Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Fishing with Bill again: another good one gets away

Kelly and I went fishing with Bill again a little over a week ago, and I'm just now getting around to posting about the trip.

It's been a tough one to write about for me.

Bill is a great host and an excellent guide, and we had a really great time fishing with him, and I'm very much looking forward to the next time we get together...

but...

I lost what I know would have easily been my personal best Alabama Bass (Micropterus henshalli).

I almost wish I didn't know that...

but when you're fishing in Alabama's deepest and clearest lake, you can't help but see it and know it.

The clear water assures you that there is no mistaking what you're about to lose.

I almost wish the water wasn't so clear.

The fish was easily four pounds... probably closer to five... and would have rivaled Kelly's big 'Bama Bass (caught last year on Earth Day) for the biggest either of us has ever caught...

but I guess we'll never really know.

The fish had a chaser that was pretty close to four pounds too, and I told Kelly she should try to cast to it.

She had already done the courteous thing by reeling up her line to get out of the way of landing the big fish, but I wanted her to catch its partner.

Kelly wasn't greedy... but I was.

I should have just focused on landing my fish, but I lowered my rod to get out of Kelly's way as she was getting ready to cast her fly back out there...

and then my blue BoogleBug popper came flying back at me...

graciously returned to me by a very large and hard fighting Alabama Bass.

Damn it.

Bill said it gives us a good reason to go back another day... and he's right.

We all caught our fair share of Bluegill, but Bill didn't keep any for his quest because we were fishing the sunset bite... and he didn't want to go home and have to deal with cleaning fish late at night.

Kelly caught the big bass of the day which was around two and a half pounds.


Bill landed a nice Channel Cat on his "go to" Black Gnat fly and his 4 wt rod.

"That looks like a pretty good fish, Bill."

Channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) on the fly. Yes, it can be done.

I only landed one other small bass on the day...


and a pretty nice male Bluegill.


We'll be back though...

and next time I'll try to remember to keep my rod high...

and maybe I won't be outfished by a girl again.

16 comments:

  1. A cat on a black nat!? Anything is possible but that's a new one in my book. Well done. To bad about you big bass. Still not a bad way to spend a weekend.

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    1. Joel, Bill wasn't trying to catch that cat on the black gnat, but he said that's one of his favorite and most productive flies. Even though I lost the big fish, it was a fine way to waste a day.

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  2. Looks like a great trip! It's always fun to fish those clear lakes where you can see everything that's going on under the waters surface.

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    1. It's nice to see the fish come up and take your fly... but it really stings when the big one gets loose.

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  3. Jay
    I landed the cousin to the one you lost -----but smaller---the other morning at Smith “ see post”. I landed it in the same nook Kelly caught her large fish last year. I hate you lost that great bass, but there is always another try when you guys make it back. I know this is going to make you feel even worst, but I have to tell you that if that fish was a Spot, it might have been a record on Smith with the fly rod. Congrats to Kelly for her nice bass—I am looking forward to another trip when you guys can make it back.

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    1. Bill... why did you have to salt the wound... why?

      Looking forward to the next time.

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  4. If it's any consolation....my most memorable fish have always been the ones I lost at the last minute. I still think about the 20+ brown trout I lost last year. It will haunt me for years to come.

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    1. Kiwi, I feel your pain. I like to make my memories with photos... not just tall tales.

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  5. I feel your pain man! The bright side is how many can see they've even hooked into a big bass like that. I can't...yet!
    You'll get the next one, lesson learned!

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    1. Kevin, thanks for the comment. If nothing else, losing good fish makes for good stories... like Kiwi mentioned above. I'm sure you'll get into a big one sooner or later. The best advice I could give on that front is to find some unpressured water in the case of wadeable streams, and if you're on a big bass lake just fish with flies (like Bill does)... show them something they've never really seen before. When everybody else in a bass boat is throwing "Alabama Rigs" on Smith Lake, a popper works wonders.

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  6. Bummer about losing the big one. Been there and it ain't no fun.

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    1. I think I've found my spot for carping... and when I hook into that first one I hope I can actually manage to land it.

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  7. Hi Jay, I've missed your posts. Not to worry about the big one, you'll get another chance. Let me know about how you do carp fishing.

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    1. I'll let everyone know how I do carp fishing... unless it's really bad.

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  8. I love Boogle Bugs. Man, I wish Bill and I could go fishing too.

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    1. Josh, I'm sure he would take you. You just have drive a lot further than we do to get there.

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