It started innocuously enough. The bride asked what I was doing Saturday. I told her I had planned to watch the sun set on one of her cousins' ponds, and would she like to accompany me. Her affirmative answer prompted me to prepare two outfits for battle, including line cleaning, leader change and preparing a box of baits. I loaded all in the old Suburban and we arrived at our destination with the wind still blowing fits across the normally placid pond. The sun had yet to drop below the heavily wooded ridge so she played about the dock warming up on bream.
As the shadows lengthened we changed to poppers, her 5 weight loaded with the same type and color popper I'd taken the 3 pounder earlier in the week and my Sage Bass was armed with a much larger version in red and black. We were going to give them two choices. She immediately began taking small bass on the smaller popper.
As we worked our way toward the shallow back end of the pond and quiet water, we were entertained by regular assault on both poppers by small bass and nice bluegill. She had leap-frogged about 20 yards ahead into an area of waist deep water hiding a stump field. I was in my own little world when I heard her say, "Big fish!" I turned and was greeted with water flying everywhere and her doing some serious work on a huge fish. I shucked my daypack, dropped rod, dug the camera out and headed her way fast as my old, crippled knees would allow. The entire affair lasted about 30 seconds but she had stopped the monster and looked in control, and as I attempted to photograph the big boy and his antics, I heard her say, "He's off."
The bass, after being snubbed down, reversed itself and powered out toward deeper water through the stump field leaving an impressive display of flying water. The leader parted. Normally, the 11 pound tippet I use on poppers would have been sufficient, but it likely was nicked or wind-knotted and gave way at one of those weak spots. We should have checked our leaders more but when you are catching fish, these sort of things get shuffled to the bottom of the list. I failed in getting a photo of the bass climbing for the sky, but did get this one as the surface of the pond return to it's normal flat state, leaving no evidence of the previous battle that took place.
I still don't believe my bride understands how big a bass she battled, but one look at the trail of debris I left retrieving our camera and heading to help should leave no doubt in anyone's mind that I was pretty impressed with it's size.