Carl Svebek - Stage 2It's not often that I've had an opportunity to share one of those rare, crazy things that happen while fishing.  You know one of those things that happen when you're alone and you want to share with everyone.  One of those things that's out of the ordinary and there's no one to tell.

First, I'm going to back up, say 40 years ago.  You see, I would have never been able to fulfill my lifelong dream and do what I love, if it wouldn’t have been for my dad.  Every trip my dad took to the lake, whether fun fishing or a tournament, he always took me along.  He would even check me out of school on occasion.  We were so close, fishing buddies, and he taught me everything I know about fishing.  The one thing I will always remember was when we would go to the lake and it would be quitting time (sundown or time for weigh in), he would always say, “Last Cast Trick”.  This would be his way of saying, tie everything down, we have to go.  Although he would always sneak another cast or two, I knew we had to go.  I’d always laugh, we loved to fish together!

One of those rare, crazy opportunities happened at Lake Oneida, New York at the B.A.S.S. Northern Open tournament, my first tournament since leaving the Tour in 2009.  I had a decent Day 1 with 15 pounds, putting me in 49th place.  Through the many tournaments I have fished I’ll usually analyze what it will take to make the cut or get in the money.  I’m never exact, but usually have a good idea.  I’m thinking 17 pounds and I’ve got a shot at the cut, 15 pounds and I’m pretty sure I’ll get paid.  Either sounds really good to me!  Day 2, as mentioned in the previous post, was a little different then Day 1 with a lot of storms, wind, and rain. However, the bite was still good and I continued to drift the little bay that I was totally committed to all day.  I was getting the bites, but it was a little struggle to get those 3 pounders that are so desperately needed to reach at least a respectable finish and possibly even a check.  At 2:00 I found myself with about 13 ½ pounds (4-solid 3 pounders and one little dink).  As my partner and I prepared to make that drift for about the 100th time, I realized our battery is dead.  Oh geez - nothing, it was completely dead (aerators, electronics, bilge have all been running all day).  Well, as most of you fishermen know, these are the times when your heart starts beating like crazy and you begin to panic a bit.  Although I knew we had a good hour or so till weigh in, I was still worried since we had at least a 30 minute run.  Luckily, I was able to jump the battery and it started!  Now I had a decision to make, do I run in closer to weigh in or take my chances and stick with the game plan?  Spontaneously, I chose option 1 and headed to a small bay about 3 miles from weigh in.  I knew we would have time for a few casts anyway.

We finally arrive at the little bay about 3 miles from weigh in. I let my partner know we have 20 minutes left, then we have to go.  Knowing I’m just one 3 pounder from at least getting a check, I realized my chances were getting slimmer by the minute.  Usually, at this stage of the game, time is flying and so am I, casting and winding, with trolling motor on high.  Hoping for a miracle!  For whatever reason, after looking at my watch and seeing I was already a minute over, I looked up, smiled, and said, “Last Cast Trick”.  I probably shortened my cast a little as I knew we had to go or would possibly be late.  The minute my Senko hit the water, I felt that tick and there she was skiing, going crazy like most smallmouths tend to do.  My biggest issue was now I have to get this fish in quick, and make check in.  I’m only using 8 lb. test, and know I’m going to have to horse her in a bit. I was able to get her to the boat, lip her, and replace her with that one dink I had in the box.  Although a little chaotic, we did it and made it in with a minute or two to spare.  Wow!

My dad past away in 2004 and there’s not a day that I don’t think about him and those many trips we took fishing together.  All those trips and the “Last Cast Trick” finally paid off.  Thank you daddy for that “Last Cast Trick”.

Although it wasn’t a win, I did manage a 38th place finish and looking forward to our next stop on the James River in Richmond, Virginia.  I look forward to updating everyone on this event!

“Let the Gopher Get It”

Carl Svebek