There is something special about fishing with true friends; real people that you know, love and trust. As I realize that my time here in the Belgrades is slowly coming to an end (we are moving away this fall), I realize how much I cherish my friends here and the fishing opportunities in the area. Suddenly I enjoy every eagle, every osprey, and every fish much more. Sunsets are clearer and more vibrant and the smell of the water gets sweeter each day. Well, this past week I had the privilege to fish with a real friend and a legend in the area – someone who I’ve come to know and thank my luck stars to have met. If it wasn’t for the beauty of the Belgrades and the love of fishing, our paths would never have crossed. It may sound corny, but the luxury of my job is to meet some wonderful people from all over the world and Dick Dempster is certainly at the top of the list.
Perhaps the title of this article should read: “Fishing Creates Friendship” or better yet, “Fishing Friends Fish Forever”. Either way, my friend and his son-in-law Gentry went fishing last week. It was a full moon that brought a cold front and a breezy day, so I was concerned the bite would be off. Well those excuses came true because the fish were being stinkers, but we managed to find a few smallies and some pike on the deep edges of weed beds. We caught the fish on live bait and tube jigs, and we were happy to get the bites we got. After about an hour we decided to move into some back waters where there was current and lots of structure. It was technical fishing and the casting target was really small, but we managed to get the right casts into the right areas and caught some big fish. Sometimes it’s better to catch a few big fish rather than catch a bunch of smaller ones.
Boat position is key when fishing technical waters, and we managed to position just right in front a fallen tree. After the boat was set up, my friend Dempster told me that he thought the fish would be on the leeward side of a fallen tree. I positioned the boat and chucked a shiner into the spot he had called. It wasn’t more than 10 seconds and he landed a HUGE largemouth. High Fives and the clicking of cameras followed, but the best part was a few seconds of silence when we all realized how special the moment was. Three friends brought together by the love of fishing had just shared in the sweet success of the catch. A few minutes later the big female was released and we all went back to fishing. Silence ensued for a while, but the memory of that fish, and that moment will be burned in my mental CD for the rest of my life.
Good luck this week!