If you hunt, fish or pursue any outdoors activity, you’re likely familiar with term “magic time.” It can be a perfect sunrise over the decoys, a trophy whitetail emerging from the thicket near your tree stand, or a redfish tailing on the rising tide — there are many different scenarios, but all this spine-tingling giddiness requires patience and diligence.
Recently, my magic time arrived an hour before sundown during a day of fishing/photo shoots at North Florida’s Bienville Plantation. Following an uncharacteristically slow pre-cold front day, which should’ve seen these largemouth bass chewing like mad, bass pros Bernie Shultz and Jason Christie, along with fellow scribe Louie Stout and I caught nearly nothing until about 5:30 in the afternoon. While Stout shot casting images of Christie from Schultz’s boat, I kept watch for any signs of catchable fish.
Just as Stout was wrapping up, one pop in the shoreline grass led to another, then another, and another. Shifting from posing to fishing, Christie swung us around to a major grass bed with scattered wood, while our fellow boat searched nearby points. My Strike King Sexy frog was the first to draw fire, as a 3 ½-pounder waked from three feet away and hammered the bait with one of those OMG! strikes.
Christie added three more 3- to 4 ½-pounders in the next 10 minutes — each one crushing his Yum Pad Crasher popping frog. We could’ve caught more but we took advantage of the setting sun’s sweet light to shoot those in hand.
As we concluded and got back to fishing, I ran this one by my host: “The waiting doesn’t seem so bad when the day ends with a bang, huh?”
Christie’s nodding smile told me he also understood — and appreciated the reward.