Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Flatheads and Fireworks- Fourth of July Fun

"Nothing says American Freedom like big fish, a pretty girl, and high explosives"

With both of us working full time, my girlfriend Harley and I haven’t gotten to spend as much time together on the water this year as we have in years past. That being said, we took full advantage of us both being off the evening of July 4th. I quickly concocted a plan that would allow us to be able to fish and get to see one of the free fireworks shows this great city has to offer, literally the most Freedom infused American thing you can do. With her looking forward to seeing the explosives and I looking forward to bagging my first flatty of the year, we hit the water.

            We fished one of the more popular flatheading areas on the James. I don’t normally like to fish these higher pressured waters due to the fact that they produce smaller fish, but it provided the best view of the fireworks and more the ample chance to score a flatty.

            After soaking our lines for a while I was awarded my first Flathead of the year, a small 10 pounder that inhaled my bluegill. It felt good to finally lay eyes on my favorite fish, even if it was a little guy.

            A short time later as I decided to re-position my bait since it wasn't getting much action at it's current location. I began to reel in my bullhead and it was at this time that I got absolutely hammered by a beast off the bottom. Slamming me somewhere in the middle of the water column, this flathead was mean and green, hitting my bait with a full head of steam. This usually happens when flatties eat bullheads. They tend to be very a territorial species and take any chance they get to t-bone a much smaller cat, thus leads to some ferocious strikes when using bullhead catfish as bait.

            After almost getting the rod ripped from my hands and a minute or two of backtalk from the fish, she decided to join me on the rock for a brief conference.

            I let her go on her merry way, thanking the chubby beast for the few seconds of adrenaline as she graced my presence.  

            The fishing concluded with that flatty and the fireworks commenced with an awesome display of mortar fire. 

(With the fireworks came the super high definition cell phone photos, your welcome.)

            All and all it was a relaxing evening spent enjoying the fireworks, away from the crowds, with my favorite person, in my favorite place, with my favorite passtime. The trip may not have been laced with massive fish, but it sure was memorable and good for the soul. I'm supremely grateful to live in a nation where something as simple as this is possible. You simply cannot ask for more. 

God Bless America.

Fish Hard or Stay Home,
Josh Dolin


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