Rematch in the Everglades
Today I made the trek back down to my favorite peacock lake to try and set up a rematch with a monster fish that last Wednesday sent me home with my tail between my legs. The day started off just like any other. I fished the first couple of lakes that I came to as sort of a warm up. I managed a small largemouth and a couple of decent oscars but nothing photo worthy because they weren't what today's 1.5 hour drive was all about. I started to make my way through the mud and marsh of the Everglades towards my favorite of the 3 lakes. I began walking up and down the bank immediately noticing an abundance of schooled up peacock bass. More than I had seen in the last few months. Immediately I was hopeful that today would be an extraordinary day. As one cast turned into what felt like one thousand I started to lose hope that maybe the monster I had seen a few days prior had moved off her bed. I walked the length of the lake a number of times before deciding to make my way back to my truck. As I came up on the end of the lake I decided to take a look underneath a pine tree that was close to where I had seen the male/female pair guarding their fry. Immediately I saw the smaller, more colorful male dart out from underneath the brush to chase away a much larger gar. As he swam out the monster female made her appearance to take over the guarding of the fry. I immediately unhooked my Riptide Swimming Mullet from my Bull Bay Rod and made my first cast at her. She immediately came out to chase it but wasn't interested in biting it but more of just fanning it away from her bed. I made a few more casts to her before she finally came out and slammed it! I missed my hookset and sat back heartbroken that twice in a row I had missed this monster and I doubt that mother nature would give me a third chance at her. After about ten minutes she reappeared. I made another cast at her and immediately she chased it and grabbed it. This time I set the hook like my life depended on it. My drag started to scream and she made a run down to the bottom of the 30ft ledge. After a few drag adjustments I was able to get her close enough to where I could grab her from the edge of the water and carefully bring her on the shore to snap a few pictures. After a few shots she was happily released. Before I left for the day I went back to see if I could find her and there she was, feisty as ever chasing away everything that swam anywhere near her fry.