Just as the peak of the whitetail rut gives a hunter their best chance at bagging a deer of a lifetime, the springtime spawn often provides anglers with their best chance to land a giant largemouth bass....or two.
On April Fool's Day this spring, I loaded up my two- man boat: rods, reels, more tackle than one man could use, a cooler and my oldest fishing buddy, my father, Scotty Taylor of Norman.
Like many fathers have done for their sons, it was my dad who taught me how to fish. He taught me how to bait my own hook. He taught me how to tie a strong knot.
He let me repeatedly fill his bait caster with bird's nests until I learned how to cast it without a backlash.
For 26 of my 28 years of life, my father and I have fished together. For trout in Colorado. For smallmouth bass in Oregon. Even running jug lines in the Mediterranean.
This fishing adventure would unfold in a much closer and a much less glamorous location, a McClain County farm pond, but it would be our grandest adventure yet.
An hour after launching the Bass Hound, we were happy with the dozen or so largemouth bass that we had caught. Then lightning struck.
Dad hooked a giant sow that had been guarding her bed on a No. 4 Mepps Bucktail. The 8-pound beauty was the largest bass my Dad had ever caught.
After we got her unhooked, we snapped a few pictures and turned her back to the shallow waters from which she came. We talked and toasted the catch with a pair of Bud Lights as Hank Williams Sr.'s Kaw-liga blared from the stereo.
We would have been content without catching another fish all day, but we kept casting, working our way down the west bank of the 20-acre pond.
Then lightning struck again. This time it was the end of my rod that dipped. A big bass had swallowed my No. 4 Mepps Aglia dressed in white squirrel tails.
After a stress-filled minute or two, I landed my biggest bass to date: a 9-pound, 7 ounce egg laden behemoth.
Again, we snapped some quick pictures and slipped her back into the stained water. It was a special day, but just one of many special fishing memories I have with my dad.
Like so many fishing trips before, it was one I will never forget. Thanks, dad, for taking me fishing.