© 2013 Aaron Atkinson


You’d be hard pressed to find a kid as fish-crazy as me. I remember riding around the townships of southwestern Ontario asking my Dad what kind of fish swam in every creek, marsh, lake, river and pond that we came across.

Some kids over-ask ask “Why?” I over-asked asked “What swims in there, Dad?” And he patiently obliged.

I was raised on yellow perch. Small, plentiful, widely spread, willing to bite, and with a distinctive tap-tap-tap to their nibble, perch and I were a match made in heaven. But as my early years wore on, I started to daydream about different and bigger fish.

As a follow up to my “What kind of fish swim in there Dad?” question, I’d often ask, “How does that fish bite?”

Twenty years, dozens of species and tens of thousands of fish later I’ve pretty well figured out where fish swim and how they bite. Of all the fish I’ve caught, two species – smallmouth bass and northern pike – bite the best. There’s no tap-tap-tap to these fish. When they take a lure it’s like wrapping a line around a speeding rocket and then holding on tight.

This 19.5 inch lunker of a smallmouth bass bit a black spinnerbait that I reeled past a large boulder that jutted out into a shallow, weedy bay. Once hooked, the giant smallie leaped and ran and bulldogged. And while it he was a blast to fight, I’ll never forget the tremendous, igniting force with which he attacked that flashy spinnerbait.

From start to finish, that smallmouth was a wonderfully explosive fish, and a fish that I’ll never forget.

No question about it.



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