There is just something special about night fishing.
Our family decided to vacation close to home this summer instead of traveling in the hopes of taking in a little bit of boating and fishing. It was a mutual decision after the long, hot summer we were still enduring.
We decided to rent a cabin at the lake instead of camping the old-fashioned way. To be quite honest, the air-conditioned cabins just sounded too good to pass up as the forecast indicated no relief from the long string of 100-degree days.
So we finalized our plans for a well-deserved vacation at our favorite lake -- Cedar Bluff.
We spent plenty of time of the water swimming and tubing during the day, but it was just too hot to do any serious fishing under the sun.
After sunset the fishing got more serious. The night fishing was nothing short of spectacular.
Anybody that knows our family understands that my wife and particularly my daughter are both part fish. They absolutely love to swim.
Now for me, I can do without the swimming. But this summer was different. It was just too hot to stand on the boat and dehydrate like a piece of jerky while my family splashed around in the water.
I must admit, it was refreshing to get in the water.
At the insistence of my wife and daughter, they enticed me to ride on the tube for a while.
I was hesitant to get on that thing. You see, it had the words "Air Head" stamped across the front of that tube in great big, white letters.
Now, tell me honestly, what kind of man, or serious fisherman, wants to be seen riding on something like that?
I must say I had a blast. Fortunately, there were not many people on the lake except for us, which softened the feelings of humiliation.
On my final ride, the tube swung out across the wake hurling me across the water so fast that I crashed, nearly losing my swimming trunks.
The hot days were filled with fun, boating, swimming and tubing. But, when the sun went down, the fishing began.
As a family, those summer nights, fishing in the dark, have always been successful for us. Some have been better than others, but the three consecutive July nights we spent on the water were awesome.
We tied up the pontoon along the edge of a break by an old stump row and set out the underwater light. Like in the lyrics of the popular Nitty Gritty Dirt Band song, it was "a special place that nobody knows." Within minutes, schools of shad were circling the light. It was not long before the fish started biting, and the action continued to get better the longer we stayed.
On the second night, we were able to take out my wife's folks for a wonderful outing and some really good fishing too. The boat was filled with laughter. If any of you know my mother-in-law, you'll understand -- she is a card, a card shark and a really good angler. The fish didn't really even mind all the chaos going on above them. They kept biting, and we kept on laughing. My mother-in-law even rewarded those fish later on in the evening with a little present of her own. However, I had better leave that one alone before I get myself in hot water.
The last night was the best night we had on the water with good numbers of white bass, crappie and walleye. We were just beginning to zero-in on the walleye when the wind kept increasing, forcing us to get off the water a little sooner than we had planned.
After three tries to load the pontoon, we were successful in getting off the water and we had nearly a full cooler of fish on ice.
Three nights of fishing in the dark are now burned into my memory, along with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band song, "You and me go fishing in the dark," which I still can't seem to get out of my head.