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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Beware of the Sea Kitten Killer! Part 2

Well it was February when I first visited this topic. If you missed part 1, click HERE and you can get caught up.

It is late in the evening on a pleasant day in early May. The sun is on the horizon and the near full moon is rising in the east. A blanket of darkness begins to descend on the quiet water. The frogs begin to sing their merry song. The creatures of the night awaken. The drone of a small aircraft can be faintly heard in the distance.

Quiet Waters

It seems as if the whole world is at peace. But all is not well, indeed danger lurks on the face of the peaceful pools. The Sea Kitten Killer stealthfully pitches his favorite Jitterbug into an almost dark spot between two buck bushes.


The Jitterbug wobbles and pops and twitches as it begins its return. Suddenly the water erupts in a violent explosion.

Jitterbug Fleet

Where the Jitterbug had been, a huge green and black creature with a mouth like a small bucket has suddenly devoured the plug, but the tables rapidly turn as the treble hooks secure the attacker. The Sea Kitten otherwise known as the Largemouth Bass, Micropterus salmoides has struck, possibly for its very last time.

Largemouth Bass

The fight is on as the Sea Kitten Killer sets the hook. The bass twists, turns, jumps, and dives, trying every trick in the book to throw the Jitterbug from its jaws, but sadly after a long and fruitless struggle, the big fish tires and is finally hoisted aboard by the Sea Kitten Killer. The Killer admires his catch. The big fish is about 19 inches long and her belly bulges as she is still full of eggs. The Sea Kitten Killer gently removes the hooks from the bass, holding her only by the mouth, careful not to disrupt the slime layer covering her body and then he gently releases her back into the water. She joyfully swims away to lay her eggs and fight another day. WHAT! The Sea Kitten Killer had mercy on his victim? Indeed he did.


Bass fishing is one of my favorite things. I've been doing it since I was about 5 years old. I guess the largemouth bass is probably the ultimate predator in the waters of the Tennessee River. They will actually strike at almost anything that moves in the water that is small enough to be consumed, including frogs, salamanders, snakes, rodents, and even small birds, however the larger bass generally prefer small fish, especially shad. Bass often strike out of pure anger, not necessarily because they are hungry. They are naturally bad tempered, kinda like me. I guess that's why I like them so much. Unlike the tasty crappie which I wrote about previously, the bass will usually put up a tremendous struggle when hooked while crappie will usually just flop around a little bit.

Fighting Fish

Here on Kentucky Lake there is a 15 inch size limit on largemouth bass. Anything smaller must be returned. Sometimes it takes quite a bit of work to catch enough sizable bass to have a decent mess of fish. There is also a creel limit of 5 in Tennessee on bass. You can keep 30 crappie.

The Catch

I return most of the bass that I catch and when I want to catch fish for eating, I crappie fish. I probably keep less than half a dozen bass per year and always return them in the spring months during their spawn time. Although bass are plenty good for eating, I prefer to catch them for the fight they provide.

Moon River

Probably the best part of my day is the ride home. After I release momma bass, I fire up the outboard and slowly wind my way out of the lazy creek and onto the main river. I throttle back the Mercury and trim out the boat at a leisurely 25 mph, just enough to keep it on the plane. The sky is still a faint pink and the cool evening air smells good and feels oh so good on my face as it dries the little beads of sweat in the stubble on my head. The water is mirror smooth. I have the steering wheel in one hand and an ice cold Sun Drop in the other, and I'm thoroughly enjoying the 7 mile ride back to the marina. Ahhhhhhhhhhh! Life just doesn't get any better than this!

Ice Cold Sun Drop!

So the Sea Kitten Killer does indeed have some mercy on the largemouth bass. They are magnificent creatures. I can only hope that they scream in agony as they embed those treble hooks in their bony mouths. I also can hope that some PETA person is reading this, wringing their hands in anger, raising their blood pressure, and losing sleep!

Save the Sea Kittens!



  1. Blamed if you don't make fishin sound almost enjoyable! Onna these days I am going to walk down the back hill and wet a hook in the Gibbon Co. Lake!

  2. You sure won't be any better looking, but you might be in a whole lot better frame of mind if you'd try it.

    You ought try and get your Dimocrat chillun to try it too. Might put them in a more sensible frame of mind.

  3. Glad you are enjoying your hobby. You do make it sound enjoyable.

    Debbie Hamilton
    Right Truth