Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Monster Buckets

May 1st, 6AM. The sun has risen an inch or two above the horizon and already greeting the water. At first Don and I ran into trouble getting the boat. Ominous front warnings a slight ripple on the water made the ranger concerned about letting us out on the water. The MAD Fishing show views any obstacle as a mere challenge and we instantly break into our “good cop-bad cop” routine.

“You know…” I say with much bravado. “I am an expert mariner.”

“Are you kidding me?” Don hammers in with the bad cop. “I probably have more ripples on my bedspread!”

“I am also a champion rower.” I added with a swab smile and a wink. (It was a girl ranger after all.)

“Half the lake is glass!” Don chided further.

“Sorry, fellas.” She spoke sweetly as if this was policy and her hands were tied. “Maybe if it calms down later in the day I can let you out.”

At this point our world was shattered. Forced to shorebang a heavily pressured lake as opposed to the boatage was a bitter pill to swallow. We paid the fee and went on our way to stake our claim to some well-trampled beach or point. Digging for one last chance I turned and gave her my best puppy dog eyed stare.

“If you do change your mind or the wind settles down…can you give us a call?” I said like some school kid just turned down for the prom. “My cell number is right there on the day pass.”

Maybe the puppy dog stare would have worked better if I took off my shades. We walked out of the small gate-office and down to the shoreline. Don was beyond upset. He cast out as far as he could and then spat with frustration. After 15 minutes my cell phone rang. We were already walking back to the dock. Boat was launched and the original game plan was put into play.

It takes a while to find the fish as they tend to move around on this +100 surface acre lake. Heading over to a different section we stop and fish an area of water that we had not fished before. Second cast out with the same jig combo that I was throwing for pike (barbless hook and all) and WHAM! The bait gets clobbered by something that feels like a small dump truck. The fish puts up a heavy fight and as soon as the head breaks water my lips mutter, “Hold on, Baby!”.

(Above: This is the first fish. A nice bass in the 20” range. I know, I know…I should be taping and weighing these brutes but you will just have to live with a picture. Catch and release!)

Get the first one back in the water and fix my jig setup. This is a jig combo presentation used to mimic a crawdad pattern of sorts. Brown and black was a no go after a few casts so I switch to black and blue. That was when I started getting clobbered! The jig was retied after the fish and thrown back out. We are working a slight incline and about 8-feet of water. Cast, cast, cast…WHAM! The bait gets clobbered by something that feels like a cross between a fish and a freight train. (Excuse the large vehicle references here folks but most of the bass in Colorado don’t rank the adjective power of a two-door Jetta let alone a Mack truck or locomotive. What I am trying to stress is that these fish are hitting hard and then running with vengeance.)

Land the second fish and I am ecstatic! These are the moments I live for when fishing for bass. Not too shabby for Colorado.

(Above: Second bucket with a super fat gut! Definitely one of my better fish holds. This fish is guestimated at only 19-inches in length but really close to 5lbs. People tend to think fish weigh more than they really do. In an effort not to injure the fish’ self esteem, I rarely weigh fish anymore.)

The bite seemed to be brief and once it died we searched for bites to no avail. The rest of the lake was scoured while baits were changed and worked until most have the tackle box had been soaked at least once or twice. In frustration we went back to the same spot where I had picked off the earlier two. Cast, cast, cast…nothing. As time and electric batteries wore on we eventually had to call it a day. Wind was actually gaining momentum so we turned the boat back in without a scratch. A good day. A good day indeed.

My name is Matt and I’m a fishahlic.

1 comment:

Bigerrfish said...

Well done! Matt those are some of the biggest bass I have seen in Colorado.... Cradads huh?.... Interesting... That second one.... On the long rod.. boy I don't know... that one would have probably gotten away.. It would have take an 8wt rod and 0x tippit for sure!!! Congrats,,, Nice tackle choice!