Chasing Splashes by Randy Rowley 8/31/23 ©


It was still dark when three friends and I arrived at Lake Decker, east of Austin.  We launched my bay boat quickly and soon were heading down the primary lake arm towards the lily pads by the power plant’s discharge.  We arrived and quickly discovered a problem – the lily pads were gone!  Most had receded out of sight of the water’s surface, as they typically did in the fall – but this was late August! (The current heat wave probably made them recede early.)

Still, it was as good a place as any to start, as there was a lot of surface scum and grass that bass could hide under to ambush breakfast.  We started throwing topwater lures – mainly frogs.

We chunked frogs for around an hour.  I had eight near misses and hooked one on my green and yellow Lunkerhunt Prop Frog, but it got off the hook by my boat.  Russ Gibbs also had a near miss of his frog.  My other two friends didn’t have any action.

We then headed to the dam and started chunking crankbaits.  Soon Burl Fulenwider put the first fish in the boat – a large perch that hit his lipless crankbait in sexy shad color.  But after having everyone get their lures stuck in the rocks several times and having to spend time freeing them, I decided to abandon the dam and try the nearby cove.

We fished the cove for a good hour, throwing soft plastics, with no fish to show for it.  We then decided to try the discharge.  On the way there I saw a couple of splashes but decided that it was isolated fish.

We fished the discharge for around 45 minutes without getting a bite.  We decided to try the dam again.

On the main lake arm we again saw splashing, but this time it wasn’t isolated.  I stopped my boat, told my friends to tie on clear Heddon Super Spooks or similar, lowered my trolling motor, and waited for the next splash.  Suddenly a school of around ten bass erupted around 25 yards from us.  We threw our lures at the school and Burl was rewarded with a small bass on his lipless crankbait, which he decided not to keep.

We spent the next two hours or so chasing splashes, as the bass were constantly moving chasing after shad.  Sometimes we’d connect, but usually we didn’t.  Often, we’d move 100 or so yards to splashes and find nothing there, and then see that the splashes had moved several yards in another direction.  Still our successes and the thrill of what could be kept our eyes scanning the water.

Around 12:45 PM, the schooling and splashes started to subside, and we were cooking in my aluminum boat from the around 100° sun, so we called it quits shortly thereafter.

Burl led the way boating six bass, five on my Luhr Jensen Pet Spoon and weighted popping cork rig.  I caught the biggest three bass – 20 ½”, 18 ½” and 18 ¼”, along with a 16 ½”.  Russ caught two bass, including a 17”.  Jim McGee, surprisingly, was skunked.  I also had two more bass come off the hook right at the boat and had two schoolies knock my Heddon Super Spook two feet into the air.  Our 13-fish day was by far our best day of the year for a self-chartered trip.

Russ, Burl, and I returned to Decker the next morning.  A ‘cold front’ had hit (it was only around 96°) and the wind was out of the north.  The splashes were more isolated, and the bass didn’t stay up on the top of the water as long.  Still, we were rewarded with two bass each including a rare triple from one school.  Russ caught two 17” bass, I caught a 16 ¾” and a 16” bass, and Burl caught two small bass, keeping one that was gut-hooked.  Russ and I had different bass hit our Heddon Super Spooks that managed not to get hooked.  We quit around the same time as the day before.

Since I was a boy, I’ve loved to fish.  Over the years I’ve tried many live and dead baits, lures, and techniques that have resulted in fish and a lot of fun.  But there’s nothing more fun to me than chasing schooling fish.

What are you chasing after?  For many it’s success.  For some, it’s a bigger house, a nice bay boat, or a season deer lease.  For others, it’s a comfortable lifestyle.  For a lot of people, it’s fame or someone’s approval.  But if we’re honest, it often feels that our pursuits are like our days on Decker chasing splashes and trying to hook an elusive bass.  What about God?  Do we pursue him with the same enthusiasm as we do other things?

In Acts 13:22, Paul said, “After removing Saul, he made David their king.  God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’”  (In this passage “their” is Israel.)  Of all Israel’s ‘saviors,’ only Moses (Israel’s deliverer) surpassed King David.

How God regarded David as a man after God’s heart is confusing to many, as David is infamous for his adultery with Bathsheba and orchestrating the murder of her husband Uriah.  God regarded those as horrendous sins too and God dealt with David for committing them (see 2 Samuel 11:1 – 12:23).  But throughout the Bible we see God caring more about the state of our hearts, than what others see in our behavior.  We judge each other by what we see, but God looks deep inside of us to see what no one else can – what we love the most and who we really are.

The answer to why David was considered a man after God’s own heart, despite his infamous sins, is found in Acts 13:22 – David would do everything God wanted him to do.

Morality wasn’t God’s priority for Israel’s king – God’s priority was for Israel’s king to obey and honor him.  In that, David shined.  Examples include:

  • David cherished God, had absolute faith in him, and defended Israel’s army’s honor.  (See 1 Samuel 17:1-50 for his fearless reaction to Goliath insulting Israel’s army.)  Shortly before the famous duel, David expressed his faith, saying in 1 Samuel 17:37a, “‘The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.’”  David was completely aware that God controlled his life, and he had faith that God would rescue him from clear and present danger.  David’s faith pleased God, who rewarded David for his faithfulness.
  • After King David sinned, he was genuinely repentant.  He confessed his sin to God in Psalm 51:1-2, saying, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.  Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.”  He confessed his sin to men in 2 Samuel 12:13a saying, “Then David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the LORD.’”
  • King David firmly believed God’s promise that if Israel obeyed and honored God, they would win in war, and if they dishonored him, they would lose.  David saw Israel’s battles as a continuation of God’s mandate to conquer the Promised Land that God charged to Israel when they entered Canaan.
  • King David never even hinted at worshipping idols.  He only worshipped God.  Go through the Psalms of David for examples of David’s worship of God.  In them, you’ll see a relationship between a perfect God and a sinful man.  David told God his true feelings, not what he thought God wanted to hear.  David was more intimate with God the Father than any other person in the Bible, except God the Son.  David had a deep desire to do God’s will.
  • King David loved God’s word.  He wrote in Psalm 119:2–3, “Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart—they do no wrong but follow his ways.”  He wrote in Psalm 119:47–48: “For I delight in your commands because I love them.  I reach out for your commands, which I love, that I may meditate on your decrees.”  God gave David wisdom and understanding through his meditation on God’s commands.
  • King David was thankful, both in good times and bad.  He never ceased to thank God for all that he had.  He wrote in Psalm 100:4, “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.”

David was too lenient as a father, but as a God-follower he was unwavering, and as a king, he was the only king of united Israel who revered God’s covenant with his people.  David was sold out for God, lived with a keen awareness of his need for God, and was completely broken.  He saw God differently than everyone else – he loved God and lived like he loved God.  He chased after God’s heart in a way that pleased God.  Perhaps that’s why God chose David, as the youngest of his brothers, to be Israel’s king, and ultimately fulfill God’s kingdom in the birth of Jesus through David’s lineage.

The next time you’re chasing after your ‘splashes,’ consider what David chased after, and ask yourself, “Is what I’m chasing after going to make a difference in eternity?”





Pet Spoon rig

Categories : Devotionals

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Today’s Devotionals and Blogs

Kent Crockett’s blog – www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com

Mark Dillow’s blog – http://noclearline.blogspot.com/

Bible Verse of the Day

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.