I can only assume it’s because bass anglers have a lot of time to think. Spring, summer, winter, autumn, bass anglers are always thinking up new ways to catch bass. From time to time, while on the water or driving to the lake, our minds drift. Unfortunately for our fishing partners, this drifting can result in a practical joke or prank. Bass fishing pranks can be some of the most heart stopping of all; some simply strike anger or fear in a split second. I recently was put in a situation for which I just couldn’t help myself.
A couple of weeks ago, I got a message from Lee and Joe. They were looking to do some fishing on the famous Caddo Lake in Northwest Louisiana. The stars aligned and everyone’s schedules matched up for a weekend in mid-February. Fast forward to the fishing.
Joe arrived late Wednesday evening and caught a nap in the camper Ron Fogelson had set up for him. I met Joe at the ramp at daybreak on Thursday morning. Lee was to come in later, which he did. Joe and I had a great day on the lake catching good numbers of bass. Traffic between Mississippi and Louisiana delayed Lee. However, it worked out.
Ron was also part of these adventures. However, Ron had to play pool in his league at the American Legion on Thursday night. The Legion happened to be on the way to the lake for Lee. A little coordination and plans were put in motion. Joe and I would finish up at the lake, swing by my house and drop the boat off, then head to the American Legion. Lee would stop at the American Legion on the way to the lake. From there Lee would take Joe back to the lake. While at the Legion, we all had great food, a few cold drinks, and caught up on our visiting. As planned, Joe road with Lee back to the lake. The plan worked flawlessly.
The next morning as I was hooking the boat up to head to the lake, I noticed in our rush to get to the Legion the night before, we had forgotten Joe’s tackle bag in the boat. No big deal but it did get me to thinking. As I drove to the lake to pick Lee and Joe up, I got to thinking more. The forgotten tackle bag is an opportunity to have a lot of fun. I had already fished with Joe and felt like he could handle a prank. Shoot, he has been to a couple Ultimate Bass Rallies and if he doesn’t have thick skin, he probably would have headed home early with tears in the corners of his eyes. However, I passed on the idea. I figured it best to get to know Joe a little bit more before I ruined his day.
Once at the camper Joe and Lee were staying in, I quickly noticed Lee’s truck wasn’t there. We were to meet up at 7 A.M., and it was only 6:30. I assumed they had gone to town for breakfast and would be there shortly. As I waited, I just couldn’t take it any longer.
I sent a text message to Joe and asked him, “Joe, some punk stole your tackle bag out of the boat last night. Do you want me to call the sheriff and get a report filed or just come to the lake so we can get to fishing?” Joe’s reply was full of expletives. Then he asked if we could file a report at the sheriff substation at the campground? I know the ranking sheriff in charge at the substation and had made mention of it yesterday to Joe, so I told him I’d call and find out.
I let things fester for a few minutes and told Joe my buddy said we could, and I’d be there shortly. What I didn’t realize is, Joe was in the camper the whole time, and he hadn’t seen me pull up. I let it go about 15 more minutes. It’s now five minutes past our agreed upon gathering time, so I text Joe, “Where are you?” He quickly replied, “I’m in the camper.”
By the time I walked up to the camper, Ron pulls up, and we walk to the door together. Joe greets us, but rather than a ‘smiling let’s go fishing,’ he was a grumpy cussing mess, pacing back and forth stopping only to write something on a piece of paper every few seconds, then back to pacing. Still cussing he exclaims, “Mike, I hate a thief more than anything. They are just wrong and need to be shot.” Ron looks at me and asks, “What the hell happened?” Seeing the anger in Joe reaching critical mass, I couldn’t let it go anymore and told Ron “nothing.” I then explained to them both what I had done. Ron thought it was as funny as I did, Joe not so much.
Because of the timeline, Joe had a few minutes and was already building a list, in triplicate, of everything he had in the tackle bag to give to the sheriff, his insurance, and myself, so I could watch for it in the local pawn shops and at tournaments.
As a warning for upcoming Ultimate Bass get togethers, always have one eye open, don’t fall asleep first, and lock anything of value. One never knows what bass fishing pranks might happen when everyone is in one place for too long.
Get the Net It’s a Hawg,
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