Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Largemouth Bass and Pickerel: Calm Topwater Evening and a Pond Matt Found

Matt and I went with high hopes for a big bass, but we had a good time and weren't really disappointed. Any time we can get out and fish is a good one; I don't recall any bad.

I brought along a bucket of killies for Matt, since I have them after our recent fluke attempt, and they won't likely last until I next fish the South Branch, which I haven't posted about yet this year, the two stints so far just too short, as was the single bass I caught.

Here at the lake I began by fishing a Senko-type worm deep (15 feet) and shallow in the weeds. It's better to rig the head with an inset hook to avoid snagging. Someone else came along in a kayak, said he'd been fishing an hour and caught one 3 1/2-pounder, also on a Senko.

Since action made the outing real slow, I succumbed to killies. Matt and I went back to a pond he had found on our previous venture here, and we caught our four bass on the killies, the action dead at first, but Matt spotted a bass he said estimated at close to three pounds, then another four-plus.

"Don't think they'll hit," he said.

"They will," I said.

But the bass we caught measured a lot smaller than he reported.

Having returned to the lake, I switched to a big Hedden Torpedo, and began fishing calm surface along weedy drop-offs, bombing off long casts. When I got to a section of shallow flat, I knew the sluiceway between an island and more shallow flat area off to the left was just the spot.

My wandering about to find just where I felt sure a fish waited for me lifted a sinking mood brought on by being way too tired. I had been up until 5:00 a.m. working on my book on fishing, then had to wake and let the washing machine repairmen in at 8:00. I never went back to sleep, but worked on my book all day, very productively. Sometimes demolishing the routine produces outstanding results. Maybe that makes you sort of crazy for the time being, but definitely means a lot of stuff to work with comes up. On our evening run here up north, I almost rear ended a car on Interstate 80, then missed two turns, driving unnecessary miles beyond familiar markers.

"I must be losing my mind," I said. We were driving back to make our last turn, having a difficult time finding it.

I cast to the sluiceway, let ripples die down, then chugged the big Torpedo twice. It got slammed, just as expected. You don't always throw all your chips in for the intuition you feel; you reserve a little skepticism so you have something leftover to save face if nothing happens. Or sometimes the feeling takes you whole, but usually it doesn't. I did have the edge tonight, not to be too certain. Nevertheless, often enough a fish is waiting to strike.

A treble all a mess in the pickerel's maw, I lugged the fish back to our stuff and pliers. Back in the water, it rolled over. I shucked my shoes, got in, and tried to revive the fish. I thought we would have to take it home, but minutes later I went back in, moved it with my rod tip, and it righted itself and took off.

I felt wistful about the flat to the left I had also encountered. If only I fished that with the Torpedo, surface perfectly calm, I might have found more fish. But I had no distinct feeling for that open, shallow water as I did for this cut between land.

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