Monday, July 19, 2010

Taming the Tempest

After the success of my previous trip, I was eager to throw another $5 into the abyss.  The drive to Clifton was sunny, calm and pleasant.  As I dropped my fees into the tube, a bit of a breeze billowed up.  I was disappointed by this new development, but it wasn't the end of the world.  As I drove the mile or two up the dirt road to my favorite new spot, I was horrified to find the trees dancing violently and whitecaps on the lake.  There was no way I would be able to fish from my tube in this.  I was really wishing I'd saved my $5 and stayed home to mow the lawn.  Since I'd already spent the money, I decided to try sticking it out for a bit and wade fishing the trees again.  I caught a couple of smaller bass on the old trusty Slug-Go, and then I hooked what I initially thought was a foot long bass as it tail walked toward me.  Rather quickly I realized that it was a large crappie.  Unfortunately it escaped while I foolishly tried lipping the beast, so no picture.  I fished for bass a bit longer, scoring a few more smaller bass and losing one good sized one.  I had actually brought my ten foot crappie pole with me, so I decided to give it a whirl.  I dabbled my jig amongst the woody vegetation and missed several fish before catching this whirling dervish:

 Shortly after I managed to land a crappie, though a smaller one.

Around this time, the waves were nearly coming over the tops of my waders, even in the forest.  I decided I'd had enough, so I tossed my rod in the car and took off for the river.
When I arrived I found the wind was a lot calmer there.  I stopped at my usual first spot and tossed out a pink X-Rap.  I jerked it violently past some shoreline vegetation and this little bugger shot out and nabbed it.

 I noticed a mat of vegetation and debris at the tail of the run, so I tried drifting a Slug-Go beneath the canopy.  I had several hits before landing this little chunk.

 I caught a few more further up snapping a tube quickly across the bottom, and then the wind hit even worse than it had been in Clifton.  I fought it for a few minutes before giving up for the day.  It was lucky that I did as shortly after leaving the canyon, a wall of rain and hail pummeled my car, forcing me to pull over for about 15 minutes.

Final Tally:  5 Largemouth Bass, 2 Black Crappie, 1 Bluegill, 6 Smallmouth Bass

Year Tally:  350 Fish

And So it Begins


The weather was threatening once again, so once again I avoided the slippery clay path that leads to C Pond.  I had really only fished out by Clifton once before, but had left me curious for another try.  I drove north and was happy to discover that the drive wasn't really any longer than the one to my "Old Faithful", and was equally thrilled that the rain stopped and the sun peeked out.  I donated my $5 to the Evil Ones and set out for a spot.  I found a pull off with some nice openings in the flooded trees to allow my passage. 

I fished along the deep edge of the submerged timber and did quite well for largemouth fishing with Slug-Gos in watermelon and sort of a green pumpkin with silver holo and peacock green flake.  Most fish were around a foot in length, but some larger fish to around 15" were mixed in.

These were some of prettiest bass I'd ever caught.  I just love their distinctive markings.  With only about forty minutes left to fish, the wind and clouds finally returned, chasing me back into shore.  I put away my tube but decided to try wading in amongst the trees.  I scored several more fish this way.  I glanced at my watch and muttered something about one more cast.  My bait plopped down into a pocket in the brush, and as my lure sank I noticed a slight twitch of the line.  I reared back and realized I was dealing with another class of fish entirely.  I wrestled the fish through the jungle (I'm very impressed with the new Yo-Zuri Hybrid Ultra Soft line, great stuff) and eventually landed a nice fat 18" largemouth.

I snapped some pics, released her, and was on my way to work.

Final Tally:  25 Largemouth Bass

Year Tally:  336 Fish

Letdown at L Pond


So it's been a great long while since I made a post here.  Things finally warmed up and I'd really rather spend my time actually fishing than writing about it.  However the fates have smitten me down with a vigorous case of the poofruits, and now here I sit, trying to remember a month and a half of fishing trips.  I will forgo my usual meandering prose (or at least try to) and just get down to the real meat of the outings.

After finding shallow bass at "The Usual Place"  that were eager to eat Slug-Gos, I thought I would check out C Pond for some of it's larger bass.  However it had rained all night and was threatening a repeat performance that afternoon.  The road to C Pond is slick, so I opted for smaller fish and a safer venue and go to L Pond.  As I was getting set up a mom dropped off some lunatic children to try swimming in the 60 degree water.  They didn't last long.  60 degrees should have invited some good bass action, but sadly it was a rather meager day.  I caught 16 largemouth and 1 rainbow.  I did take a few from shoreline brush on Slug-gos, but they also hit spider jigs, small Diawa cranks and a small Bass Pro Shops XPS lipless crank.  Some passing storm cells kicked up and brought cold, cloudly, windy weather.  Overall it was a pretty dismal day, and seeing as the fish were all under a foot, I didn't feel it worth pulling out the camera to capture any of those 17 moments.

Final Tally:  16 Largemouth Bass, 1 Rainbow Trout

Year Tally:  311 Fish