Thursday, October 11, 2012


It seems that every season starts with a promise-to-self that I will get more time on the water, then, on the winds of change, just like that - Life happens.  To say the least, it has a been a busy, busy summer.   Next summer promises to be just as busy, if not more so.  Although, Momma and I decided to camp again next summer, up on Pokegama just outside Pine City.  I hear that the panfish are plentiful and I certainly look forward to seeing what kind of bass population the river has to offer, DNR's lakefinder has me nervous about that though.  Never the less, who doesn't like learning new water?

That, however, isn't the reason for this post.

I managed to get one last trip out before pulling the boat out.  Really, it was the last good weekend we've had since then too, very little wind - which was good because I didn't have the chance to make the trip out the night before to put the charger on the deep cycle battery, and warm.  Heeding past advice about going directly to the spot you want to fish, I started out at what has become a mainstay in my bass fishing outings.  The difference this time is my favorite area had been overtaken by split pea soup!  The algae was as thick as I've ever seen it on Bald Eagle, stranded by the fact that there was no wind to push it out of my spot.  I did fish it for a short time with a swim jig and decided to pack it in on that spot early - I just wasn't into it.

On to my back up plan.  Docks.  It's milk run time.

By this time the sun was up and over the trees, warming the shorelines.  I had fielded a couple of phone calls that morning and decided I'd best put my head phones in so I didn't have to stop fishing to take a call.  I also decided that, contrary to my own tradition, to put on some tunes, and I do believe it helped set the mood.  I started working my way down the shoreline, past the community shore fishing hole, and on to my target.  By this time I switched to a spinnerbait, not a beetle spin, a God's honest truth spinnerbait!

Anyway, I wasn't yet up to the first dock when I had my first hit.  A little shortie.  Landed and let go.  Recast and hooked again.  Same deal, just a little guy.  One more on the same approach.  It seemed like the little guys were out roaming away from the docks.

The sun continued it's climb and not being able to find an upgrade, I changed my approach up a little bit.  I remembered a video put out by Wired2Fish (embed is below) that showed how to pivot a bait underneath a dock to get a little more distance.  I figured that this was a pretty good time and place to practice that at least.

Enter 1/2oz swim jig.  This is double the weight I'm used to throwing, but after playing with the Northstar Custom Flip N Swim jig, I'm growing accustomed to the added weight - and I have to say that they pitch a heck of a lot better than their smaller 1/4oz brethren.  However, my pitching technique was rusty and I feel that I pulled some of my punches and that hurt the distance I got underneath the dock.  On the other hand, I was getting bit anyway - and with a slightly better quality.

Given this change, I was able to set up a pattern of sun exposed, wood decking, on the shady side of the dock.  Sounds pretty typical of a fall pattern to me.  And they were choking it, the strikes I was getting weren't that silly slap at it and get it in the corner of the mouth kind of strike.  It was the "get in my belly!" kind of strike!  By the end of the day (which really means when my battery was nearly dead) I had landed over 15 fish (lost count).

Now, I know that it is premature to start talking about winterizing the boat, but I think I'll end this season on a good note.  Besides, I have a hankering for strapping on a set of waders and chasing some Rum River smallies before things freeze up.

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