Instead of the usual walk around the neighborhood with the pup I have been pup sitting, I decided to take the puppy named Winston fishing instead. My older dog Coco loves to go fishing with me, and I wondered how my daughter Jenny's little dog would like the surroundings of nearby Binder Lake. I packed a few essentials in the compact 1988 Mustang and drove with Winston on my lap, cooler in the passenger seat, there were a couple of fishing poles, angled across the back seat, and extending under the convertible top, al of this made for a snug fit.. It is a short drive from my home in Jefferson City to the lake. It was a good thing I had the excited puppy on a leash because he was incited to chase some geese upon arrival. I pulled him back and tied the leash to my belt. In this fashion of restraint he remained, until I had cooler of ice and fishing poles in hand. I retied the leash to keep him close to me and we awkwardly progressed toward a boat dock. It was a place I had caught some nice bluegill early in the year. Now it was late November and there were patches of ice on the water, and a strong wind spirited across the surface of the lake. Winston shivered and my fingers were cold. I attempted to locate a lure that resembled a fish called a shad in my tackle. Winston saw the geese on the shore and tugged on me. I pulled back the other way, and tried again to pick out the lure and tie it on. This simple preparation to fishing was a challenge in the cold, with wind and dog testing my patience. I prevailed in my task and soon began casting the lure. I only made a couple of casts when on the third,reeling abruptly halted. I first thought I snagged one of the numerous Christmas trees placed in the lake by the Missouri Department of Conservation. These man made structures did attract fish and provide spawning beds, but I have lost a good many lures because of them. I was afraid I was about to lose another lure when the thing the lure was attached to, moved powerfully away from shore to deep water and circled back to the dock. My rod was held high and bent in a U shape. I adjusted the drag on the reel to allow less resistance and prevent the line from breaking. If the fish was allowed to wrap line around a cable or part of the dock, the contest would quickly end. But, I managed to apply enough pressure on the fish to force it to swim alongside the dock. I had to get the fish tired enough to lead it on to the flat grave shore. Winston began to get interested in what my “tug of war” with the strange stick bending toward the water was all about. He pulled in sort of the same direction that I was moving. Then he abruptly set his front legs, as if to tell me no I am going any further. I maneuvered back toward the ramp of the boat dock and succeeded in working around several obstacles. I took my time, trying to tire the fish, but not allow any slack in the line or change in rod angle! I noticed my friend “Old Paul” was pulling up in his old truck and his dog Molly was with him. He could see my situation and came to help, but by the time he arrived, I was leading the fish to the shore. Winston was willing to help now; he could see the large bass on the end of my line and got to the big fish before I could unhook it. He grabbed it by the snout and tried to shake it. Oh. No I thought he will possibly get hooked too. I pulled him back and managed to grab the lower jaw of the fish and raise it above the reach of the small dog. I carried the catch to and my older friend to examined it with delight I remember him saying “who would have thought on a cold windy day like this, you would catch something like that”, I concluded, “it must be the beginner’s luck of Winston”.