Sunday, July 21, 2013

Small Water. Big fish.

A good buddy and I decided to hit a small lake, maybe 200 acres, that we had seen on the DNR's website that had a promising net survey, while this was corroborated by an old neighbor of mine that had talked to me about the same lake a couple years back.  It was a hike from the cities, about an hour and half, but based on the survey, we decided it was worth a shot.  If things didn't pan out, I knew a few other lakes we could fish in the area, so it wasn't too big of a worry.

Once we got to the lake, we got his boat out of the trunk (yes, the trunk), and started inflating it.  Turns out those inflatable raft deals aren't too bad, unless you store it in an old golf club bag and the zipper puts holes in it...  Both of us being former Boy Scouts, we had the perfect solution.  Duct tape!  Of course it didn't work, at least not very well or for very long, but it allowed us enough time to get out and do some fishing.  Even if I was a little distracted by the slowly deflating boat gunnel.

We took a quick look at our surroundings and the entire lake was lined with reeds and cattails and I thought "my kinda lake".  Given the cloudless, post-cold front conditions we were fishing in, we agreed to head to the north end of the lake where there was still a little shade on the water and a variety of cover.  My buddy setup with a live bait rig and I was setup with a Northstar Custom Baits Swim Jig.

I made a few casts and got a small pike to take my jig, shredding the trailer in the process.  I replaced it with a little brighter of a blue swim grub and cast again, this time I caught a small bass.  But the guy chocked it and got the hook set in the tongue.  He wasn't bleeding when I got the bait out and he nearly jumped back into the boat when I let him go so I figure he'll be ok.

We tracked down the shoreline some and put the anchor down again and then the boat started rotating on the line due to the wind giving me no shoreline cover to throw to.  I knew that we were still inside the weedline so I made a lazy cast parallel to the shoreline and let my jig sink.  I picked it up and started to reel and it was fish on!  This guy came pretty close to my personal best of 3.5lbs, but not quite, he was only 3.3lbs.

I caught a couple more smaller 2lbs fish before getting bit off by a pike, a little before this, my friend had enough of his live bait rig and I let him tie on my spare swim jig of that color so I had to upsize my bait to the Flip n Swim to keep the same color, except with the bluegill colored trailer.  Boy was that a good decision.

We were getting to the point that the deflating gunnel wasn't going to keep us floating for much longer so we agreed on a "couple more" casts before heading back.  I had repeated the same cast that had netted me the fish pictured above, letting the jig sink on slack line, except shortly after the jig hit bottom, the line started peeling across the water.  I reeled up the slack and leaned back.  After what felt like ten minutes but I'm sure was only one, along with about 10lbs of weeds, I pulled this 4.2lber in.

Needless to say, I am pretty excited about getting back out here.  Soon.

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