On Sun evening 07/16, I decided to fish across from the Marina at Bartlett Lake. I beached close to some rock formations and casted out from these rocks into the channel. I promply caught about a 5lb channel on a gill. I rebait cast and wait. I wedge the pole between some boulders and engage the baitrunner and attach a little bell for good measure. A storm comes rolling in with rain and winds. I look with a flashlight and see that my pole is doubled over and the little bell attached is shaking violently but is hardly audible due to the storm. Its lightening like crazy in the distance and I know that standing on a shore during a lightening storm with a long fishing pole is probably not the best idea. I decide to venture over to the pole just to make sure it was secure and that it wouldnt be lost. While at the pole I decided to just feel the line to see if the fish is still attached as the pole was no longer doubled over. I am within about two feet of the pole an just about to take another step when I hear a rattling noise. I immediately knew the sound to be that of a rattlesnake. I couldnt see it but I knew it was there. It sounded as if it was near the handle of the rod. I made a hasty retreat back to the boat and waited. Of course as soon as I get back to the boat, the bell starts going off again and as I shine the light on the pole it is now doubled over. I spend 20 min trying to convince my Father-In-Law that he should be a nice relative and go check my pole:smile2: . After all I married his only daughter and that alone should be worth something. Needless to say he wasnt interested as neither was I. I waited untill daylight for good measure to check the pole and found that the fish had run my line in some heavy brush and was no longer attached. My Father-In-Law was amazed that I had enough restraint to stay away from a pole with a fish on it. It wasnt a hard decision as I surley didnt want to get bitten by a rattler. But I sure was sitting on the boat thinking of ways I could get to the pole without making the snake mad. No matter as about an hour later, I ended up catching my personal best. I guessed it to be about 30lbs. My Father-In-Law guessed it to be in the upper 30's. I didnt have a scale but that will be the next addition to the tackle box. I CPR'ed it and now have another story to tell the kids. What a great weekend!!!!!