The pickup rattled, as Mack dodged potholes headed for Lake Washington in the Mississippi Delta. The familiar terrain, venerated from youth, called to Mack like a siren.
Aunt Patty recalls, “I was in about the fourth grade and I would come home from school and daddy would be loading up to go to the delta. He would come home with seven or eight Canadian geese, there wasn’t many of them around here back then. He liked duck hunting the best. He brought home lots of fish and the ones we didn’t eat, he sold in the front yard.”
Moon recalls, “I loved to go with daddy on them trips to the delta. That’s where I really learned how to fish, and those years might have been the best years of my life. I knew I could catch a bass with a line and live minnow, but what I wanted to do more than anythang else was to catch a bass on an artificial lure. I finelee’ did that at Lake Washington. I thought to catch bass I needed to use a lure that resembled a small baitfish, so I’d try lures like the Heddon River Runt and thangs like that.”
I got frustrated and so one day daddy said, “Here try this.” He handed me a Hawaiian Wiggler with a red and white skirt.”
Incidentally, if I might interject, the only lure designed and packaged to catch men, but the Wiggler does a pretty good job with the fish too. Hawaiian Wiggler’s are made with a front spiral spinner, two wire pieces suspend from the eye on opposite sides of the hook, making them weedless and good for casting in thick cover.
Moon tied on the Wiggler, disappeared to shallower water and within a couple of casts hooked and landed a nice three-pound bass. As they say, it is arguable whether he caught the bass, or the bass caught him. One thing is for sure, from that day forward, he’s never stopped casting spinner baits to bass.
“I remember takin’ that bass up there and showin’ daddy. I thank I was a really sayin’, “Look Daddy, I caught this one for you.”
Years later, Moon repeated the same advice, “Here Shane, try this.”
And it was always a Hawaiian Wiggler. His instruction was likely because the Wiggler was weedless, and Moon was weary of constantly retrieving my lure from yet another snag.
But maybe the deep waters of memory surfaced, “Here Jimmy, use this.”