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April 25, 2016

Fishing Log: Third Fishing Trip, April 25, 2016

My Birthday Fish Come True!

Where: Griffin Beach, Webster Lake, Franklin, NH

I’m NOT a selfie expert!

Back to Webster Lake with my Hobie Float Cat 75.


Today is my 63rd birthday! So I’m definitely an OLD BassHole!

I slept in until 6:30 AM. Brenda, My Internet Bride, made us a delicious egg sandwiches for breakfast. Brenda had to work, but I had the day off. So once the weather warmed up above freezing, I shimmied into my waders, pulled on my booties, and hauled my Hobie for 5 minutes to Webster Lake.


  • Temperature (Air): 25 degrees to 50 degrees
  • Sky: Sunny & Clear
  • Precipitation: 0%
  • Wind: WNW @ 3 mph to 6 mph (Beaufort Wind Scale)
  • Humidity: 57% to 26%
  • Visibility: 10.0 miles
  • Water Color: Clear
  • Water Temperature: 54ish degrees
Wind and waves create chop by 10 AM
Calm, glassy surface water at 8 AM

Results: Caught a nice one!

The water was smooth and glassy when I first arrived. I cast my pig ‘n jig out to the usual spots where I caught bass last year, but without any action. I didn’t see any cruising bass either. So I cast a few more times, then decided to move out past the point and fish the rocks and ledges.DSC02912

I cast out there a few more times, then, since the water was so calm and there was no wind, I decided to try out deeper than I’ve ever fished there before.

Well, I should say never fished from my Hobie. I had been out there with my buddy once in his boat.


Pig ‘n Jig"Pig & Jig"

I went to the backside of the island, and cast into the deep water.

On my last trip, I had seen a fish roll out there, so I thought maybe I could entice some fish (maybe NOT bass) to bite my Red Eye Shad.

Red Eye Shad

Redeye ShadUsing the retrieve recommended by Kevin Van Dam, I threw my new favorite lure, the Red Eye Shad.

I flung the lure out, pulled, let it drop, pulled, let it drop, etc. Then I snagged a rock. That happens a lot in Webster Lake — it’s a shallow lack with LOTS of rocks (which the bass love!).

I pulled, and the rock pulled back. Then, I realized it WASN’T a rock!

Snagged a bass!

IMG_0493Once I realized I did have something on my line, I tried to figure out WHAT it was. Whatever it was, it wanted to stay on the bottom. That should have given me the clue I needed, but I wondered if it could be a salmon? I’ve never caught one before, but of course this critter was not running, as I now realize a salmon probably would. I even wondered if it could be a muskrat? Or a small bear? I mean, this thing was REALLY pulling, but straight down!

Finally I felt the familiar head shake, and finally got the fish up close enough to see. It WAS a bass. A nice largemouth.

She weighed 2.88 lbs., or as I like to say, a 5 pounder!

I let her go, and cast out for another 45 minutes, moving slowly, and then finally headed back for the beach.

BassHole & Bass
Did I mention I’m NOT a selfie expert?

But before I let that big girl go, I tried to do a selfie with her.

Tips for other BassHoles

  • I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: The Red Eye Shad: Don’t Be Caught Without It!
  • If you’re usual spots aren’t producing, try some new “turf.”
  • Remember your goal is to catch 5 fish in 8 hours (that’s what a Pro Bass Fisherman strives for), so don’t get discouraged!
  • Celebrate your successes. Maybe I only caught 1 fish, but I was happy to catch that!
  • Start your own Fishing Log. Record the essential information you can use to guide your future success.
  • Enjoy the day and remember, fishing is supposed to be FUN!

I drove my gear home, then spent the afternoon showing off my Birthday Fish Come True photo to my buddies at BassPro Shop. And, of course, spent my birthday loot (BassPro Gift Cards) getting more bass stuff!

Be sure and share your OWN fishing tales here with your fellow BassHoles!

As well as any questions you have, or topics you’d like to see covered.

And have fun out there!

Tight lines!

Roger, The Smiling BassHole

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The Smiling BassHole

I'm a BassHole!Kickin' Bass and lettin' them go.

Roger, The Smiling BassHole

  • Awesome article and happy birthday! I love fishing and it looks like you really enjoy it as well and spending time outdoors. Keep having fun as that is what life is all about!

    • Thanks, Darrik!

      You have fun too! And yes, I do love fishing. Please feel free to share some of your fishing adventures here so your fellow BassHoles can enjoy them!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

  • I tried lake fishing before. My results…meh! Here in the Caribbean the action is in the sea. But reading this article I wonder if my luck has changed. I’m going go find me that red eye shad and let’s see! You know that all lakes in Puerto Rico are man-made. They were introduce in the 1930’s in the great depression. The municipality of Maricao has the biggest fish nursery in all the Caribbean. In there, they took game fish that came mostly from South America, like the Peacock Bass and acclimatized them to the tropics. By the way Happy Birthday!

    • Thanks for the birthday greetings, Mike!

      When I first started reading your comment, I thought, “Caribbean salt water fishing is great! Why switch to lake fishing?” But then you said, “Peacock bass.”

      Peacock bass are a great game fish, world famous! Great lures are topwater propeller lures, jerkbaits, crankbaits, ducktail jigs, and Zara Spooks. Here’s a site with some details. These fish can get large, so you may want to “THINK BIG” when choosing the lures! And in some places you can catch dozens of them every day! So, yeah, that would be awesome fishing!

      Nice to hear that sport fishing was included in creating the impoundments. Most man made lakes are created by damming rivers, so offering sport fishing is a great way to give back to the people of the area. That happened in California and resulted in some very nice lakes, plus the dams were required to release water from the bottom of the lake (colder water), which improved the river fisheries as well!

      So get out there, catch some peacock bass, and come back and leave us an account of your great adventures!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

  • Happy birthday Roger!

    As I look at your pictures, it was a really nice birthday present for you I guess, right? I was fishing only as a kid with my uncle, but he never knew that there are some techniques which he can try to catch more. I am gonna definitely share with him!

    All the best!


    • David,

      YES! Catching a bass was a GREAT birthday gift! I call it “My birthday fish come true!”

      I’d been fishing twice before, same lake, same area, with no action whatsoever. I had seen some fish “roll” on my last visit, so eventually I worked my way over to that portion of the lake to fish there (last year I never tried there, it’s a bit far from shore). And I didn’t even realize it was a fish at first — I thought I had snagged the bottom (there are lots of rocks and ledges in Webster Lake)! So it was both a gift AND a surprise!

      Tell your uncle to leave us some of his fishing stories, and to consider himself an honorary BassHole!


      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

  • Awesome man! Great post! Couple weeks ago someone caught an 8 lb largemouth out here in Bahama NC. Myself I’m still hunting the record channel catfish but in three years not yet. Biggest is 11 lbs I have caught. Nice site!

    • Thanks, Dave!

      Wow, an 8 lb. largemouth is a good ‘un! So what’d you catch it on?

      I remember Jonathan Winters was once on a TV show. His daughter was in the hospital, about to give birth. His character was watching a fishing show on the hospital TV. When the baby was coming, everyone was told to leave except the husband. Winters turned to his son-in-law and said, “If you have a chance, see if you can tell what color lure he’s using.”

      Gotta have your priorities straight!

      Obviously your priority is channel catfish. 11 pounds is a lot of catfish! What IS the record?

      Keep casting!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

  • way to go! i particularly liked the 2.88= 5 pounder…..true basshole lol!
    glad you got to do what you love on your birthday- looks like it was an enjoyable one.
    so happy birthday!

    • Thanks, Lefty!

      Yes, catching that bass on my birthday (the first of this year and the first since my injury) made the morning perfect! And then I drove to my local Bass Pro Shop, showed my photo to all the other BassHoles there, and spent my birthday gift cards.

      So a wonderful birthday all around, even if it was #63!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

  • It looks absolutely wonderful about there and I love the photos that you’ve taken. It sounds like fishing is something that you really enjoy. What’s your favorite thing about fishing?

    • Thanks, Vince!

      I do find it wonderful! What do I love most? I’d say there are three elements:

      1) All the knowledge and skill required to master the sport.

      2) Casting is a sort of target game. You try to hit your target. But even if you fail, you can be successful (unless you get tangled in a tree or bush!).

      3) The fish’s fight. I love to play tug of war with the fish. No idea why, but I most certainly do.

      So that’s 3 things, I know, but I feel they are all interrelated to enjoyment of the sport.

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

  • Your gonna need a bigger boat! She’s a beaut well done. Happy birthday and what a way to spend it, clear blue skies and not a ripple, my birthday’s in August and I rarely get a birthday like that, but that’s the British weather for you.
    I guess this means you’re having more luck with the pig and jig now?

    • Thanks Dan!

      She IS a beaut! But I caught her on the Red Eye Shad, not the pig ‘n jig. I’m hoping the pig ‘n jig starts producing soon, I think the water still needs to warm up a bit. Though, I think had I been using the jig, I might still have got that bass. But that I’ll never really know!

      Ah, August in Britain. I lived 6 months in London (late October through early April), but have never been there in August. I do remember yearning for some sunshine.

      So happy early birthday! And tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

  • What a great article Roger. I thought it was particularly interesting how you fished a little deeper than usual. A great result! Happy birthday mate.

    • Thanks, Andrew!

      Yes, I’m just learning how to fish deeper. In the past I pretty much just fished right up next to the bank. “Pounding the banks” is how one pro put it!

      But with that strategy yesterday, I’d have been skunked AGAIN! So, glad that my new technique paid off with a very strong, nice bass!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

    • Thanks, Derek!

      It certainly made MY day! And the first bass of 2016, and the first bass since my injury last June.

      Good times! Well, maybe not for the bass, but I did let her go.

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

    • Thanks, Andrea!

      Not really a huge bass, but I was glad to get her! And she was a good size, nearly 3 pounds (2.88 lbs.). And strong. At first I thought I’d snagged the bottom of the lake! Finally I felt her shake her head, and was able to horse her in.

      I’ve shown that photo to lots of folks!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

  • Yay! You caught one! And not a bad size fish at all. I guess the fish gods knew it was your birthday and wouldn’t let you go home without catching anything. I’m glad you had a good time. Keep up the good work and keep posting more pictures! I love it!

    • Thanks Andy!

      Yes, the Fish Gods smiled upon my efforts, and rewarded me with a very nice fish. If I could catch a few of those on every trip, they would all be awesome! I have caught some even larger than that right in that same lake.

      And I can’t wait for the smallmouth to return. They aren’t as large, but they are terrific fighters! Often described as “pound for pound,” the hardest fighting freshwater fish.

      Glad you enjoyed the photos!

      I WILL be going to more spots as the season progresses, but right now I’m waiting for the spawn period in the lake just a 5 minute drive from my bedroom!

      I left a comment.

      Feel free to pick any post or page to leave a comment on my site:


      Most of them have humor SOMEWHERE in them!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

  • Happy Birthday! There is nothing better than doing what you love on your birthday and you seem to be enjoying what you do! I love your post and the fact that it is supported with so many beautiful photos. Excited to hear more about your Big Bass adventures!

    • Thanks, Eva!

      It was a great birthday! No wind, sunny day, calm conditions, and finally, a nice fish. First fish of the year, first fish since my injury.

      And after that, a trip to Bass Pro Shops to catch some more gear, gab with the guys, and brag about the morning.

      Glad you enjoyed the photos! I’m struggling to figure out how to do the selfie with the fish!

      I left a comment.

      Feel free to pick any post or page to leave a comment on my site:


      Most of them have humor SOMEWHERE in them!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

  • Hey Roger

    Happy Birthday for Monday!

    I love the way you note that you slept in until 6:30am… Kind of makes me feel like I am missing a few hours on my average day.

    Lol… That is some rock!! Kudos!

    Reminds me of the time I hooked a massive king fisher (Yip, the bird). Ratchet screaming, the line took off…. Me falling off 3 chairs to get to my rod… All the time thinking I had hit the big one…

    Next thing I know, the line starts lift out of the water… Me standing there with a blank expression on my face… Wondering what #$$%#$% is going on…

    Eventually realized it was a bird and not a fish… The fun part began when we had to safely remove the bait and hook from that monstrous beak tho. 😉

    Anyway, Bird was fine and It made for an interesting conversation around the fire that evening.

    Looking forward to reading more of your bass fishing adventures!


    Marc Parsons

    • Thanks for the birthday wishes, Marc!

      What a terrific fish story! Catching a King Fisher would be a nightmare for me! And to be honest, I feared it was something like that. Maybe a loon or something. And then how would I get it free? I started to suspect it was less likely to be a bird or animal when it never came up for air, but I was very pleased to see it was an actual bass.

      Thanks for sharing such a great story, and I was glad to hear that both the bird and the bird catcher came out unharmed!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole.

  • Roger,
    Great Post! You got me hooked. I am going to have to try the Red Eye Shad. I use to do a lot of Bass fishing before moving to Florida. I now do more salt water fishing which is much different. I love to bass fish, but just haven’t made the time to go. Do you have any recommendations on reels? I need to buy a new one. Thank you.

    • Thanks Larry!

      There is certainly some GREAT bass fishing in Florida! Including Walt Disney World, if I’m not mistaken.

      If you are doing salt water fishing, what type of reel are you using? Of course there’s not usually a lot of casting in salt water, am I right?

      So a very easy reel to use is the spinning reel. That’s what I like. Or a spincast reel. Also easy. They each use a different rod, so make sure you get one to match the rod you’re using! Here’s my post choosing the right spinning rod and reel. And here’s how to choose a spincast rod and reel.

      So get out there, catch a big Florida bass, and then share your success with your fellow BassHoles!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

    • Thanks Sean!

      They are great! I’ve heard they are best in the spring. I got mine last year during the spring, and then had to “retire” for the season after my injury. So we’ll see this year if the Red Eye Shad keeps performing throughout the season!

      I’ve lost the final of my favorite color, though it IS hanging from a tree on Webster Lake, my home lake. Maybe I can figure out a way to get it back!

      Great seeing you today! Hope all is well with you and that you have a great fishing season. Be sure and come back and report your fishing adventures!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

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