Small Shank Redemption

The thought of being jailed for the rest of our lives is only followed by thoughts of never being able to touch a flowing river again. I could go without fresh fruit and veggies, an awesome burger, cold brews, driving, running, my own home, my own pool, my own shower, my own clothes and everything else a free man gets to enjoy. But, if I were to be cuffed right now, sent to booking and sentenced to prison for the rest of my God given life. The first thought to run through my mind as I was sitting there next to some woman who wanted to make me her soul mate is that… “I would never get to fish a river again”.

Ok so we aren’t planning on going to prison anytime soon. But sometimes being cooped up in the office all winter, waiting for Spring, waiting for smallies can feel just like that. Oh to escape. To step out that manmade door. It is 5 o’clock on a Friday night and you push your way out of the office door and the sun hits your face and the wind blows your hair and you are…free. Free at last. May. Spring. Smallies. Yes, smallies my friend. And what better place to go than our sanctuary. Our heaven beyond the heavens. Our home beyond the dream of “oh I wish I lived in a cabin in the middle of nowhere, but I have to work to pay the bills and feed my family and my wife doesn’t like spiders and refuses to live so far from a mall and doesn’t like me with a beard and my balls still attached to my body” home.

Yes it was our first trip to our money hole and yes it was early. The second week in May, unheard of for us considering the time of spawning. But, the winter was not as bad as last and the thaw came early. Ben and I couldn’t wait any longer, we had to wet our whistling rods. So we shoved off around 5am and got to the river around 9 am. It was still early in the day, but we didn’t care. Our feet were dying to feel the sand and dirt and boulders beneath us. Our hands were itching for bass thumb and top sunburn. Our bodies were shaking with excitement of catching them and seeing them and holding them and laying a big wet Jimmy Houston of a kiss on them. So we entered the water and it was as if the clouds parted, angels sighed and babies were hushed. We were home, we were free. Ben had to pinch me I thought I was dreaming. Ya never know if you’ll live through the winter long enough to see this day again. A day I have been anticipating every year since I was 15. We leaned our heads up and thanked God for being alive one season longer and began to cast.


First Smallie of the day

Partly cloudy, 65 degrees and boy what a day. Ben started with top water and caught one right off the bat around 10 am. We were both amazed. Top water? This early in the season? And this early in the day? We got the sign that is was going to be a good Summer, my friends. We meandered down the river a bit more and really started hitting the numbers around 11:30 and noon. This was prime start time for us. The water was heating up, but still cool enough for action hits and the clouds were dissipating a bit more. We caught about 15-20 throughout the day. Working top water and twisties, switching back and forth depending on depth and current. It seemed they were sticking to the shores in slower water and they were loving both top and bottom…





Mr. Andy Dufresne would approve. We planned, we escaped and we lived. Yes friends, we lived. And we plan to live yet again next weekend! So stay tuned for another adventure at ********* ******** * river. 😉

Until next time, we’ll see ya on the other side of the river…

Cast Away,


2 thoughts on “Small Shank Redemption

  1. You three ever want to wade the Kish let me know and I’ll give you some suggestions of where to get in and out depending on how much time you have. You all seem like smart-headed river folk so I don’t need to tag along, but I would like to see a Kishwaukee Riverbum report.

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