by Dylan Price
Ever since I was a little kid, my dad has always taken me fishing. Fishing has been a
hobby for the both of us. The first fish I ever caught was a redbreast in the backwaters of Four Hole Swamp in a little jon boat that my dad owns. Since that moment, I have been addicted to fishing all around the South Carolina backwaters. I have been almost everywhere in the Lowcountry to fish, from Santee-Cooper to the blackwaters of the Edisto River. Recently, my
friends and I have had wonderful experiences at a privately owned pond in Bowman, South
Carolina. I have also fished the ripping currents of the Saluda and the Broad Rivers. My favorite
spot to fish is a local private pond on the outskirts of the town I live in, Dorchester, South
Carolina. I love every moment of fishing with my dad, but there is one moment that stands out
from the rest.
In September 2015, I was around twelve years old. My dad had just purchased my first bait-casting rod and reel combo for my birthday. I was so anxious to fish with it. Dad let me buy
a couple of new lures also. I was extremely excited to pack up all of my new gear and hit the
water. There was only one thing standing in my way, football practice. I got all of my things ready for when I got back from practice. During the entire practice, I was constantly thinking
about the beautiful green cypress trees this pond had. I had imagined catching at least twenty largemouth bass. Practice finally ended, and I ran to my dad’s truck, so he could take me home
and I could get all of my gear. I was so excited that I even forgot to take my phone with me. Once we arrived at the pond, I stood by the dock just staring at the beautiful green cypress trees. As I was looking at the trees, my dad noticed a white-tailed deer walking around the bank of the pond. The combination of the trees, the water, and the wildlife were all amazing. The weather was perfect: sunny and about seventy-five degrees. It felt like the perfect day to catch a fish.
The moment had finally come. I took my first cast. I was fishing with what is commonly known as a green-pumpkin senko. I let the senko sink to the bottom and slowly reeled it up. Then, I felt the first bite of the trip on the first cast. I set the hook hard and was hooked on a South Carolina giant. I fought the fish for about fifteen seconds, and then my brand-new fishing line snapped. Of course, I was very sad and distraught. My dad told me to just try again. So I did. I tied on the same lure and kept fishing with it. As the day grew longer, I had not received a bite since the first cast. I walked around the entire pond, casting through cypress trees and limbs left and right. Walking around cypress knees is difficult. My dad sat on the dock laughing at my struggles. I always asked why he never “fished hard.” He would always tell me that it wasn’t about fishing; instead, it was about being out in the woods to appreciate mother nature and her beauty. Even though I had not caught a fish yet, I still enjoyed my time out in the wildlife. Fishing with the sun setting is the most beautiful thing anyone could experience. The reddish-purple tint the sun had on the water and clouds was immaculate.
My time was growing shorter. The sun is setting and the moon is beginning to be relevant. But I was not giving up. Cast after cast, I still have not received a bite. I decided to try one last lure. The lure was a swimbait that was imitating a bluegill. Bluegills were the main forge for this pond so I’d figured it would work. I cast the lure from the old worn-out dock near a cypress tree and started to reel. At that moment, I felt a slight thump. I set the hook hard, but nothing was there. My dad was making fun of me because he thought I hit a log, but I knew in my heart it was a fish. It was basically dark at this point, but I wanted one more cast. I reeled the lure up and cast in the same direction one last time. I began to reel, and all of a sudden there was a fish on. I could tell it was a big one. I fought it all the way to the dock, and my dad pulled it up. It was a monster largemouth bass! I was so excited that I had finally caught one.
Once I caught the fish, I held it up and looked into its mouth. There, in its mouth, was the same hook that I had tied on the first time! It was the same fish that snapped my line on the first cast! My dad and I were jumping in excitement. We finally calmed down and weighed the bass. It was eight pounds even. To this day, that is the biggest bass I have caught.
I truly cherish moments like these with my dad. It could not have happened in a better place. I still go out to that pond with my dad, and it is just as beautiful as it was that special day.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed on South Carolina Wild are solely those of the authors, and do not reflect official policies, positions, or endorsements of activity or products by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.