by marC marCantonio
Story & Photos
bassin’ in Washington
two more cranks removed the slack, and was immediately followed by another snap and pause. This time something snapped back, nearly jerking the rod out of my cold hands! The big smallmouth shook its whole body side to side, trying to throw the offending minnow. When that tactic failed, she switched to tug of war, determined to steal my Staysee for herself. despite a major release of adrenaline fueled by a grande Starbucks dark roast, this wasn’t my first rodeo. i let the soft rod do its job, and i did mine by keeping the rod bent like a wet noodle. The loose drag prevented the hooks from tearing loose and the glass rod absorbed the massive head shakes without allowing slack. even a last ditch dive under the bow
faint wisp of fog lingered over the calm surface as the cold air began to dissipate. Cutting my e-teC’s ignition, i scrambled to the front deck and grabbed a lamiglas Xl 704 Glass rod rigged with my favorite springtime jerkbait. anxious to make that first magical cast, i couldn’t help but smile as my fingers gripped the jerkbait rod for the first time in spring. Winter fishing in deep water is fun; but i was ready for some good ol’ fashioned casting to replace the boring bottom dragging typical of the winter. The weight transfer system designed into the lucky Craft Staysee punched through the morning mist like a bullet. after six rapid cranks of the reel handle, i snapped the soft rod tip sharply down to the surface and then pushed the tip back toward the Staysee, allowing it to suspend.
Marc Marcantonio with a Moses Lake, WA 6lb smallmouth on jerkbait.