Big fish, small pond


by Drew Johnson

Here at PCM, being a 2A school, we can’t afford to have all of the programs, clubs and facilities as a big school like Southeast Polk. We should, however, appreciate the amenities we do have like the high school pond and the adjacent outdoor classroom that are both used to improve the students’ learning in subjects like biology and Ag.

These were built using grant money given to the school by Metro Waste. Metro Waste has given this school and other surrounding schools money that they can use to purchase tools that would improve learning in the fields of science and technology.

Some crazy things have happened at that pond recently. Junior Brady Fagen caught a 6.2 pound large mouth bass. He was using a Boyd Duckett square-bill crank bait when he hooked up with the giant. “At first, I thought I had the Loch Ness Monster on, but then I realized it was a bass when it jumped out of the water,” said Fagen.

That isn’t the first “monster” he has caught at the school pond, but it was the biggest. He claims to have caught other bass around five pounds, but never one this size.

Another avid angler that has done some fishing at the pond is former high school custodian Ron Miller. “I haven’t gone down there much this year, but I used go down there twice a week usually catching bluegill, bass, and sometimes even catfish. The biggest bass I caught there was 5.5 lbs,” said Miller.

I fish at the the high school often but have only caught bass up to 5 lbs until last week. I caught a nine pound channel catfish on a KVD 2.5 crank bait. Channel catfish are bottom feeders and aren’t normally predators. It is very abnormal for a channel catfish to feed on live prey, thus very abnormal for one to inhale my lure.

You might be wondering how all of those big fish came to be in such a small pond. The answer goes by the name of Dick Aalbers. This fishing enthusiast stocked the pond six years ago with bass that ranged from 1-6 lbs. He caught some of those same bass when he fishes with his grandson.

The bass that Aalbers has put in that pond have made more smiles and great memories than anything money can buy. And for that, I think I speak for all fellow anglers when I say, “Thank you!”