Newspaper Archive of
Cloverdale Reveille
Cloverdale, California
August 3, 2011     Cloverdale Reveille
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August 3, 2011

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CLOVERDALE REVEILLE, CLOVERDALE, CALIFORNIA WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 3, 2011 -- Page 7 The 00ra00er By Jim DeMartini The Forager and friend afield he look on Chet's face as the huge bass ex- ploded four feet out of the greenish, water was, as it goes in the commercial, price- less." For the next five minutes Chet hyperventi- lated, swore, prayed and generally made pleading conversation with a fish that bent his rod down like a horseshoe. After the fish tired, and Chet was able to guide it toward his boat, I got a lucky pinch on its lower jaw and lifted the monster on to the casting deck. I didn't think peoples' eyes could actually enlarge as wide as Chet's orbs as he looked at the digital scale from which the fish hung. Ten pounds! Chet's all-time fish. Out came the camera phone, and dig- and female bass are insanely protective of their beds. This makes for sensational fishing. Bass are generally taken with lures. There is an industry rivaling the auto industry devoted to bass lures. Bass lures go from simple plastic worms, to crank baits that imitate bait fish, to spinner baits that don't appear to imitate anything, to surface poppers and plastic frogs, and back again in an array of colors and patterns that would make Jack- son Pollack blush. Truly, half the business of bass fishing is in fret- ting over the right lure. The completely devoted tend to look for bass in excess of 10 pounds. To catch these, the Clear Lake fishermen use rubber trout lures nine inches long. (Which is ital camera, for at least two dozen ,. pictures before the fish '" went into the live ........ well where it was kept cool ............. .. and comfortable -- in flowing oxy- : " g e n a t e d w a t e r ..... .:;': Then came the excit- ::::::::: :i ' bigger than most of the trout I've caught in my lifetime!) My friend Chet carries the equivalent of a medium tackle shop with him in his boat at all times. You just never know what lure will be ed cell-phone calls to fishing working. And don't get me started on the buddies (including his fish-widow wife) an- nouncing the catch and showing the prize via camera phone. All this from a normally reason- able man. Thus, is the lure of largemouth bass fishing. The fish, a female, was released, as are 95% of the largemouth that are caught by devoted bass fishermen. This is catch-and-release fishing at its spiritual core. Florida strain largemouth bass are not, as you. might deduce from the name, native to Califor- nia. In fact, there are no species of basnattve to California. The group of fish known ' as "black bass," as distinguished from striped bass, include largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass. Largemouth were first imported from Quincy, Illinois, in 1891. The Florida largemouth arrived in 1959. Smallmouth bass were first introduced from Lake Champlain, New York, in 1874. Spot- ted bass are a more recent addition to the Califor- nia scene, having arrived from Alabama in 1974. All black bass are fierce fighters and inhabit lakes, rivers, creeks and the sloughs of the Cali- fornia Delta. Lake Sonoma holds all three strains of black bass, but the queen of Northern Califor- nia bass waters is Clear Lake. Fishermen, male and female, come from across the nation, and overseas, to Clear Lake, to tackle some of the biggest bass ever recorded. Spring- time is the height of bass season. This is when the bass pair up, make beds like nests where they hatch and raise their young for a month or so. Generally the smaller males will guard the bed while the females forage. However, both male boats[ In addition to its obsession with fishing tackle, the tournament bass fishing industry is compulsive about its boats. The theory here, or at least the justification they give their wives in order to purchase these mon- sters, is that you have to get to the hot spots before your competition. This involves low slung boats that are routinely powered by motors larger than 250 horsepower and which fly over, not through, the water in excess of 80 miles per hour. And they -aren,t..chp ................................ .... The boats are basically casting latforrns with enough storage to hold all the tackle one could ever consider using. They have electric auxiliary motors to help sneak up on fish and live wells, with contin- uous fresh water movement, to store fish until they can be weighed and released. A professional bass fisherman can make a very good living traveling from tournament to tourna- ment. The pros have lure and boat manufacturers as sponsors. It is not unusual for a tournament winner to be awarded a $60,000 bass boat, in addi- tion to cash, as his prize. As much as I respect catch-and-release fishing, and I do release most of the bass I catch, I will, from time to time, keep a fish to eat. I do this exclusively at Lake Shasta where the very cold temperature of the lake keeps the meat of the spotted bass sweet and tasty. My favorite Shasta Breakfast is a plate of bass filets, dipped in an egg wash and rolled in bread- crumbs, and then fried in leftover bacon fat. Oh man! For fishing and hunting seasons and regulations go to http://www.dfg.ca.gov/ Attorney James F. DeMartini can be contacted at 707 894-5000 IIIWW J Pall= O0-Oml,alo Im.-N  SaC man. ANIMAI. HOSPITAL OF CLOVERDALE Receive $5 OFF any Vaccine for your cat or dog in August. Go to our websitc and print out the coupon today. Look for other money saving offers every month at Call for Appointment. 894-3951 CLOVERDALE STORAGE 35 INDUSTRIAL DR. (707) 894-3682 OUR RATES ARE LOWERTHAN MOST. SECOND MONTH FREE ON SELECTED SIZES NO ADMINISTRATIVE FEES NO DEPOSITS, 24 HOUR ACCESS ON SITE MANAGER OFFER SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE Photos by Charlie Delfino