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Morning Sun
  • DABLEMONT: A very uncommon disorder

  • The sun was gone, and the water was calm.  The ice chest was full of crappie.  But still, Sondra Gray clutched that rod, casting mechanically, landing one fish after another, a wild look in her eyes. 

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    The sun was gone, and the water was calm.  The ice chest was full of crappie.  But still, Sondra Gray clutched that rod, casting mechanically, landing one fish after another, a wild look in her eyes. 

    “She’s addicted to it,” Rich told me.  “I’ve heard of it before, but never saw it until now.  I think if we put her out on the bank she would still be right there at sunrise, casting and talking to the fish!”

    Rich Abdoler is one of my regular fishing partners, who writes articles on a regular basis for my magazine.  Sondra works as the editor of Lightnin’ Ridge Publications, normally just as solid and regular acting as anyone else.  But when she starts fishing, something comes over her, and she slips off into another world, snarling at anyone who casts near her spot, laughing uncontrollably at each big fish she lands, talking to them… that wild look in her eye that I already mentioned.  Fishing takes over her normally normal attitude, and converts her into something dangerous. If you get in the way of one cast, she growls at you.  It began a couple of years ago when in that very spot where we fished last week, she hooked and landed a 17-inch lunker crappie.  I saw it again when she landed a dozen or so four-pound smallmouth in Canada that summer, and tried to push her husband David out of the boat so she could fish without competition.

    It has only gotten worse, and that afternoon, with crappie feeding voraciously, it became apparent she will need help. 

    In mid-afternoon we had pointed our boat up a tributary where we had been catching lots and lots of white bass.  That’s when I first noticed Sondra beginning to change from normal to whatever it is happens to her when she starts to fish.  But the white bass just weren’t there.  The water had dropped, and was so clear you could see the creek bottom at its deepest point.  She grew cranky and bellicose (hard to get along with).

    Back to the main lake we headed, to that spot where Sondra had caught that huge crappie a couple of years before.  The crappie should have been on the banks, spawning.  They weren’t.  Why at this late date they would be out in deep water, down 6 or 8 feet around flooded trees, I do not know.  But that’s where we were, and by casting around those stick-ups out in 15 or 20 feet of water, we began to hook some really big crappie. 

    Page 2 of 2 - As it became dark, she hooked four straight crappie that we had to return to the water because she had already doubled her limit.  Rich finally grabbed her from behind and I wrenched the fishing rod from her hands and hid it.  We duck-taped her to one of the fishing seats and headed for the boat ramp in the dark. 

     

    If you have a good fishing story, call me Sunday morning when I do my “outdoorsman” radio program, from 8:06 to 9:00 on KWTO 560 AM.  You can hear it on the computer no matter where you are, by going to the website, radiospringfield.com.

    Write to me at Box 22, Bolivar, MO 65613 or e-mail me at lightninridge@windstream.net   My website, where you can see pictures from recent fishing trips, is www.larrydablemontoutdoors.blogspot.com  

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