Old Friends

Old Friends

Andy Dear | Thursday, 12 November 2020

The most valuable antiques are dear old friends

---H. Jackson Brown Jr.

  I always enjoy reconnecting with someone from my past with whom I have great shared memories, and Kent McCaslin is no exception. Although we went to high school together, and knew each other well during our tenure there, I hadn’t seen Kent in close to 30 years. Through the miracle of social media, Kent and I got back in touch a few years ago, and discovered that we both grew up in a very similar “fishing-centric” environment. How we missed that during the four years we spent in school together is beyond both of us. Although Kent now lives out on the east coast, much of his family still lives here in south Texas. As I alluded to in last week’s Front Page, a few weeks ago he messaged me to let me know he was going to be in town on some personal business, and would it be possible for us to get together and fish. Luckily my schedule was completely open, so I was happy to catch up with an old friend.

  Saturday afternoon found us at a private lake about 30 minutes southwest of San Antonio, where we shared a shore lunch prior to launching the boat. To be honest, the last time I fished this lake about six weeks ago, Jackson and I for the first time in 3 years came home completely skunked. Due to the fact that we had much better weather and water conditions this time, I had high hopes for the trip, and let me tell you, the fish absolutely gave it up for us on Saturday. IT WAS MAGNIFICENT.

  Our first drift down the dam, Kent lost three nice Largemouth Bass. A bit of an early bad omen, but thank goodness that was by no means indicative of what the day would eventually offer up. By the time it was all said and done, I think between the two of us we boated at least 15-20 Bass, with the largest pushing almost 5 pounds. I’ve had days like this before at this particular body of water, but it’s certainly not an everyday occurrence by any stretch. By far the most enjoyable part for me was seeing Kent’s reaction to a fishery of this quality. These private lakes we fish are strictly managed for optimal growth potential and population, so the fishing can really be out of this world…and last Saturday it certainly was.

  On the drive home I had some time to contemplate the day’s events. Although the quality of the bite was at the top of both of our lists, perhaps the more important thing was the time we spent sharing both the high and low points of our lives over the last 30 years. Conversations like this are a gentle but necessary reminder for all of us that no matter how successful we are in our jobs, or how much money we have in our bank account, we ALL experience highs and lows in our lives. And, perhaps more importantly that as long as we have a place to go fishing, and a good friend to share the experience with, it makes the highs a helluva lot more memorable, and the lows a helluva lot more tolerable.

  I’ve often admitted that I tend to not be a people person and that it is a rarity for me to find someone that I can share a boat with for more than an hour, especially on an isolated lake several miles back in the wilderness. And, over the years the candidates that make that list seems to be getting fewer and fewer, and the list shorter and shorter. I’m not actually sure if that says more about me or more about the folks I fish with....probably both. I will say that 30 years is far too long to stay separated from a kindred spirit like Kent. Brother, you are welcome back on my boat any time for as long as you want. I can’t to wait to watch you lay the hammer down on those hawgs again.

Hope your all staying safe and healthy