GROSSE POINTE — I felt like the odd man out.
John Cleveland, the marketing director at Eppinger Manufacturing — makers of the iconic Dardevle spoon — was on the back deck of the bass boat, casting one of his company’s products. On the front deck, our host Jon Bondy was fishing a drop shot rig with a Bondy perch, the latest in his line of soft-plastic baits.
Having no bait company of my own, I chose a Rapala X-Rap, which is always a good choice for early season, shallow-water bass fishing on Lake St. Clair.
We were fishing for smallmouths just down the lake from the yacht club and I was pretty much matching my host fish for fish, as was Cleveland, though he was producing totally different results. Bondy and I were catching smallmouths; Cleveland was catching white bass.
As we passed the break wall at the yacht club, I started hitting the whites, too. There was a current break there and the whites were stacked up in it. We caught a few whites as we moved further up the lake, and a few smallmouths. The smallies were unremarkable for Lake St. Clair – 14-, 15-, 16-inch fish — not the eye-popping hawgs you often encounter here, but nice enough. Bondy suggested we make a move.
It’s not my habit to second guess my hosts, especially anglers of Bondy’s stature, but I asked him to indulge me and let me have another whack at the whites. As he allowed we could, I tied on a jig head with a curly tail grub and as soon as we got within casting distance of the break wall, a white bass nailed my offering.
I unhooked it, dropped it back into the lake, and looked at my watch. My next cast connected with a white, as did my next and my next. So did Cleveland’s.