The show this week was with UFC fighter Jim Miller. He’s a tough dude.
I’ve been a fan of his for a while now, but I really didn’t have any idea of what it was all about, how technical mixed martial arts is when it’s practiced correctly. When he’s actually fighting, he looks completely disorganized. It’s like it’s just a bunch of arms and legs flopping around. In reality, though, it’s a number of carefully choreographed moves that he practices over and over so that when he needs one he’s ready to do it right, and his record shows he does them right.
We practiced some of them and had a lot of fun. When we were done going through all of that we had a little fun fight. Now, Jim has more fights than any other UFC fighter. I have one, and it was in the fifth grade. All I’m going to say is that Jim didn’t break any of my bones or bloody my nose. That was because he didn’t want to, though, not because of anything I did to defend myself.
Let’s just say that he’s a nice guy when he’s not beating up on you. And I’m here to say that I was glad when it was time to go fishing. I’ve never had a fish that scared me.
We fished a hidden pond called the Tick Hole. There’s a group of us who know about it and have fished it for years, but we always kept it a secret. I had to swear Jim to secrecy before I took him to it.
It’s a long walk in and our challenge was to catch a five fish limit each. That’s 10 fish in about the seven hours we were allotted. When we got there the first problem was that it was taken over by water chestnuts. And they pulled the water so there wasn’t enough water to fish. You can’t catch them on land.
However, there was enough water for me to catch a snapping turtle on my first cast. She was a big one, too. After lots of laughs about that we moved to a couple of other ponds nearby and fished them.
Jim caught our first fish pretty quick. He’s an experienced angler so that really didn’t surprise me that much. The problem was that was the only one we caught from those ponds. We were forced to move to another little pond in a park in the area. After about an hour, with no bites, we moved to a place called Slop Lake. I caught one right away. Then came number three, four and number five.
Here’s what we used to meet our challenge:
We were wading small ponds so we needed waders. We used Hodgman Waders. I wore the chest ones with their boots. They are comfortable and they keep you dry. They are excellent. I have no problem telling you that and recommending them to anyone. I was impressed, and that doesn’t happen often with me. I’m very demanding when it comes to my fishing equipment and tackle.
This was a limited tackle shoot so we only brought two rods and reels each. Our baits were frogs and soft stickbaits. Without a doubt the stickbaits saved our tails. They were 5-inch Berkley Powerbait The General models in a color called GOAT. It’s a bait with one part, on top, green pumpkin and the other part, underneath, black and blue.
I rigged them on a 4/0 offset worm hook and presented them weightless. If you make sure your bait is straight off the hook, this is the perfect bait for shallow, grassy waters. I mention the bait being straight for a reason. It’s critically important. A kinked or crooked soft stickbait won’t get it done.
We used the best spinning rod I ever designed and created. It’s the 7-foot, medium action Abu Garcia IKE Finesse Series rod. This rod will do anything and everything. We mounted an Abu Garcia REVO IKE Series spinning reel to them, 20 size. We spooled it with 10-pound-test Berkley X5 Braided Line. I like white because it gives you better visibility. We used a short leader — we didn’t want any stretch — made from Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon Line.
Jim and I had a great time fighting and fishing. You probably can’t fight with a pro like Jim Miller but you sure as heck can catch quality bass from small waters near your home. Go do it
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