The Pond
Roger P. Plaskett

Growing up on South Road as the youngest of three boys, I virtually grew up nearly as an only child as my two brothers were much older than I. Gerald was six years older while Richard (Dick) is 12 years my senior. So my partner in those early years was my best friend as well. Her name was Pepper and she was given to me in 1951 as a Christmas present from Dick. She was a dog that gave unconditional love for 17 years, passing away in my wife’s arms in 1968.

In the non-winter months we enjoyed fishing almost on a daily basis. Riding my Columbia bicycle, with Pepper trotting along side, we were a familiar site on Bull Road heading for the pond that we all called “Halleran’s Pond”. Once there the choices were numerous as to where to fish. On the Western shore was an area we called “Perch Point”. In the spring this was a killer spot for perch fishing. A little farther north along that same shore was a island that had a couple of shaky logs bridging itself to the “main-land”. On many occasions this bridge provided unscheduled washings of my dungarees. If you were lucky enough to get out there in the springtime, the rewards were an endless supply of pickerel. Along the Southern shore was located a meadow. Three houses are in the area now but, in the 1950’s and early 1960's it was still accessible. When the apple blossoms were in bloom all the large mouth bass in the pond seemed to congregate along that shore for the annual spawning season. Beds were visible everywhere as you walked along the banks. There was one bass that would torment me for years. I called him “Oscar” but, in reality, “he” was probably a “she”. Season after season this monster was patrolling the spawning beds and looked like a submarine as he circled endlessly around the beds
.On many occasions I tried to snare him with a treble hook only to have him break free time after time. A few years later, Ed East, who was the care-taker at the Halleran place across the street, told me that after ice-out one year, he found a dead bass on the edge of the water that measured 29 inches without its tail and only a partial front end. I never saw “Old-Oscar” again. I assume that he made it to the end and died with a smile knowing he had won all the yearly battles in our war.

Farther in an easterly direction along that same shoreline is another point as the pond curves to the right towards the dam. This point was crazy with Calico bass or “crappies” as most people refer to them. I used to put a small shiner on a hook with no swivel, bobber or any other contraption and simply toss it out there as far as I could. The shiner would swim to the top and just kinda splash around for a minute or two when “WHAM! The water would explode and another Calico was on its way to my stringer.

On the eastern shore was the dam area, which was the deepest part of the pond.
Here you could catch bluegills and sunfish till the cows came home. (Yes, there were plenty of cows in the area. Henry Camp kept a huge bull staked by the roadside on locust road and you could hear him bellowing his lust filled serenade to the cows at the Camp farm and at the Schibi place down the road.) After the spawning season was over the Large Mouth bass that survived “Old Oscars” intimidation, or whatever he was doing to them, could be found in this area. There was a submerged rock just to the left and only visible when the sun was high in the sky. If you looked hard enough you could see the silhouettes of bass against the tan color of the rock. I used to catch a frog and hook him in the leg and toss him out to the rock. If you were lucky enough to get one to swim along the top of the water, the rewards were 5 minutes of the most exciting fishing you could ask for. One day when I was about 15, I nailed two whoppers. We took them up the Thiemenns store where the Citco Station now is and weighed them. One weighed four pounds and the other five and a quarter.

The two bass totalling nearly ten ponuds

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