Saturday, March 19, 2011

The King of Possum Kingdom Sand Bass

Definitions.  That's probably what this title needs.  First, sand bass.  Growing up in Nebraska, I caught the hell out of these fish on Johnson Lake, but they were known as white bass.  Voracious eaters, they were always biting and a ton of fun to catch.  In Texas -- and other points south -- they're known as sand bass.  So now you know.

The other part of the title -- Possum Kingdom -- you either shake your head knowingly, or snicker uncontrollably.  Even the locals skirt the formal name and simply call it "PK."  It's a lake. In Texas.  A very pretty one at that, with beautiful limestone cliffs.  And yes, it inspired a Toadies song.  But that's neither here nor there.

What IS here -- or rather in my belly -- are passels of fillets that my son Jack and I tore up while visiting said lake.  I've been on Spring Break for the last week, most of which was spent in the Lone Star State.  On the way down (I'm ashamed it didn't happen sooner) I decided that Jack and I -- the only boys on a certain leg of the trip -- needed a diversion from the estrogen and shopping.  Naturally, I Googled possum kingdom fishing guide, and, through the greatness of Al Gore's invention, I found Dean Heffner.  And boy am I glad I did.

We showed up at the appointed time of 6:30am at Mr. C's Convenience Store (ok, 6:15, I'm terminally early), and Dean met us.  We followed him to the dock, and he promptly sat in our truck for ten minutes.  "Most of y'all don't show up on time," he explained.  He'd never met the Scampwalker family, apparently.

We started fishing at 7:40, and until 11:00, we simply tore them up.  Dean was a knowledgeable guide that still made sure we had a great time.  One fish, two fish on a line -- sometimes each of us with four-plus pounds on our line.  In all, we caught 91 fish (both Jack and Dean made sure I kept track).  But I do know that Dad hauled in just one more than son, just to keep the kid humble. 

Jack was silent almost the entire trip.  I worried that he wasn't enjoying himself.  I was wrong.  Flashing back to trips that my Dad took me on, he was simply enjoying himself, his surroundings, and his company.

And so did I. 

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