Likewise the water, rendered opaque by the evening sun, hides wildness all its own. Down there among the old pipe and twisted steel swim fish as wild at heart as Alaskan rainbows. Fish with a spirit completely undiluted by their inner city life.
I tie on a jig head, twice thru the eye then seven wraps back around itself then the tag end pushed back thru. Lick the knot and snug it down. The Trilene knot, a terribly unglamorous and commercial namefor such a solid dependable thing. How many Trilene knots have I tied, a hundred thousand maybe. Enough that I can tie the thing in the dark. On the jighead goes a three inch grub, purple with bright blue metalflake. Electric Blue I think Vic calls it.
I pause, take a deep breath and a good look around. Mystery and shadow hide the underneathof a raised track on the other bank. Is that a homeless guy sleeping off a bottle of Boone's Farm? Or a couple of old trash bags? A dead body? From here it's unclear and probably left that way. Up on the tracks two guys pass. A heavy set fellow in a too tight football jersey and one of those horrible excuses for a ball cap. The ones with the raised glittering letters and a bill as flat as the day it came out of the box from China. The other a nervous tattooed skinny guy in a wife beater with an equally offensive flat billed cap.
After they wandered on I flipped the grub upstream in an eddy formed in the lee of a huge concrete structure whose long ago purpose is lost to time.
I flipped the bail closed and grabbed the line with my free hand letting the lure sink on a tight line.
Thump, I set and was fast to a pugnacious white bass. A fish on the first cast. Bananas and a bad omen.
But not today. No giants but a few small smallmouth and white bass. The best fish ended up being a three or four shovelhead that nailed the grub and was a big smallmouth right up until it rolled up black and magically transformed into a catfish.