Sunday, May 22, 2011

A bittersweet evening on the ponds

Saturday evening my wife, son and I decided to go out to the ponds and see how things were looking. The bass should have spawned by now but would still be aggressive along the shoreline. the evening was nice (weather-wise) for a change - no tornadic thunderstorms, no cold rain. We went to the upper pond first. This is the bass and gill pond. We were the only ones there and the surface was calm. I decided to see if I could catch some bass on an old reliable lure. (More on that in a bit.)

The fish were right where I expected them to be - from 1' - 5' off the banks. And I could see by the swirls they were chasing gills away from their beds. I went with a topwater the entire time, and I really did forget how many fish I caught. All largemouth. Some smaller males and a bunch of nice , spawned out females. These fish would have gone another pound to pound and a half heavier a couple of weeks ago. Suffice to say I got around 20 largemouth - enough to tear up my thumb unhooking them.

Now - about the lure I used. You can see it in the mouth of the 2 bass I have posted here . The first person who comments below with the correct name of the lure - name of the bait and the lure manufacturer - will win a new Lucky Craft Pointer! 1 comment per person.

We decided to go to the lower pond and see what was happening there. This is the mixed bag spot - cats, bass, gills, crappie, trout, walleye. The way to find out who is hungry here by throwing a 1/16 oz. jig head with a 2" grub - everything eats it. Tonight was a really odd mixture of fish - maybe the strangest I've ever seen. I ended up with 14 walleye, 9 crappie, 2 gills, and 1 small bass. No trout or cats. A truly bizarre mixture, but fun nonetheless. I only fished here for around an hour and a half, until it got dark.

So - why the title - a bittersweet evening?? Well, I recently (last week) accepted a job offer from a different company and am in the whirlwind process of selling our house, buying a new one, moving the family, and starting a new job.

[HEY - that's right - some of you said you wanted to buy my house when I posted pictures from the pond across the street. Good bass fishing! Here's your chance!!!!]

Getting back to the point of the post - the ponds are located on a club property to a hunt club my current employer is a member of. When my last day passes - this coming Friday - I won't be allowed access to the ponds anymore. This may have been my last chance to fish these glorious ponds. Oh well you'll have to bear with me as I embark on learning some new areas and fisheries. I told you this would be a journey rather than a destination. And the journey continues!

The sun setting on the ponds, both literally and figuratively

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ponds, ponds, ponds

Sunday evening at around 6:30 - after spending a full doing whatever it is we all do on the weekends - I asked my wife "So - what do you want to do? It IS Mother's Day, after all" I was tired and really didn't feel like doing much of anything. Until ... her response - let's go to the ponds.

It's amazing how quickly I can spring into high gear when it involves something I want to do.

Within minutes we were driving to the ponds to get in an hour of fishing. The evening was beautiful and the ponds were calm. I had decided, even before we got out of the car, that I would spend the evening trying to entice bass on topwaters, even though I hadn't had a topwater hit this spring. Well, sometimes your intuition is just right. Sunday was one of those nights.

I started out with a 1/4 oz. white buzzbait and started fan casting an area of 2 to 2-1/2' deep. Had one blow up on the bait on the second cast but missed him. I'll spare you the play-by-play, but suffice it to say that the fish were ON. I landed 12 bass in an hour, from 7 pm to 8 pm. White buzzbait, Sammy, and a Lucky Craft wakebait - not sure of the model - that runs just subsurface and throws out a big V-wake. Its really close to a topwater because the visual strikes are just like a topwater - the bass blow them out of the water. The fish were a combination of egg-laden females and smaller , aggressive males. They were not quite up on the banks yet but, with yesterday's 90 degree temps, I wouldn't be surprised to see them tight to the bedding areas this week. Here are a few pictures from the evening.

And, yes Howard - it IS a nice shirt!!

I also tried something I had never done before - I tried to get some topwater strike video. Results were mediocre but i think I got a few good hits captured. I'll play around with those tonite and post them as a separate posting if they're worth watching.

The next 2 weeks should be gangbusters - get out and get after those fish! Here is a poor, low light shot of the field full of deer we passed on our way out.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Catching Dinner over Lunch

Even though it was fairly chilly today, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to get after a few fish over the lunch hour. Jesse and I went to the ponds with the intent of catching - and keeping - some fish for his dinner tonite.

Started on the upper pond. Lots of gills, all just short of being prime filleting size. They were JUST a little smaller than we like to clean, so back they went. Small grubs were the answer on UL rigs. We got a fair number of bass - mostly males. Jesse got one egg-laden female that was probably 2-1/2 pounds, and I had a big fish break me off in the rocks.

30 minutes down, 30 to go. And no fish in the cooler.

The lower pond held a little bit of everything. Jesse continued casting grubs while I went to a small purple and white tube. ***Newsflash *** - trout like purple and white tubes. A lot. We caught fish pretty consistently for the next 20 minutes. Jesse put a nice crappie on ice, and I followed that up with a crappie, 'gill, and walleye for the box. I also got 3 trout in quick succession, and a bunch of undersized 'eyes.

So - I put 3/4 of the fish in Jesse's cooler. NOT that I'm a fish counter - I'm just saying. I'm thinking that a half pound of morels would be a nice gesture of appreciation.

Sorry no pics - didn't feel like pulling out the cell phone