There are days when the sun shines on special spots and, if you happen to pass through one, something special may happen to you.
Maybe you'll get an invitation from W. Bladen Lowndes III to join him and an old prep school chum for a day of bass fishing on the big lake that lits mostly untouched in the center of exclusive Gibson Island.
A voyage to Gibson is a trip back in time. "F. Scott Fitzgerald lives," said one who experienced the little island's other worldliness.
There are no poor people on Gibson Island; no ruffians, no crime; the sun always shines and candy grows on trees. In order to get there you must cross a man-made peninsula on the Chesapeake Bay. At the end is a gate and a pair of doddering gate-tenders who check your credentials before granting passage. You must be a guest or a resident.
There is much to do on this jewel of the Magothy River. There are tennis courts, golf courses and swimming pools for the Worthingtons and the Primroses and the other offspring of the old Maryland families.
There is also the lake, but hardly anyone fools with it. For that reason it has developed into one of the finest largemouth bass lakes of its size anywhere.
Bass love peace, clean water, plenty of food, and they love structure --felled trees, brush piles, weed patches to hide in and under when the sun gets high and the water gets hot. They need water of varying depths -- deep holes for high noon, shallows to feed in the early and late hours of the day.
Gibson's nameless lake has them all. And it's got bass, big, strong, hard-fighting largemouth.
"You won't get anything up there today," the pilot of the motor launch at the Gibson Island Yacht club told us as we made our way to the lake, brandishing our guest passes. "Maybe nine days ago, when they were in the shallows, but they're all deep now; you can't find them."
"We'll see," we thought, though our hearts sank.
For once in a very unsuccessful brass-fishing career for me the nay sayers proved wrong. We hadn't been out 15 minutes, three of us casting from Lowndes' 16-foot aluminum canoe, before the first strike came.
Bow Paddler Rocky Stump had the hit on a deep-running Rebel lure. He felt the tug, yanked back on the ultralight gear and pulled the Rebel out of the fish's mouth.
It was 5 p.m., three hours before we expected to start getting strikes. all bass anglers know large mouth are almost impossible to get in the heat of a summer's day. But this was to be a day of surprises.
Twenty minutes later the man up front had another, an this time the hook was set and the big fish began its dance.
Before the hour was out another big bigmouth was landed from the bow and we began wondering whether the stern of the craft was cursed. Thoughtful anglers all, we analyzed and decided that our top water [WORD ELIGIBLE] were not the proper choice, what with strikes galore on the bow man's deep lure.
Since none of us is a serious bass fisherman (Stump is a fly fisherman, Lowndes fishes for fun, not for success), searches through three tackle boxes turned up nothing else vaguely like the devastating Rebel.
So we kept on with what we had, Lowndes alternating between Mepps spinners and his surface Hula popper and I throwing worms, Bombers, Rapalas, flatfish and anything else that looked juicy.
Eventually and inevitably we lost the Rebel, the victim of a smart bass's turn around a submerged stump. By then it was 8 p.m. and the strikes were coming fast and furiously.
But the Bomber, a primitive looking deep-diving lure, finally worked and big bass No. 4 of the day was boated as a fiery sun sank over graceful mansions and a sea breeze picked up from the east.
In three hours of fishing we had a stringer of 15 pounds of bass and we had used no topographical maps, no water thermometers, no PH analyzer, no depth-finder, no big motors to get us from place to place and all the wrong lures.
And we quit early.
Why is it we can't all live on Gibson Islands?