Best Bite?

Fish Catching Travel

What is the best bite ever?

What is the best bite ever?  Talk about subjective, this question is not something easily settled.  It depends on the fisherman, and how and where he fishes.  For me it is simple, and after some thought the last few days, I was able to narrow it down to 3 types of bites, each with their own characteristics.  As you read this, think about your best bite, there is no right or wrong answer.


For me it starts with the “thump”.   There are several way you get the “thump”, including the mighty crappie.  When they thump that small light jig as it floats along it means filets on the table.  Bass also “thump”.  As the jig and frog falls, or the worm crawls along the bottom,  there is nothing like the “thump”.  Because we all now one thing, when they thump it, they got it, and they are usually a good one.  So for me, it does not matter what species it is,  when I feel that “thump”, it sends me into autopilot hook set, and is one of my favorite bites.


I started with the “thump”, but as many of you know, I love to high speed buzz a big bladed spinnerbait.  Watching it smoke across the water as the blades make a huge bulge fills me with anticipation.  And then it happens, wham!  It isn’t a bite as much as it is an assault.  Not only an assault, they smash it.  Due to the speed, and their need to react on a instants notice, the bite often comes over halfway back to the boat as they try to jerk the rod out of your hands.  As a reaction bite, they are forced to either commit or pass, and when they commit it is a thing of beauty.  And as long as we are talking about freshwater, lets talk about another of my favorites.

One of my true joys when I was still fishing on Lake Norfork was spring and fall night fishing for stripers.  While you can catch them on many baits at night, topwater fishing leads to freakishly crazy strikes.  Using a Zara Spook, or a large topwater minnow, the bite is something to behold.  Pitch dark, often unable to see the bank, you ease the topwater along.  Where will the strike come?  It may be right on the bank, or halfway back, but the best bite is right beside the boat.  It gets even wilder when it is pitch black and you are just about to lift it out of the water.  When you have been fishing awhile and it is getting late, you are a little sleepy as you day dream about other things, and that is when it happens.  A huge smashing boil as a 20 pound striper hits it right at the boat, sounding like a toilet flushing, he immediately strips line.  I miss that bite, something I often compared to sounding like someone throwing a concrete block in the lake.  As long as we are talking about fish smashing topwaters, lets move to the salt.

About 15 years ago I decided to go to the Everglades.  So with no knowledge other than what I could find on the Internet, I loaded the boat and made the 24 hour drive to Chokoloskee.  Now my intention was to concentrate on Snook fishing.  Having caught Snook on a Zara Spook many times, it was my weapon of choice.  An hour after I was there I picked out a large pocket on the edge of the Gulf.  As I worked that Spook out from the edge of the mangroves something was coming, it happened in a flash and seemed so surreal it must be a dream.  A tarpon, easily over 100 pounds, came streaking out of the mangroves with one thing on his mind.  Kill that mullet.  He absolutely creamed that Spook 6 feet  from the end of my rod and immediately launched.  So there I am, bass tackle in hand, with a big tarpon who when he hit it, and I hit him, launched.  So in what seemed a dream, I am literally eye to eye with a big tarpon, with about 6 foot of line out.  He hit the water, and out he came again, and off he came.  During the week I had 13 bites like that.  Seeing those tarpon coming in that clear water, with nothing but bad intentions on their mind, was a thing of beauty I will never forget.

And as long as we are talking about salt, a redfish bite on topwater is another thing of beauty.  While I catch them on a variety of topwaters, I love the Mann Waker.  Running it along at medium speed, making a wake, you see another wake coming for it, and what is about to happen is awesome.  And then wham, they smash it.  How in the world a fish with an inferior mouth is able to roll up and eat that thing still amazes me.  But no matter, what a bite.

Another of my favorite bites is as much sentimental as it is spectacular.  Blue Marlin are one of the premier game-fish in the world.  They are the stuff of anglers dreams, and were a dream of mine for years.  Trolling in the open ocean, watching for signs of life as the diesel smoke permeates the air, fills you with anticipation.  Then the captain spies a bill behind the bait.  And it happens, the bait absolutely disappears in a huge boil.  Line rips off and your heart tries to jump out of your throat.  And when the Marlin goes airborne, the world narrows to the moment.  I was fortunate enough in one day of fishing to experience it twice, and it is just as real today as it was the moment it happened.  A Blue Marlin engulfing a trolled lure is a bite dreams are made of.


As I thought about writing this, I realized there was a special bite that only a real fisherman can have.  A land lubbing couch potato will never be lucky enough to have this bite.  It is the bite that causes you to jerk with all your might, often scaring the crap out of you.  It is the dream bite.  You could be sound asleep, or just napping on the couch, when this bite happens.  You may not remember the dream, but when you set the hook like that it can be a real thrill.  What a bite!

And last, but more importantly not least, is my favorite.  When you fish a lot, in different places for different things, settling on a favorite bite is almost impossible.   Those mentioned previously show how difficult it was for me to settle on a favorite bite.  But thinking it through lead me to a revelation of sorts.  It means that my favorite bite is the one I am having at that moment.  A thump, a smash. a subtle change in the way the bait moves, it does not matter to me.  When it comes down to it, the bite reveals to each of us why we fish.

A Reader’s Best Bite

Mac Jank      My Best Bite.

 ”One of my most memorable bites was not even while I was awake! I had been out with my three pescado grande fishing tournament buddies catching big trout all day in the surf. We got second place in the heaviest ten trout stringer and first in the redfish stringer and won the overall Calcutta. Anyway, we celebrated over cold beers and had a wild party and I fell asleep on the couch in our rental condo with a nearly full bottle of miller lite in my left hand (my rod hand) and my buddy’s dad was up late on the recliner watching tv. Well I commenced to wiggling around and he thought i was waking up. I leaned forward and mumbled something like got him; and set the hook on my beer twice and soaked myself and the couch and never woke up. Several hours later I woke up a little wet and stunk like a brewery and the first thing I noticed was a nearly empty miller lite on the floor between my feet. I got up and went outside and all of the crew were laughing hysterically because my buddy’s dad, mike, told everyone the ews from last night. He called it the last bite.  i still grin when i think of that sleep fishing i did that night! I love the flounder bite…nearly undetectable… Gotta love the trout or red that runs straight at you and you can’t reel up slack fast enough… The aerial attack of a trout when you walk the dog right when they’re coming at it.. The first bite of the trip and the last… Everyone else already got my other favorites!”

Todd’s Story

“I’ll never forget my first memorable bite! My dad and I were fishing for Tarpon in the mouth of the Brazos river on the Upper Texas coast in the summer of 1969. I was 7 and we were driving from one school of tarpon to the next throwing large King Bingo lures with ambassador reels. I was on the bow of my dad’s 14′ fiberglass boat just kind of letting my line and lure dangle in the water as we idled around waiting for a school of tarpon to show themselves so that we could cast to them. When all of a sudden, my lure was crashed by a large silver streak that got me soaking wet as it blasted away like a chrome missile. It was a huge tarpon that ripped off about 30 yards of line and then, the unthinkable happened. The beautiful, shimmering silver king shot strait out of the water right in front of me shaking it’s head violently. It was as if it were in super slow motion. I saw that pink and yellow King Bingo come flying from the fishes mouth and like a comet it passed by my eyes and   hit my dad right in the face. Dad was wearing sunglasses and wasn’t hurt and he had a huge grin on his face, for he knew that his son was the one that had been hooked, and I will be for the rest of my life!!!!!!!”

Just reading these makes my heart beat faster and my palms sweat.  Got a best bite?  Send it to me so I can share it.  Thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines!



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