Saturday, October 11, 2008

Back in black

My oldest daughter has a marching band competition today and my wife was volunteering so she said if I wanted to go fishing, Saturday morning was my only chance and I HAD to be back by noon. You don't have to tell ME twice!

So, at 7:30am I was on my way to the lake. I watched deer crossing the road on the dark overcast, drizzly morning. I also watched a small armadillo walking along the side of the road and I was hoping the little guy didn't become roadkill that day.

I was in the water by 8am and paddled along to the opposite shoreline for a bit, throwing by experimental seaducer for about 30 minutes with no bites other than the tugs of small brim. Thinking through all the tactics I have read through the years, I recall that black or dark colors were recommended during dark overcast days so I switched to a purple and black cactus minnow I had tied earlier in the week.

The cactus minnow is simply composed of a cactus chenille body with a marabou tail. It also has a cone head bead to allow it to sink nicely. That's it but today this was the ticket.

Within a few casts along the drop-offs near shore, I caught my first bass. I also worked the fly towards the back of some docks and caught a 15" bass that looked somewhat malnourished. Its tail and head looked too large for its body. It also had a few gouges underneath as if it had been foul hooked and the hook ripped out. The bass is the one in the photo above. I released the skinny fellow back in the water.

I picked up another bass and lost a couple before paddling across the lake to a long rip-rap section of the shore near the ramp. My first fish there turned out to be a catfish which surprised me! He twisted around and slimed up my leader before coming off while I was trying to grab the landing net.

I proceeded to catch four more bass from 13" to 15" along the shoreline. Most were caught in two to four feet of water. Two of the bass I caught were really light green in color. One of the best fish I caught had the fly right in its tongue. I was fortunate not to have lost that one.

As I headed back to the ramp to make it back by 11am, I passed over a large, dark shadow in the clear water that I could easily see was a big catfish. That would have been cool to have caught on my 5wt. Maybe next time. Hope it's a dark day, too.

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