It hit like a bass, it fought like a bass, it even looked like a bass…well, if you’re a little nearsighted, like I am.

Of course, it wasn’t. It was just a big pretender, a drum that gave my light-action rod and reel and 4-pound test line a test.

This big girl hit a Ned rig while I fished with Ned Kehde himself on a suburban lake in northeast Kansas.

Yes, it was cold. Yes, people stopped their cars and gave us, “What-the-heck-are-they-doing out-there?” type of looks. And yes, the fishing was tough.

But on Tuesday, Ned and I caught and released 28 bass, three drum (including the one shown here) and a trout on 2 ½-inch ZinkerZ plastic baits crawled across the bottom.

That’s a technique Ned has made famous. He has written a blog for In-Fisherman’s website for several years, and he has attracted a legion of followers. His finesse tactics have taken the country by storm, providing the average guy or girl with a way to catch numbers of bass.

Ned, who lives in Lawrence, fishes whenever there is open water, From the heat of summer to the bitter cold of winter, he is out there fishing, usually with a 25-mile radius of his home in Lawrence.

On Tuesday, the water was cold—the water temperature was in the 40s.  So cold that I didn’t think the bass would hit.

Ned proved me wrong.  Though he was grousing about how bad the fishing was, I found it surprisingly good.

How can you complain when you catch a “bass” (known as a drum in most circles) like the one shown here?