I have done my best holding my frustration in check regarding state lawmakers and the way Springfield plays games with state taxpayers.
So last week I hit two ponds, and another one this week.
Instead of beating the water to death with flailing strokes of my casting and spinning rods, I used my head and made long casts to the warmer banks, the ones with heavy-duty sunlight bathing every inch of ground.
I kept switching from spinning to casting without the slightest bump. It was then I decided to tie on an -ounce yellow spinnerbait. On my third cast I felt a slight tick on the line. Two more slow cranks on the reel and the ever-so mysterious ticks became a smashing attack on the small spinner bait.
A 2-pound largemouth made a run for some nearby cover but I was able to stop him cold. I tightened the drag and took charge of the battle.
Earlier that day I decided to try a different line: Super line, Power Pro in 10-pound test went on the casting reel. It's tough to cut after you tie knots, but because I brought along a special pair of scissors designed for these super lines I cut through it like butter.
The down side of this tale is I had just one strike and fish.
The next day the weather turned sour so I waited for some sun to warm the water of a bass pond I regularly visit.
I brought the same gear, along with Little Action Mac pre-rigged, plastic worms.
After a half-hour of casting and moving, I settled on another shoreline spot in the sunlight. The water temperature measured a measly 50 degrees -- not what a bass fisherman would prefer. Nevertheless, I gave it my all.
A total of six casts with the Little Action Mac brought in four bass. They looked like quadruplets, all at 1½ pounds.
And then there was this week, with pond No. 4. Water temperatures ranged from 53-55 in the sun. This time I rigged the -ounce spinnerbait, made several casts and was ready to switch to the pre-rigged worm when a bass grabbed the lure and took off for some sunken trees.
This was the 3-pounder, beautifully adorned with greenish colors mixed with a tinge of black. Not a giant, but a slightly heavier fish.
What did I learn from these chilled ponds?
I should have stuck with bluegills and crappies and waited a week or so for the water to reach a more comfortable heat zone for the bass. I also should have tried some night crawlers as a last resort.
Alas, my two old reliables, the Little Action Mac and yellow spinnerbait saved my bacon. The only thing missing was some toast and scrambled eggs.
•Contact Mike Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org, and catch his radio show 6-7 a.m. Sundays on WSBC 1240-AM and live-streamed at www.mikejacksonoutdoors.com.