It was like she was following a 97-mile-per-hour rising fastball with an 88-mile-per-hour sinker that dropped like it was falling off the table.
But B.A.S.S. Elite Series pro Pete Ponds hung in against the pitches and didn't back out of the box.
After swinging and missing with his favorite crankbait, Ponds switched to a ¾-ounce Talon football jig head and put a Senko worm behind it.
"I know it's a bit unorthodox, but I know these fish are here and there's gotta be something they will eat," he said, casting the funny looking lure across the old submerged pond dam that topped out at 5 feet with deeper water (8-10 feet) on both sides.
Five casts and four fat fish later, Ponds was busy fishing out a similar contraption for his partner. I had caught a 3-pounder on my 11-inch worm to locate the fish, but was struggling to maintain solid feel with just a 3/16-ounce weight and had missed two others.
"I've gotten them fired up and they're biting, and this Talon football jig is heavy enough to give you a solid feel," Ponds said. "You will feel it walking up the back side of the pond dam, then feel it coming through the cover on top and feel it walking down this side. Just work it slow because for some reason, these fish aren't active.
"Usually, in these conditions, when you get them fired up and biting, they will hit a crankbait like the Bandit 250. They're not wanting to chase anything. This football head gives you better feel and better control in the wind. You can reduce the bow in the line."
It worked, producing solid bites I could feel.
But, setting the hook was tricky. I missed the first two fish by using my regular Texas-rigged worm hookset.
"You can't do that," Ponds said. "The lure is too heavy and they will spit it out pretty quick. If you feel a bite, and it will usually be a pretty good wallop, just start reeling as fast as you can until you feel contact and then set the hook."
That was the ticket. The next two bites I got both led to me holding a 3-pound chunk in the boat.
As the day progressed, we switched trailers on the Talon jig. We used a small Bruiser split-tail grub and a Rage Craw. Nothing beat the jig and Senko combination.
"The thing to remember is that there's a million tricks to catching a bass, and never give up until you've tried it all," Ponds said. "There is something that will work. That's why we carry so much stuff in our boats."