I haven't been out to my ponds recently - been on the road for work, and when I've been home, it seems like the grass is two feet tall and calling my name. I did walk across the street to my subdivision pond on Sunday evening with my new 2 weight flyrod. I was quickly reminded that a 2 wt. is a specialty rod - not very effective in the wind or if you need to make a cast over 30'. Luckily, the 'gils were close, with a few crappie mixed in, too. It doesn't take much to put a GOOD bend in a 2 wt. rod!
Anyway, over lunch today I got out to the ponds I've been writing about . Weather is cool and a little overcast. The pond was as clear as I've ever seen it - easily 4 feet of visibility. Maybe the loads of rain we've had all spring washed the usual crud out the overflow?? Gills were shallow, and I saw more than a handful of largemouth cruising the banks, right on the edge of where the water was too deep to see bottom. [This always seems to be a "magical" area, whether its 1 foot down or 10 feet - wherever you can no longer see bottom seems to be a zone where fish cruise. Try it in your water!] I caught a few 'gills right off the bat near the overflow. I went to the end of the pond where the deeper water comes up quickly to a mud flat, and caught 4 small walleyes in 5 casts with a Beetle Spin. Cool . Still, I was seeing more fish than I was catching. It was time to quit fooling around. Out came the Cubby Mini-Mite and the weighted bobber. (NOTE - the rod I had along was a 4-1/2' UL spinning rod)
I've extolled the virtues of the Mini-Mite / weighted bobber combo in the past, but it never ceases to amaze me. I fished a brown Mini-mite about 4' under the bobber and, after I found the depth they were holding at, caught fish constantly. I got about a dozen gills, 4 crappie, 4 largemouth - 3 small, 1 about 14" - , a 17" very healthy rainbow trout, and, on my last cast, a channel cat that I weighed at 6 pounds, 2 ounces. The rainbow came from about 6' of water; the cat was 4' down over 15' of water. Everything else was in 4' - 6' of water.
When I fish these little jigs, I use a simple technique: cast out and let the jig settle under the bobber. If there is any wave action, I'll often just let it sit and let the waves impart the action to the jig. Then, reel in about a foot of line fairly quickly - you want the jig to rise toward the surface on the retrieve of the line. then - stop. let the jig "swim" back down. Let it sit for a few seconds - 4 or 5. Repeat. Practice in shallow water where you can watch the action of the jig based on the retrieve you make. I PROMISE you it works.
I got all 6 available species of fish - bluegill, walleye, largemouth bass, crappie, rainbow trout, and channel cat - in my pond over lunch today. I'll take that over the usual diner food any day!
(Of course, I left my camera at home. I REALLY need to get another camera and throw it in my car, just for these occasions)