This story was originally published by Michael Banks of “Friends of the Neches River“, an organization formed to preserve, protect and restore the wild and scenic Neches River to provide outdoor opportunity and enjoyment of this natural and cultural resource for present and future generations. Thanks for sharing this short story with us Michael…great cause, great story and great catch!
Have you ever seen an angel? No, I mean talked to an angel and then later realized it really was an angel. That happened to me today.
I stopped in the parking lot at the Lake Athens Marina and was checking the launching situation when this guy pulled up in an old pickup and stopped beside me, not in a parking space, just up besides me. He said, “You goin’ fishin’?” (I thought, duh, here’s your sign!) But I only said yes. He said, “Well we really caught ‘em yesterday on Cedar Creek, but I burned up my battery on my boat and can’t go today.” I said, “That’s too bad”, picking up he was looking for conversation and I wasn’t. He said, “I fish this lake a bunch and really like it.” Seeking information, I asked, “What were you using yesterday and where do you fish here? I have only fished here a couple of times.” He said, “We were using them wacky worms without any sinkers. You see them boat houses over there?” I said “Yea.” He said, “Not them, those over there with the brown tops.” I said, “Yea.” He said, “You fish out in front of them if the grass ain’t too high. If they ain’t there, then you fish up at that point. And you see that bank over there? Go right up next to that. See that pipe over there? If they ain’t down there, they will be over there.”
I was getting anxious to launch so I thanked him and told him I hoped he got his boat fixed so he could go fishing. I then got in my truck and drove over to the other side of the boat launch. I do not know if he drove off, parked or puff – vanished. I usually can recognize folks after talking to them but later I realized I could not remember what he even looked like.
But I did use a power bait worm with no weight and I did hook up with fish at the places he mentioned. That’s when I realized the old man was an angel.
I caught ten bass between 1:30 pm and 4:30 pm; I had 5 strikes (bites) I did not catch; it did not rain while I was on the water; temperature was 75 degrees.
The obsession is not about the trophies. Obsession is with the experiences.
Michael Banks, DDS
Friends of the Neches River