I never saw the only fish that ever stripped line from my reel. I was living in Sacramento and went with a buddy up to Yuba City to go salmon fishing, my first and only time. He caught and released one and I hooked and lost one. On the way home I was driving through all the rice fields and stopped every once in a while at an irrigation slough and fished for bass…my main target back then. I was under a bridge and there were signs of fishing there. A bucket, some trash and lots of footprints in the mud. I set up a bobber over a worm because the water was pretty shallow and I figured I would catch some gills. I found a sweet spot and caught 6 or 8 small ones and tossed them back. Then I tossed back to the same spot and missed by a few feet, dang, well as I was about to reel in to cast again my bobber splashed under. Line was stripping out of my reel like gangbusters. I had never had this happen before. I struggled with the fish for about ten minutes and then I decided my drag was set to loose, because I was not gaining on the fish so I reached over and turned the drag setting just a little to the right and bang the line snapped. Never saw the fish always assumed a cat fish.
The most memorable fish I ever actually caught was a bass. I had gone to an overnight outing with my wife’s work-mates. She was working as a legal secretary and the campout was at a lake and the flyer said “bring your boat” so I did. The lawyers all brought their big ski boats and such and I brought my 12’ double-hulled home-made fiberglass jon boat. My wife was kind of embarrassed, I think. We got there in the afternoon so I put the boat in to explore where I would fish in the am. I found a couple of good spots and when I returned there were a couple of the guys who said they would be interested in going with me. They all got drunk that night and no one would get up with me in the morning, so I went out alone. The only thing I remember about the whole day fishing is this one little cove I had spied out the day before. I approached it and cut the 6.5 hp motor and lifted it coasting into the cove filled on one end with lily pads as I drifted close in I cast my hula-popper right next to the pads and as it settled I popped it once and BANG it was sucked down. The fish fought well and broke the water once. It was my first largemouth bass. It was no bigger than my hand, but what a thrill…like it was yesterday.
As a side note I got in trouble with my wife when I told her I was going out after smartmouth bass and when her work-mates said there was no such thing…she defended me. What a gal I married!