The cast sailed well downwind, the little black worm plunking into the clear water of Lake Cora as I flipped the spinning reel bail closed and started reeling. I cranked the handle slowly, twitching the rod in a fast cadence while watching the bright yellow braided line. My twitches gave the line a constant undulation, loose waves that formed a sort of a cigar shape. When the shape of the cigar got smaller, it meant the little lure had either hit a weed or a fish had grabbed it. Each time I swung back on the 7-foot rod, and either felt the hook tear a bit of weeds from the bottom or found myself hooked to another largemouth. The Ned rig, my 2 3/4-inch Finesse T.R.D. worm on a 3/16-ounce tin-bismuth (as opposed to lead) jig head, enticed lots of bites, although only a few fish were in the 12-inch range, and the rest were smaller.
My fishing companion on the water was Kris Stakley of Benton Harbor. Kris was having a little slower action, throwing a regular rubber-skirt jig and a chatterbait. He might not have caught quite as many, but he was finding bigger fish. He measured two that were longer than 16 inches.