Shapleigh, Maine. Square pond.
It's not the biggest fish, but I'm writing in because many people will tell you there aren't big fish in small Maine lakes. Often, people laugh at me when they see the Rat 50 tie to the end of my line. This was my first day on the lake this year and on the first cast with BBZ-1 Rat 50, something special happened.
08/15/2015. Bill, that's a size 13 sandal, BBZ-1 Rat 50, Shimano Curado 300e, Cousins Raze 8' xx and #18 test Maxima UltraGreen (I need stronger swivel snaps) in the photo. Not a giant by any means but my biggest fish that I have ever caught. I was fishing it in a small cove in about 4' of water. I was casting from a dock parallel to shore. By the way, this was in a lake where Everyone says "there are no fish," and "that lure ain't gonna work because it's too big."
I saw a couple decent size fish at the docks. They weren't taking the 4" or 6" swim baits so I put the SPRO BBZ-1 Rat on. First cast! The rat wasn't even in the water 5 seconds before the big girl hit. Retrieval was somewhere between a wake and fast retrieval and I had pinned her on the rear triple hooks. I did just as you said: 1. reel first 2. set and 3. keep reeling. I was fortunate to see its reflection prior to strike, so I was well prepared. As I'm a novice, I still have trouble setting hooks and often set first and then try to reel up all the slack with little success. It's all about focus now for me and keeping my eyes on the lure. So now it is reel first then set after I have started reeling. I have lost many fish because I wasn't quite paying attention and as a result I panic and set first.
Thanks so much, man. At it again tomorrow. -Justin Vachon-