Monday, May 25, 2009

Times they are a-changing (with apologies to Bob Dylan)

Last week, the fishing at the ponds peaked. Bass were ultra-aggressive, attacking almost anything they saw. I took numerous "rookies" out there and, if they could hit the water with a cast, they could catch a fish. We threw pink Sluggos and watch the bass attack them. It was awesome.

Joanna with a nice pond bass
A happy Megan with another nice bass from the ponds

Yesterday(Sunday) I went to the same spot. Fished hard, first with reaction baits (spinnerbaits, buzzbaits), then more subtle baits (flukes, Senkos). I got one hit on a spinnerbait. I saw the swirls where bass were chasing bluegils away from their beds. The fish are now on beds, and the bountiful season that is the springtime warmup is now over. I'll still be able to catch fish here, but I'll have to work harder for them and employ different techniques. The day before - Saturday - I spent 2 hours with a co-worker working the larger pond hard to see what we could come up with. Jesse fishes bass tournaments and has fished hard for ANYTHING for years. He got on a pretty consistent bite with smallish square-lipped crankbaits. The bass were holding out from shore, and were spawned out. Still nice fish, but much lighter in weight. I played around with different baits, getting a few on spinnerbaits and other stuff, before I finally relented and put on a crankbait. (I'm pretty pig-headed about immediately going to the "hot bait" that the other guy in the boat is throwing). We caught fish, but it was obvious that in the past week, everything had changed.

Jesse with a crankbait bass. No eggs in this bass!

Times they are a-changing. Just like they do every year.

My wife just shakes her head every year wen I continue to be amazed by the greening of the landscape in springtime. Same for the leaves changing color, or the first snowfalls. I always react like I am amazed (because I am) even though I love the outdoors and have witnessed these changes for my entire life. I am just as amazed at the changes in the fishing patterns due to seasonal movement. Now that the bass have spawned, I'll key into the bluegills as they set up shallow. Out will come the flyrods. Then, in the midst of the summer doldrums, the channel cats will get really active.
Something is always changing, and I'm always amazed (Some would say easily amused!)
I hope I never lose that awe of the changes of nature. I'm pretty sure I won't.

Even though the bass were not going crazy on my ponds, I did manage to catch some other fish. I got 5 walleyes, a few crappie, a bunch of bluegills, and one un-common resident of the ponds - a green sunfish. Take a look at the size of the mouth on the picture. It is noticeably bigger than the usual sunfish, with the exception of the warmouth. Nice coloration on these panfish.
Green Sunfish

Keep following for the progression through the seasons and more fishing. I'll try to get some fly fishing in for trout in the near future.


Ben said...

Great post! I completely agree with you about being amazed at the changes each spring, both with the scenery and with the fish. It puts a smile on my face just thinking about it! Nice catch too!

Largemouths and smallies are in the sunfish family too. I've always thought about the progression of mouth size and body shape as something like: bluegill/pumpkinseed --> green sunfish --> rock bass --> lmb/smallies.

Oh and one more thing, you have some cute coworkers!!

Anonymous said...

Great post and beautiful green sunfish. I too am amazed at the changing of the seasons. What would we do if the seasons never changed? Boring, boring, boring!

hector200 said...

Great report and fish

Wolfy said...

Thanks to all for your comments - I appreciate them!

Hector - welcome aboard! Even though I "no habla espanol", I went through your blog, and loved the fishes of the Gulf of Mexico piece - photos transend language barriers!