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Eric Allee
"TigerHunter" - Guest Blogger

Last Dance

Guest Blog by: Eric Allee 2/3/2016
"There he is" I heard Jeremy say that at least twenty times before I started losing confidence. Jeremy was using a small blue backed silver sided Walmart special jerkbait. Actually by trout fishing standards it was a bigger bait 4 inches or so, but for us it was on the smaller side. Long story short Jeremy was catching fish every spot we hit, and I couldn't drum up a follow. 

I was using a big Yo-Zuri jerkbait that I'd been using at the RMA for a few years. The once shiny black back silver sided paint job was now faded and the entire bait was covered with scratches from pike teeth. I'd caught so many fish on this jerkbait that I was getting ready to pull it out of the rotation and retire the bait. It's something I do now and then with baits that have served me well over the years. Some guys might build a fancy display case for their special lures... I have mine in an old Jordan shoe box that I keep next to my fishing magazine collection. Even after Jeremy offered to give me one of his jerkbaits multiple times I couldn't. I get connected with my favorite lures overtime and felt obligated to stick it out with this old jerkbait.... You know dance with the one that brought you kinda deal. 

We were now three quarters of the way around the lake and I still haven't caught a fish. Jeremy wasn't just catching fish on his Walmart special, now he was catching big fish! I can't remember how many fat rainbows he'd caught over twenty inches but it was quite a few. In the back of my mind I was thinking about asking Jeremy if I could take him up on his offer and borrow one of his jerkbaits. Then I'd look down at that old beaten up Yo-Zuri and immediately felt guilty. I knew for me the right thing to do was fish with this jerkbait the rest of the day.

There was a break between the bushes barely big enough for two guys to squeeze in and cast. It was always the last spot we fished before heading home... I watched Jeremy for a few minutes before I took a cast. I was watching his cadence and then when his Walmart special was close enough I'd watch it's action in the water. I remember thinking for an inexpensive bait those Walmart specials had awesome action and they stayed put on the pause. I started laughing as I took my first cast... Jeremy had out fished me by at least twenty fish today using a bait that was cheaper than a big mac! I  don't like getting skunked but I love watching an underdog(walmart special) come out on top.

Reeling in that first cast I noticed that it wasn't just the paint job that was worn out on my Yo-Zuri. It's side to side action was lazy even with the perfect amount of slack in the line and pop in my rod twitch. This old girl was on her last lap before heading to the old Jordan box for sure. Then I remembered that I'd popped it off a few rocks earlier in the day and the lip was either messed up or the lure cracked and had taken in some water. After giving the lure a once over before taking another cast I noticed the lip was worn down quite a bit and there was a small crack along the back of the lure. I didn't care this lure had brought me so much joy over the course of a few years I owed it this last cast before placing it in the old Jordan box next to the magazines I love so much. 

It was on the third twitch when my drag started screaming and a huge fish immediately broke the surface. Even thinking about that gets my adrenaline pumping! Just as I was about to yell Jeremy's name he said "holy shit dude"... The first two runs I don't remember hearing anything and it all felt like it was in slow motion. I tried to focus on fighting the fish, but in the back of my mind I knew this lure could break at anytime. I also remembered that I'd pinched the barbs down so I could use it at the RMA. Usually not a big deal but collectively I started getting nervous thinking that old lure and dull hooks wouldn't hold up to bringing this tank in. Then I heard Jeremy's voice trying to calm me down and that's when I really started focusing.... As soon as the fish was within ten feet of the bank Jeremy jumped into the water ready to land it. Jeremy was really attentive to where he was in relation to my line and the fish. He dove out of the way a couple times making sure the line didn't get caught on his coveralls as he was trying to get to the fish. Then like a cross between an Alaskan grizzly bear and a great special teams football player on a kick off Jeremy scooped that big brown out of the water and up to the bank! For the bear it would have meant dinner, for the football player it would have meant they pinned the other team at the one yard line, for us it was a moment we'll both remember for the rest of our lives. 

It still puts a smile on my face when I think about that old Yo-Zuri. It was a great lure that caught tons of fish in it's prime when it was still shiny and running true, but it saved the best for last. If I wouldn't have given that it's last cast... who knows if I'd have ever caught the beast pictured below.

#18  


Fishing has been a passion of mine ever since I can remember. Iíve committed myself to helping others not only catch more and bigger fish, but also enjoy themselves more while doing so.
Blog content © Eric Allee
Blog Comments
the fishing dj, CO   2/3/2016 3:26:54 PM
Good stuff man! Very well written. And killer brown! Thats a beast for that lake!
 
SnipeHuntin, CO   2/3/2016 5:33:48 PM
Love reading your stories Eric!
 
pikeNcolorado, CO   2/3/2016 10:05:44 PM
Good stuff. Ironically I just started working on a blog about older lures and having faith in them. Funny how you stick to your gut and ended up with a beast.
 
FISHRANGLER, CO   2/4/2016 6:37:38 AM
Like
 
Azled2zep, AZ   2/4/2016 8:28:54 AM
Very well-written. You have the ability to write as if the audience was there! I enjoyed this read.
 
sickws6, CO   2/4/2016 9:56:35 AM
Perfect Blog, that's the biggest brown I have seen out of said lake, I love my old jerks especially for trout
 
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