischievously as he backed his boat off plane and turned into a big grass mat.
The event schedule called for boats to be loading about that time, because of a dinner plan, but Wheeler had not caught a good picture fish that afternoon, and this spot had been stuck in his head. He hadn’t fished it, but he had passed it several times, and the way the grass-covered bar related to the channel, with an island near its edge, everything looked right.
Motor barely stopped, Wheeler sprung onto the front deck, grabbed his frog rod and started casting.
“Listen to that,” he said, referring to a chorus of bluegills snatching bugs from beneath the mat and sounding like the world’s largest bowl of Rice Krispies. “And look at the blowholes. I’m getting ready to catch one!” (Only time he made that prediction in about three hours.)
Wheeler cast to the area of the blowholes, which are gaps in the vegetation formed by feeding bass, and you would have thought the bass had read the script. The skittering frog called up an immediate and explosive strike, and Wheeler connected with a big hookset. Moments later he was swinging 5 pounds of Chickamauga Lake largemouth into his boat and then holding the fish for photos whole sporting a big and genuine grin.
Leaving got even tougher because everything suggested that more bass were waiting to be caught. We were past due to return, though, so after a few more casts, Wheeler put down his rod, pulled up his trolling motor and begrudgingly pointed the boat toward the boat ramp.
Good call on making on final stop.
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