News From Terre Haute, Indiana

July 29, 2012

REDNECK QUAKER: Grandson has grandma smiling

Kenny Bayless
Special to the Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — I’m visiting with a very proud Grandma, Debbie Carey, about her 15 year old Grandson Clayton Smith. Clayton questioned how the cat got out of the bag about his fish. He didn’t realize Grandma had friends from the Tribune Star.

Clayton is country through and through. He lives deer hunting and fishing. Clayton just worked twelve days in a row, detasseling corn, so that shows how much grit this young man has!

He handed me an 8 inch rubber worm and a picture. As you can see in the picture he holds a 7 lb 11 oz bass he caught.

Yes, it is top secret where he caught it, all we can say is it come out of a pond in Vermillion County.  

With a big smile, he says a Quantum open face reel on a six foot rod with medium action is his choice of fishing rig.

To set up the story, June 16th, the day after Clayton’s birthday he was fishing with his girlfriends Dad on a one acre pond late evening with a storm front coming in.

He was standing on the bank and knew the fish was deep from the weather being so hot. After a long cast he retrieved the Watermelon and black colored rubber worm very slow with a jig here and there. His line went tight and he set the hook.

When his drag started letting out line, he knew he had something big. The fish went away going deep. The drag was reset and the fight was on. After the fish wore itself out he could regain line on the reel with 10 minutes time, he had it close but it hung up in some moss, so he took his shoes and socks off to wade in and tackle this fish. If it would have been me, you would have thought I was Hillbilly Hand Fishing.

Clayton said I even had four fingers in his mouth with it trying to get back to deep water.

He immediately started looking for a five gallon bucket to keep the fish alive. Its tail still stuck out of the bucket several inches. It was 23 π inches long with a 17 inch girth.

When they got home, it went into the well repaired fish tank in the garage. Yes, he thought he was a movie star from all the pictures taken.

What can you say about this 15 year old, turning a fish of this caliber back loose into the wild!

Clayton felt gratified as he turned it back loose.

Let us all follow in this young man’s footsteps.#

Kenny Bayless is the outdoors columnist for the Tribune-Star.