Monday, March 31, 2014

The best of both worlds

On Friday, Kelly and I drove north for some kayak fishing on our favorite creek that flows into Pickwick Lake. It would have been nice to stay closer to home, but in order to escape the rain and thunderstorms in our neck of the woods, the drive was necessary. We felt like the 30% chance of isolated t-storms farther north was better than the 80% chance locally... and it turned out to be a pretty good gamble.

Not only did we use the kayaks, but we both took a fly rod as well as a rod for conventional lures... the best of both worlds. We had success with both methods, but no lunkers were landed on this outing... although we saw some true river beasts. The kayak lets you get really close before fish get spooked, and in such a clear creek, you get to see some pretty impressive fish... even if you don't have the good fortune to catch them. I saw a Largemouth that was easily five pounds while Kelly claims to have seen a bass that would have been seven or eight or more... and I tend to believe her. She said the only larger bass that she has ever seen in person were in the display tanks at Bass Pro Shops. I also saw some sizable Longnose Gar that were staging to spawn... two big females in the neighborhood of 5 feet long with several smaller 3 to 4 foot males hanging around them.

I tried in vain to tempt a bass to bite on the surface, but only drew interest from tiny Bluegill that couldn't take my size 4 Stealth Bomber. Kelly fished a smaller popper and managed to take the first fish of our year on the surface... you guessed it... a Bluegill.

I managed to catch another species of Lepomis that we don't encounter too often... mostly because we don't bait fish with worms around here. I landed this 6" Redear Sunfish (Lepomis microlophus), or "Shellcracker" as we call them in the South, on the Rapala X-Rap.

Nobody told this shellcracker he's supposed to eat snails.

The other noteworthy event from this trip was that Kelly landed the first Smallmouth of the year- caught on a Rapala Husky Jerk.

14 inches of bronze for 2014!

Things are definitely starting to heat up. We'll be wading and fly fishing with poppers (and Stealth Bombers) in a matter of just a few weeks now... and after the winter we've had, I can hardly wait.

*POST PUBLISH CORRECTION*
Kelly reminded me that I was actually the one who caught the first surface fly fish of the year... which was a small Bluegill (obviously not very memorable), and that she also caught an 11" bass on the surface. My memory is failing me... or I just selectively remember the really good stuff. I guess I need to consult with her to get the story straight before I click "publish" from now on.

8 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your fishing trip, Jay. Good to hear that action is picking up. Hey, I will take a Bluegill any day over a skunking. Tell Kelly next time to bust that big Bass!

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    1. Mel, she tried really hard to get the big girl and then I took a turn at that pool after she gave up. I got a follow and a bite from a 2 pounder on a spinnerbait, but didn't actually hook up. It just grabbed the spinnerbait skirt and tail... maybe a good reason to not fish one with the ridiculous long tail.

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  2. Nice. Glad to see the boats and lines getting wet. Bring on the wading weather!

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    1. I'm so ready for some good ol' southern heat and humidity and the cool relief of wading a stream with a fly rod in hand... nothing could be better.

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  3. Jay, I just love the stories from your trips.

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    1. Glad you enjoy the stories. We do have some interesting adventures. I hope to hear a good fishing story from you sometime soon... maybe even some old geezer shenanigans with you and Mel together.

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  4. It's gotta be the hat. She's always wearing that hat.

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    1. That's her lucky hat. I keep trying to hide it... but she somehow finds it every time before we leave to hit the water.

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