Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pond Hopping 5-9-2009 (Afternoon Shorebang)

Chapter Two: (Afternoon Shorebang)

Ditched the belly boat and waders and drove 15 minutes for some shorebang action. I really liked the post for the first part so much that I wanted to run it separate from the rest of the day. In reality there is two different worlds of fishing between belly boat and shorebang. Some places you can belly boat and others you can’t. The next place was “shore action only” so the belly boat and waders had to go.

It was 8:15 by the time we made it to the smattering of ponds. This area is fairly large and requires a bit of walking. Suffering from drought, these ponds have changed quite a bit in recent years. The bigger ponds have a mix of bluegill and bass where smaller ones have pretty much dried up and only good for frogs. The larger ponds are mostly clear but guarded by heavy weed matte. One rod is rigged with my bluegill setup, the second has the senko and the last rod was left with a jig combo from earlier in the day.

“Something is gonna get these guys.”

(Custom skirted jig with tube trailer. I can’t stop throwing this thing. This is “creature-sweet” presentation)

A few ponds had the gill action but nothing big. Lotsa’ little guys that like to hammer small setups are starting to school up. Hopefully I can locate some bigger specimens but until then…I still dig these fish for the amazing color. The presentation can be anything from dry flies to light bass gear.

(Little bluegills pacify my panfish jones. This one looked really cool so it got some photo op time.)

Some ponds were very shallow or had heavy weed structure. This water pretty much eliminates the effectiveness of the jig. In these instances I run anything else. In some cases out here you just need to be able to run something through the slop that doesn’t get hung up. Simplest of presentations sometimes beat big and flashy.

(Here’s a scrapper bass caught in less than a foot of open water. Catch and Release!)

By now the sun was in the middle of the sky and blaring. Not the 58 degree and rainy day they predicted. Weather guy got it wrong again…go figure. I was losing energy and reaching that point where water and re-hydration weren’t cutting it anymore.

Chapter Three: “Spent! Just back alive!”

By now the legs and back were aching. After 8 to 10 hours of this stuff with no breaks whatsoever, the body was starting to give out. I thought maybe if I sat down for a second I could catch my 7th or 9th wind. My butt hit the ground sending tingling sensations through legs. My eyelids started closing as dreams of cold beer and food rushed into my head.

“Whoa…bad idea.” I said feeling myself drift to sleep. “Gotta get up and keep moving.”

I scouted the water on the way back hoping to catch a big cruiser or see some larger sized gills. But it was a halfhearted effort to say the least. It took a lot of my focus just keeping my feet moving and my body straight. Back at the truck it was a comfort to pull off the tackle back from my shoulder and get the rest of the gear in the truck. Shed the hoodie, grab a cold water (yes it was really water) from the cooler. Caught my thoughts for a moment and then drove back. The whole time the voice in my head was saying, “It’s not too late to hit this or that other spot. What about that other spot? It’s still not too late.”

With more water and a couple of aspirin, who knows. Pulling into the driveway the sight of the homestead was vaguely familiar.

My name is Matt and I’m a fishaholic.

Note: Blog entries part 1 and 2 were posted in reverse order so that they could be read in sequence. Apologies for any confusion.

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