Against all odds, 2010 will likely go down in history, (at least in my little life), as one of the most monumental fishing years I will ever experience. Winter just didn't want to release it's icy grip on the area. We had snow in May and low temps in the 30s until the end of June. Bass were still pre-spawn during the latter part of that month. That's just crazy. The first week of August I began nursing school and between class, clinical, work and homework, I was putting in 18-20 hours of work a day. We had a hard frost the first of September, though early October brought temps in the 90's. Despite the tumultuous times, everything came together for an outstanding year.
And then the next cast, and the next cast, and the next cast.
Somewhere in there I reached my goal. It wasn't a monster if I recall correctly, but what a fish. I couldn't feel my legs anymore and it was beginning to drizzle. Still, I knew this was the last time I would be bass fishing for half a year. I got out and walked the shore, alternating between small jerkbaits and an LV100. I picked off some smaller bass, but nothing grand. The rain was beginning to intensify, but I lobbed out a few more casts. To my surprise, I caught 2 or 3 decent rainbows my last few casts. I made it back and packed up my car just as the torrent arrived.
I ended up making it out for some stillwater trout fishing a couple of weeks later
bringing my final number to 2049 fish for the year.
3 at 19",
and one at 20".
I don't know how long it will take to beat 20" with the short growing season here, and with the draw downs these little irrigation reservoirs experience, but I'm going to keep trying.
I also finally beat my old best smallmouth record, which had stood since that same trip to upstate New York back in the early 90's. I only beat it by a 1/2", but I did it on a light spinning rod and 6lb test as October burned around me.
That same day I also got into some very aggressive walleye. They were up against the shoreline rocks and obliterated my little jerkbait.
I had never caught walleye on a hardbait before, and I had never seen one tail walk before that day either. That little perch colored Lucky Craft was definitely a star performer last fall catching that big smallie, walleye, lots of largemouth, perch and rainbows. Not surprisingly, I have accumulated a bunch more over the winter in preparation for the coming spring.
In the spring, when the rivers were blown out, and the Idaho bass ponds weren't quite ready, I kept myself busy slogging along the shores of Cutler Marsh with a sack of carp meat and plenty of circle hooks. I ended up catching my best channel cat.
It wasn't a monster, and it wasn't the ten pounder I'd hoped for, but I still had a lot of fun wrestling her in. I also learned not to lip larger cats like a bass. They clamp down hard enough to draw blood.
Another highlight was a short trip to Wyoming just before school started. I was able to spend a few hours on the Grey's River, and caught several large Snake River Cutthroat,
they were my best yet. It helped heal the wound of the big one I had lost on The Snake because of a bad knot a year prior.
Another first was finally catching two fish on the same lure. I have to say two fat 14" smallmouth can really put up quite the fight when they gang up on you.
2010 is going to be a hard year to beat. Now that I've done it, I'm not going to try so hard to catch 2011 fish this year. So I need to think of some new goals. I never did catch a tiger musky on the fly, so that is something I'm going to shoot for this year. I got fed up with how crowded that lake has become and didn't want to fish there, but with it being just down the street from my home, I'm going to just make myself go there until I succeed. I also didn't make it to Willard Bay to try for wipers, and I didn't catch any giant walleye from The Bear in the early spring. So those are on my to do list once again. Overall, I think this year I'm not going to worry so much about goals and just enjoy the time outside when I can get it. Quite honestly, at the moment, with the ice fog heavy in the air, I would kill just to be outside on a sunny 40 degree day catching ugly whitefish.