Top-Water Bass Wranglin` on the Edge of Darkness

I woke up at 3am the other morning, to take what has become my “early-mornin` ritual piss” – An affect of the various heart medicines that I now have to take each day. Apparently while trying to be in my “stealth-mode” that morning, I wasn`t as quiet as I thought and little Piper, our Pomeranian puppy, heard me and decided he also wanted to pee at that hour.  
Then Dingo, our Australian Cattle Dog also woke up as well. So the three of us strolled through the garage and out to the backyard we went. 
I looked at my phone and thought, “Ahhhhh…..what the hell, I`m up now…..why not have a go at it before daybreak?” – 
And that`s exactly what I did.
Put the pups back in the house, got dressed and out into the wee-wee hours of the morning I went.  
Right on the edge of darkness. 
I arrived at the spot I planned on fishing at 4am. “Perfect” I thought, as it wouldn`t be light for another two and a half hours. Now lately I have been trying my luck in the dark by going out around 9-10pm, so I wasn`t sure how good this very early morning adventure would or wouldn`t be. 
Grabbed my gear, turned on my light and hiked into the cool, early morning air. I brought two poles that morning. One was my regular Bass/Pike set-up. The other was this cool, older Shimano reel that I had just bought at a flea market. Now let me tell you, I like to find a good bargain every now and then, and I bought the three reels and all four Bomber lures that you see below for $40! Hell those lures alone are easily $9-$12 a piece! 
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Now I could really “sweeten” the deal by catching a few big fish, I thought to myself. As I had the FX200 Shimono spooled with 20lb. Power PRO braid, paired with a 7ft. Medium-Action Ugly Stick as one of my weapons of choice that morning. I tied on a Jawbone top-water Frog on this set-up while the other set-up had my old trusty Jawbone top-water Mouse.  
I made my third cast into the night-time air…….. working the frog very slowly, twitching then retrieving, then stopping.
Then…… BAM!! Fish on! Niiiiiiice! That didn`t take long at all! A nice 17 inch Largemouth had his picture taken and was calmly released back into the dark water.
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The old Flea Market Shimano reel scored the first Bass of the night!
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I moved down further along the shore-line and began working the frog in a marshy, lily pad infested area. As I worked the black frog across the pads, I actually paused several times. A lot of times, the bass will strike as the frog stops moving, especially in the pads. I worked this area a good thirty minutes, covering as much as possible. Then I decided to launch the frog way out. With the 20lb braid, the frog casts a mile.  
Popping across the water, the frog broke the glass-like, calmness of the lake. BAM! Fish on again! Whoooooah! A good one at that!, I said aloud as the Greenback broke and danced on top of the water. The Shimano drag screamed into the night as the lunker dove down deep into the black water! What a fight! Finally after several acrobatic flips, I had played the mighty fish out. As I brought him to shore, I reached down and grabbed his bottom lip. After a quick measurement and a couple pics, the 21 inch Bucket-mouth was released from where he came from. 
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The bite was definitely on, I said to myself as I prepared my frog for another assault on the black water. This time I started casting really close to the shore where I was standing. I mean literally tossing the frog in a mere six or seven feet from where I stood on the bank. Hitting the lily pads and weeds directly and working the frog all the way back to the edge where I stood. Didn`t take long……. BAM! …… missed! ……… I slowed down….. then stopped to frog………….. BAM! Fish on! Didn`t miss it that time! I now had my third bass of the night/morning and had only fished about one hour and a half. Now it was about 5:30am. 
Still on the edge of darkness.
I hadn`t even picked up the other pole with the mouse on it and my “Flea-market-Special” $10 Shimano reel was scoring the fish just fine. 
Now at  6:10am and getting a little lighter on the horizon, as I began working the frog once again in the shallows. There was a lot of brush in this area that I was approaching, as I made my way around it. As I started casting, I swore there was this black huge object on the water`s edge about forty yards away. Bear?, I asked myself as I strained my eyes to see it. Nah, I said….. and started casting. Then I looked back about ten minutes later and the “object” was gone. God damn that was a bear!, I thought out loud.  
As 6:30am approached, it started getting light fast. I moved to another area that was full of pads…… now I was going to cast directly into the thickness of those pads. After making several casts, I worked the frog extremely slow in an open pocket. Then stopped and began twitching the frog very lightly. Then another fiesty largemouth busted through the pads and smashed into the frog! Fish on again! I battled this nice Bucket-mouth through the pads and eventually landed my fourth bass as the edge of darkness dissipated into the early morning light of dawn. 
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I figured I`d stay right where I was and finish up the morning with a few more casts. And what a morning it turned out to be at that. Then suddenly, my frog was literally “slurped” in the pads as a hungry Greenback attacked the rubber frog! Fish on! And after a very short tussle, I had landed my fifth bass of the night/morning.
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Yep…… that morning on the edge of darkness turned out to be quite the adventure indeed and that $10 Flea-Market Shimano reel “Deal” had gotten a lot sweeter!
Till next time…..
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