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Ordinary Joe meets the bass pro ... kinda
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Two hours into my latest habit of not catching fish, I stared across the slough at a wake caused by a fish trying to fly and failing miserably. The result was impressive though, and the concussion captured my attention.

It again leaped from the brown water, arched its back, flicked its tail then slapped back into the water. It was huge, bigger than huge. It was the Kraken ... or a horribly lost salmon that was going to be even more horribly disappointed when it reached the muddy reeds at the end of the slough and not clear spawning waters.

It was a good 20 yards beyond my cast, naturally, but despite the impossibility of me tricking it into a bite, such sightings provide boosts and improve concentration. Sponsored speed boats racing around corners hinder concentration.

I had heard the hum before I saw the boat that eventually flashed by me leaving a wake that lapped at my boots. Moments like this are the worst possible time to realize your boots have lost their ability to keep water out because you’re now out fishing with wet socks and you probably don’t have $130 saved up specifically to buy new boots.

It was a challenge, a duel.

As he pulled next to a mess of tree limbs in the water, the Kraken leapt, signaling the start. I was fighting for all the unsponsored river-walkers that watch shows looking for tips only to hear nuggets like, “Find what works for you.”

Thanks man. Enjoy sifting through your free gear looking for “what works” while I buy mine without a hope of returning it.

I gear up at the sale rack, $1.99 lures that beg the question, are they on sale because an even better model has replaced this good model and I get a quality lure at a great price?

Or have new studies revealed the lure cannot possibly work because of a smelting accident that fouled it up at a molecular level, which we all know is worse than bad.

I wouldn’t know. The Bass Elite dude scrambling around the delta in search of big fish and getting my feet wet with the water displaced by his super boat would. It’s his job to know, and he’ll get a lot of money if he does.

He switched rods, I hooked a tree limb.

He drifted and poked every nook that might have a bass; I slipped and splashed my other foot into the water.

After 15 minutes, I could only hope for a tie in the duel. There was nothing to indicate I would hook anything but debris, which is usually how things are right before a hook-up, but I wasn’t sure that would happen.

The engine of the PowerBait Boat fired up, and the duel was over.

The Kraken leapt. It was over.

I went toe to trolling motor with one of the best, and I didn’t lose. Well, he could have caught an 8-pounder because he was down the shore from me, but I didn’t hear him yell, “Hey, I caught a 8-pounder, Booyah!” like they do on the commercials and fishing shows, so I am going to assume he didn’t and continue to feel good about myself.

I know he caught fish in other places, but for those 15 minutes, we were the same.

Except I had wet socks.

To contact Jeff Lund,