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updated: 8/13/2014 7:23 PM

Fishing's magic hour well worth waiting for

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Golfers like to rave about finding the sweet spot on their favorite club.

Sports car drivers use almost the same phrasing when describing how their finely tuned machine takes a curve at 65 mph or more without putting any strain on the front-end linkage.

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The fine-dining connoisseur will savor every bite, every cut of the filet placed before him until the very last morsel graces the sterling silver fork.

As I get older, I frequently stop to examine where I am going and where I have been in my lifetime.

It's more common for me these days to understand the value of everything within the scope of my sight.

I can clearly remember when during my childhood I would read the glossy outdoor magazines and see many stories from the "old-timers" doing battle with monster-sized blue marlin and gigantic tarpon. I would be glued to the pages of Outdoor Life when the late Jack O'Connor would detail his exploits while staking big game in Africa.

It was the same story (juicy writing, that is) from fly fishing guru and hunter Ted Trueblood, who shared his outdoor adventures with us in Field and Stream.

But it's those times in a small boat with an old 5-hp outboard, whereby I would cruise this one 250-acre lake just observing wildlife and soaking up aromas and smoke from lakeside fire pits.

To this day I will never understand why we humans are drawn to a fire pit or campfire. Is it the key to unlocking one's imagination or allowing one's senses to experience the mellowness of smoke?

With the motor turned off, the small watercraft glided along on a predetermined path set by the motor's rudder.

Countless bugs hatched, took off and then returned to the surface to the waiting and hungry mouths of bluegills and bass. It was a sight of pure nature at high speed -- a picture that needed to be framed.

I could barely see the sun as it sank over the edge of the trees on the western edge of the lake.

I had been entertained to the point when I felt it was time to toss a fly or two and see what I could accomplish.

The fly was, in fact, a cork popper, and it shot out about 50 feet off to the side toward shore.

The trick with most surface flies or bait casting poppers is to create noise and gurgling sounds to attract fish.

As I stripped line back in to me, with the popper gurgling its happy way along the surface, the water suddenly -- but not unexpectedly -- exploded in a geyser-like way. Up came a largemouth bass, shaking its head and trying its best to unhook itself.

I couldn't read the numbers on the digital scale when I weighed it -- it was a tad too dark. But it didn't matter, all because that fish was part of a 12-pack of bass that were fooled by one of Mother Nature's imitations.

The fishing and catching that night was a nice accoutrement, or bonus if you will, to all the other grand sights and smells.

Chalk up one more memory for my memoirs.

• Contact Mike Jackson at angler88@comcast.net, and catch his radio show 6-7 a.m. Sundays on WSBC 1240-AM.

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