The final morning of my recent Florida trip brought tough fishing in a place where the bass action can be very good. After a couple of hours of having no fish come up for topwater, I tied on a Cotton Cordell Big O amd started cranking.
I'd probably been cranking the Big O for 10 minutes when I felt resistance that I at first thought was from grass. Then the grass started moving toward me faster than I was pulling it, so I snapped my wrist and announced, "Fish."
That word had barely escaped my mouth when a big head emerged, followed by the rest of a hefty bass. With one big head shake it tossed my cranking before returning to the water, and in a moment my opportunity was gone.
I realized too late that with the fish swimming toward me, I should have done much of a hookset. We guessed that bass, which turned out to be the only one to have bit that morning, to have been in the 6- or 7-pound range. Not a Florida giant, but a stout fish and one I sure would have liked to have landed.
Instead it was just another "big one that got away," but I suspect I'll be replaying that jump in my head for a very long time.