Wednesday, November 27, 2013

There's a Good Girl 11/23/13

I was fishing a cold, crisp, sunny, November afternoon, the kind where you stay in and do chores around the house.

I had made my way to a choke point in the river where it splits and an island provides a couple extra eddies. On one side, a cliff of rock and limbs, impassable. Therefore, I fished from the wooded side, not wanting to get wet in the cold. Always better to stay out of the water completely, if you can. I had two slow leaks in my waders just above the knees and meant to not let the water in. I carried an 8'6" light action rod for crappie and light tackle. The reel meant for gamefish was packed with 8# flurocarbon. The lure, a jig, typically of three colors, lightest to darkest from bottom to top, white, lime green, black. A strip of flashabou down the "lateral line" and two 3D holo eyes to complete the illusion of a live fish in cold water.

To the right of the main push of current was a couple of boulders which created a long eddy line on the wrong side of the river from me. Just about too far to cast to. If you landed the cast too close to the shore, a 3' leader dragged bottom. Land the cast too far into the current and the jig would be carried too fast for a proper presentation. Add the cross wind blowing line at 20+MPH. I had finally figured out the current speed that should hold a smallmouth bass and how to keep it there. And so it was, I fell asleep daydreaming of what might happen the rest of the day, my plan of attack for hopping holes. I mentally juggled the order I'd fish them and return to them when to fish them again, when my float was just gone. Missing! The one inch weighted float was under the tree branches and now gone! I lifted the rod, and sure enough a bass was connected to the line. A nice fight for such a small fish on that wobbly rod through the fast current with my float half under, now half out of the water.

Often in cold Winter or Fall river fishing, one fish reveals another. I lengthened my leader and threw again going for the maximum chuck and hope of coming closer to the opposite bank. After five wind gusts knocked down each cast in turn, I finally managed the other side. The jig slowed the downstream drift by ticking bottom and lifting over rocks. The float mosied into the depths. A smile lit my face. On the lift, all I felt was heavy throb, throb. The smile widened, impossibly large now. The noodle rod bent nearly double, the fish exploded deep in the current trying to reach the close eddy on my side. Then in turned and burned downstream. Someone had forgotten to tell her she doesn't fight well in the cold. The the real danger began, the headshaking. The body mostly gave up, giving way to a rapid side to side jerking motion intended to twang the hook out. Freedom would not happen so soon for this fish today.




There was more success, I found fish on the closest eddy as well as a couple other places, but that was the highlight. Went home early at 3 just because.

13 SMB (19.5" 4-14") 1 Green Sunfish 3.5 hours

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