Largemouth Bass and a Few Wild Hares

Champlain Islands WiFi

I remember when Elizabeth Bennet tried to fill a conversational vacuum by commenting upon the “wild grandeur of scenery” that surrounded the grounds of Mr. Darcy’s estate at Pemberley. Well, there have been few conversational lapses during the first of my two weeks here on the shores of Vermont’s Lake Champlain—and there certainly has been no lack of grand scenery. But this is a research trip, designed to give this fledgling landlubber a crash course on the fundamentals of tournament bass fishing. And, that, only because I’m writing a full-blown sequel to SIDECAR’s novella “Bottle Rocket.”

So here I sit, surrounded by stacks of books with titles like Largemouth Bass Fundamentals, Volume One (and it terrifies me to imagine how many successive volumes there are in this series)—trying really hard not to spit at the French Canadian woman who is seated three Adirondack chairs away, reading Fifty Shades Freed.

Ha! I bet SHE could never tell you how much trace elements of chlorine in the eight pound blocks of ice added to live wells on bass boats increases the mortality of fish caught in tournaments [n.b. not much at all; in fact, it makes them more impervious to infection]. And if that isn’t enough to impress you, these books are TERRIFIC cures for insomnia. I find myself well on the way to REM sleep at the first mention of “spoon lures” or “chub wiggles.” And may I point out that it’s probably no accident that the biggest Largemouth Bass are normally those with Florida genes. I strongly suspect it has to do with the popularity of those Early Bird Specials that predominate at most buffets in the Sunshine State. But that’s really more of an essay topic, and not a blog post….

Lake Champlain from Shore Acres Inn

Still, I’m learning a lot, and I promise to give our CLIT-Con 13 gals a wild ride when they embark on their great, aquatic adventure in Vermont.

For example…who knew that Quinn Glatfelter was a card-carrying member of the WBFA (Women’s Bass Fishing Association)? And there’s a real story in how she gets Astroglide to become the corporate sponsor of their retro-fitted pontoon boat….

Otherwise, it’s been an idyllic respite up here in the Great White North—even though Internet access waxes and wanes in tandem with the thunder storms that roll across this lake like angry gulls. Soon enough, we’ll be back in the land of cracked red earth and triple digit temperatures.

But for today, I think I’ll stroll back outside and stare at the water.

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    • Casey on July 26, 2012 at 3:28 pm
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    Aren’t you supposed to be working on a certain book . . . beginning with the letter “A”?

    1. Um. Er. Uh….Yes. RIGHT. The Scarlet Letter. Just call me Hester Prynne….

    • Sheila on July 26, 2012 at 12:29 pm
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    Oh, my. I am gonna like this book! Your research is paying off. The jargon and nomenclature fairly rolls off your tongue, er I mean, pen. Flip that bail and cast on, Ms. McMan! Fish (and Write) on!!!!

    1. You betcha, Sheila. I got a fresh batch of watermelonseed Crawlbugs with your name on ’em….

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