Crawling Through the Backroads of Rodman Reservoir

The sun sets on one of Florida's best bass lakes.
The sun sets on one of Florida’s best bass lakes.

Where can you go when you leave Okeechobee that might even hold a candle to that kind of bass fervor? Rodman Reservoir might just be the one place in Florida that could top Okeechobee for big bass notoriety. If there’s a new record largemouth that’s going to come out of Florida, it might very well come from Rodman. So many enormous fish have been taken here, it’s hard to believe that there’s not one that could top the current record swimming somewhere.

I’ll admit that I got a little sidetracked exploring the “Forest Roads” that surround Rodman, looking for some limited-access fishing. The “roads,” which are about as road-like as a hamster is dog-like, can get hairy in some spots where the sand is deeper your tires can’t gain purchase. But I kept my foot easy on the gas and remembered all the advice ever given to me about staying un-stuck. “Don’t stop, don’t floor it, don’t worry.”

The advice is worth noting too, if you’re say, trying to raise money to find a cure for skin cancer. I arrived late and didn’t get a chance to do much fishing, but on the 4th I’ll be fishing one of the world’s best bass lakes, and hey, is there a better way to celebrate?

It’s admittedly been a slow start to the trip and the fish pictures aren’t pouring in as fast as I’d hoped. I’m re-thinking my game plan and how best to get at bass every minute. The words of a fellow Irishman are echoing in my mind.

If you get stuck, keep going.
If you get stuck, keep going.

“Ever tried. Ever Failed. No Matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

If that approach could win Samuel Beckett a Nobel Prize, it might be worth applying to these deep-water, finicky Florida largemouths in the summer. And if the Irish are good at anything, it’s romanticizing failure. My mother’s side of the family are Gillorens (after county Killorglin in Ireland) and on my father’s mother’s side it’s McCabes so I must have some of that poetry somewhere.

And bringing what we can offer and contributing it on a larger scale to be a part of a sum total is what this country’s all about. But more about that on the 4th… and hopefully bass.

So, although the road’s bumpier and darker than I expected it to be at the outset, I’m plugging along, foot softly on the gas. If I don’t stop or put the pedal down, if I keep crawling forward, despite failure, as Mr. Beckett would say… I’ll eventually get where I’m going. And then, if nothing else, at least I’ll know where that is. And next time I’m on Rodman, I’ll for sure contact the guys at Bass Online so that these pictures are of fish, not just dirt.

One thought on “Crawling Through the Backroads of Rodman Reservoir”

  1. These stories are amazing!! Keep ’em coming. I am praying you get all the fish you can handle & more!!

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