It was here in Roosevelt State Park that I caught my first largemouth bass, about 4 pounds, on a baitcasting throw of a crazy humped surface lure whose action over the black-green water was so erratic and heavy, you thought you had a good fish on already just reeling it back. Well, I had 10-year-old skinny arms, so add 5 pounds to the bass. Say a 9-pound bass and a wise one. It took the plug with a frightening wallop and then went deep to wind the line around a limb on the bottom in 10 feet of spring-fed clean water. When my Uncle Troy rowed us over to get the line straight-vertical we could see the bass with the glowing yellow, red-specked lure in its mouth. My uncle wanted to cut the line, black cotton and nylon thread then, 1952, but I wouldn't have it. I took off my clothes and dove in, swam to the bass and pulled the plug out of its lips, swam up to the rowboat and threw the fish in. Only when my uncle helped me board the boat did I think to be humiliated: I was showing my thin self to this tough uncle, and I hunched down quick enough to rock our flat craft. But I had my bass, flopping and gorgeous on the floorboards. Uncle Troy smiled and lifted the bass by its gills. Good lord it was fine, and we'd eat it that night. "You're a fish yourself, boy. You're all right. I ain't telling your aunt what a tiny pecker you got, don't worry," he said. "Your first bass and it's too good to mount. Let's fry her."