Monday, February 8, 2016

Shiners for Lake Trout, Why not Power Bait?


So I finally got out and fished Round Valley Reservoir, first driving up Route 31 to Paddlesports in Washington to buy kayak racks, finding it's closed Mondays. So I salvaged the drive by photographing Spruce Run at Glen Gardner. I later found my best shot ruined by the lens hood getting shifted out of place and vignetting two corners of the picture, but had did not failed to notice the Glen Gardner Inn beyond the bank and across the street at an angle from where I shot. I will return to this scene.

At Round Valley, I found Mike fishing his favorite spot where he can sit in his car and read the newspaper. I had a couple of photos for him from last winter, and then told him I had to go buy shiners. He offered to give me half-a-dozen. I gratefully took four. Last week he caught a 24-inch laker off a nearby point, so I took his direction and fished that, as he drove off to do some banking. Just before he turned to leave, he said he's caught two lakers on Power Bait this year, and they say only stocked trout take the stuff.

While I waited, a rainbow got caught across the way, and after an hour or so, I felt uncomfortable in the chill. I went to my car and read. When I noticed my 11-foot noodle rod had shifted position, I ran at top speed over the rocks for about 75 yards, but careful not to twist an ankle. Most of the line had peeled off the spool, frightful, because another minute or two could have meant a lost rod and reel.

Line tight, I lifted, closed the bail, and set the hook--into nothing. Took forever to reel in the empty hook and sinker. First thing I felt was an intense desire to get back here and do this again, and then I felt the inevitable: Do this again and not screw up. And you know how that is. It gets to gnawing on you. I felt like a fool for having sat in my car. And that was a big shiner the fish took.

So, stay or go. I decided to fish another hour. I still had shiners on two other rods. Yup, all along I had foldout chairs in my trunk. So I got one of those, took my book and sat there, waiting. Instead of reading, I found sitting still and listening to water lapping very soothing.

Pretty soon I saw Dave setting up to my right, called out and walked over to see him. He's caught more than a hundred this busy season, but says the trout have moved out further from the bank, no surprise. He caught a rainbow on Power Bait within three minutes and offered to let me bait up. He's setting the bait on a short leader, maybe 18 inches.

"Early in the season, they hit marshmallow & mealworms, and then they just stopped. I noticed guys getting them on Power Bait, so that's what I've used since."

By the time I got back from my car with my noodle rod, Dave had missed two more hits. We fished another half hour and no more happened. Rainbows travel in pods. And they often pass on shiners, but will take this orange stuff that disgusts me.
 This guy trolled very slowly with an electric.

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