It was a Friday afternoon in the middle of August 2018. A couple friends and I were heading to Guntersville, AL for some night time frog fishing.
It is about an hour and a half drive for me to the ramp we planned to meet at. I had only been on the road for about 15 minutes when the rain started. It poured on me the entire way there. Just as I pulled into the ramp, the rain quit. I checked the radar and it appeared I had a small window to get everything together to get the kayak in the water before the bottom fell out again and it got dark. I quickly donned my rain gear and got everything rigged and was just about to launch my kayak when another major cell rolled in. My friends had also arrived so we all just sat in our trucks waiting it out.
By this time, it had gotten dark and we were sure we missed the best bite. We have caught some of our biggest fish in this area just as it is getting dark. The rain let up enough for us to launch and head to our area which is about a mile long paddle.
We got to the spot we like and there was activity as the storm had just passed, but nothing was really biting. We kept fishing making our way to the thick pads. Now it was completely dark out with thick cloud cover. You could see very little. I was out in front fishing along the edge of thick pads. I was throwing a Stanley Top Toad in black. This is my go-to frog at night on Guntersville. I got a huge explosion on my bait, reeled down and set the hook, nothing. I missed what I thought was a big fish. I made 3 or 4 more casts to the area hoping it would bite again. On the 5th cast it came, but this time it just slurped it down, no big explosion. When I set the hook, I thought I had hung a stump! It was like dead weight on the end of my line. My friends turned on their head lamps and as I yelled out that I had a big one. She put on a show jumping clean out of the water two or three times. It took me a few minutes to horse her in. She was a fighter. When I got her in the net and lifted into my kayak, I was sure she was a ten pounder, which I have never caught before. She looked massive. When it came down to it, she was 23.75 inches long and weighed in at 8lbs and 4ozs. Not the ten pounder I was hoping for, but my new personal best.
We stayed out there all night catching nearly 40 fish between the 3 of us with several over 5lbs. Don’t let those big storms scare you. Wait them out and head out after they pass. You might find your personal best as well.