The alarm clock rings at 5am and my feet hit the floor. I can instantly hear the rain falling outside as I make my way to find that first dose of morning caffeine and turn on the Weather Channel. The hourly forecast on my phone looks good and the front appears to be passing on the radar. I take note that the barometric pressure is also falling. It’s time to pack the last couple of items and hit the road.
As the wheels start turning down the highway I reach up for my glasses because the glare on a wet road makes it hard to see these days. I’m not nearly as young as I was when I began driving this same stretch of road 10 years ago. There’s no loud music only rain drops and the sounds of the wiper blades on the windshield. No one sits in the seat next to me these days so I take the time I have to think whenever I can. 10 years is a long time to run the roads chasing a fish and a goal. I make a stop at the same gas station I’ve stopped at what feels like 100 times and then on to the boat ramp.
Arriving at the lake the rain has stopped and daylight starts to break. I shake a few new hands and begin to ready the kayak for the day. We all optimistically throw on our rain gear with hopes of clearing skis and begin backing down the ramp. We all sit there waiting for the director to give the ok to fish and when he does the race is on to spot number 1 of the day. The first 45 minutes of the day start dry and that’s when the sky opens up letting the 1st rain drops fall.
Having managed my first fish on the board I made a move towards the dam of the lake looking for warmer water. The dam was pulling water from the rain the night before and the wind was also pushing in the same direction. Like any angler I pointed the nose to my Jackson Big Rig straight in to the chop and began chucking my 412 Bait Company spinnerbait straight into the wind.
The wind was pushing the rain into my face. My beard was pouring with water; my XX2i lenses were dotted and smeared with rain drops. Looking out I could see the rain running off the brim of my hat. I could feel the rod and reel slip in my cold wet hands a little more each cast. A short strike kept me casting until the bass finally found the hook
I make quick work of the fish, getting it on and off the board as quickly as I can…. 12”. Most days that would bother me but pre spawn, my face absolutely soaked from rain and cold I look out and think a differently. On my right I see Chuck Jones and Jon Babbs. To my left I see Nike Brummett and off in the distance in front of me I can see Marcas Grubbs. Just a group of guys enduring Mother Nature to catching fish. Each cast just as optimistic as the next.
See we all drove a hour to 2 hours, fished all day in the rain only to put 5 bucks into the days pot. The total payout was a whole 45 bucks for big bass. It’s going to take the next 2 days for all the gear to properly dry out. Reels are going to need a dose of fresh oil after being rained on all day. The thing is it wasn’t about the money or the bragging rights it was about the passion for the sport it’s self. So when I’m asked “What is Bass Crazy?’ the answer will be pretty simple. It’s fishing in the rain all day for a five dollar buy in and being okay with taking the punches that the outdoors has to offer. Why? Because you love it and you’re crazy enough to do it. It may have not been my best fishing performance to date but I’d do it again today just to be out there bass fishing.