Thursday, June 10, 2010

Diamonds in the Rough


I hadn't planned on fishing Memorial Day weekend, but my sister was visiting and made a comment about how nice it would be if I caught some perch to make fish tacos.  I couldn't really argue with that, so Sunday afternoon I packed up my stuff and took off for my favorite perch pond.  I was hoping it wouldn't be too crowded as it didn't have any camping facilities, but as I arrived to a packed parking lot and glutted pull offs, I was kind of wishing I'd stayed home.  I parked at my usual spot, and while I was packing my tube Fish and Game came and chatted with me for a bit.  He remembered me from last year, I guess I fish this reservoir a lot.  I lugged my tube down the hill to a shallow bay where I could easily climb into my tube.  As I paddled to the mouth of the bay, I discovered I was flanked by detritus.  Shirtless, obscenity spewing, drunkard, troglodytes on one side, and lawn chair sitting, play-doh huckers on the other.  I quickly caught a bass on an X-Rap and missed another, but I decided I'd better head across the lake to freedom.  Shortly after getting there I caught another small bass on a swimbait.  I noticed there were some weeds in about 10 feet of water off a small point here. This seemed like a good spot to look for perch.  I lowered a small pink jig  down and felt hits almost immediately.  They didn't seem like perch pecks though.  10,000 trout were stocked in the reservoir over the past month, and that's what I'd found.  I finally landed one of the little buggers.  I got tired of it and decided to move down toward the bluffs where I always catch fish.  I was nearly there when I realized my lanyard was missing.  I had gotten out to adjust my rod holder when I was fishing for perch earlier.  It must have fallen out then.  I paddled all the way over, and there it was, floating off the bottom in a couple of feet of water.  While I was on shore I figured I'd head down into a shallow cove on foot to look for bass moving up to spawn.  I saw a silt plume where a bass had been, and soon spotted another fish of about 15".  I got back in my tube and worked a Slug-Go over the area, but they must have been off from my earlier intrusion.  I decided to make my way back to the bluffs.  I reached a bank just down from the bluffs where I did well for bass last spring, and began working a green pumpkin Slug-Go up against the bank.  I placed the jerkbait by some brush, letting it sink on a slack line, when I saw my line jump.  I set the hook and soon brought in a decent bass.

The fish were biting lightly, and I missed a few more.  I was nearly to the bluff when a group of bank tanglers descended upon my destination.  I tossed out an olive crystal bugger on my fly rod and began trolling back across the bay.  About half way across I hooked into a nice rainbow that cleared the water by several feet seven or eight times.  The fish was a good 16-17" and shaped like an overstuffed football.  He was a squirmy little nugget, and this is the only photo I got of him.

I remembered there was a beaver lodge up in the cove I was near and I thought I might find some bass there.  I scored a couple smaller trout on the fly rod as I trolled my way in.  When I arrived I switched to a bubble gum pink Slug-Go and tossed it around the lodge.  Nothing happened, but about twenty feet down from the lodge I missed a fish.  A short time later I hooked a really nice bass, but it threw the bait when it jumped.  Now that I knew there were some fish moving up against the bank, I decided to head back over to the perch spot.  That bank has a lot of rocks and brush, a rarity on this body of water, along a steep drop off.  Within a moment I scored a nice bass.  I began drifting down the bank, pulling fish out pretty regularly.  They were all pretty decent sized and hard fighters.

Eventually my pink Slug-Go was obliterated and I decided to try a small perch colored Fluke.  Most of the fish had taken it on the initial fall, but as I twitched it back, a nice bass shot from the depths and broadsided it half way to the tube.  I love clear water.  I caught several more fish, but eventually the rocks ran out, and so did the fish.  The sun was getting low and I decided I needed to head back soon.  I kicked back across and trolled my fly parallel to the shore.  I scored several trout, and when I reached the bay where I started I began getting hits on every cast.  Eventually they destroyed my fly so I switched to an X-Rap and scored several smaller bass before I left.

I may not have found any perch, but what began as a frustrating trip turned out really well.  Good thing there was some tilapia in the freezer.

Final Tally:  21 Largemouth Bass, 7 Rainbow Trout

Year Tally:  294 Fish


  1. Dang bro - ready to break 300. that is insane.

  2. Too bad nursing school starts in a month, I'm on track to finally catch as many fish as the number of the year. That's always been my goal, but I missed it by 137 fish last year.