Friday, October 1, 2010
Still can’t kick the swimbait habit
The eyes on this swimbait model do not protrude like the ones on the Swim Shad model that gave me trouble before. The colors on the sunfish are also more vibrant than the shad. Removing the bottom treble is a must for me on this lure and as you see below, the ring is not visible.
First cast into the sweet spot and the line takes off. Barely had time to set the hook and to be honest, the fish pretty much set the hook on itself by clobbering the lure. That part was easy. The fish battle was far more difficult as the fish kept trying to wrap itself around my anchor rope. The first time I was able to steer the head back the other way. The second time I had to change directions of the rod and pull the fish back behind the rope from the direction it came. One more turn around this rope and my 6lb line turns to tinsel. Luckily the fish came back around and was into my hand. One look into the fish’s mouth and I knew he liked the Live Sunfish Swimbait.
The problem with catching one fish right away is that it could trick an angler into thinking that they were on a hot pattern when in fact they just got into one dumb fish. Sometimes this may having nothing to do with the lure so much as the presentation. After a few long moments of no bites in a hot area, I decided to switch things up in regards to the retrieve speed. Instead of a “Swim-drop” retrieve I opted for more of a slow roll. Sometimes slowing things down will make a difference so I typically drop the pace a bit before digging into the tackle box for something else. The last fish seemed to take the swimbait close to the bottom of the water, which helped provide some possible clues to where the fish were holding up.
Slow roll was the ticket. Maybe the hot weather was keeping the fish closer to the bottom. Maybe the poor water visibility made the fish feel more comfortable identifying with the bottom structure rather than suspending in the murky water. I ponder this question for a few moments in a Zen like state until my hands feel another heavy thump on the delicious swimbait.
Then I get to this cove that is guarded by a few fallen trees. Some of these are large cottonwood trees that serve as barricades of sorts on sections of this cove. The fish can swim under the logs but retrieving your lure is a bit difficult and landing fish can be heartbreaking at times. So many anglers have lost fish here the cove has earned the title; “Lessons Learned”. I am a little over 50\50 in this cove and have landed some beauties. Fearing not the heartbreak and humiliation I give the swimbait a held-breath cast into the heavy junk.
Wham! The line trembles and a heavy thump rolls down to my fingers. I am not sure whether to be happy or not at this point as losing this fish could taint this otherwise spectacular fall fishing day. In fact I am a bit upset with myself for casting in here at all. (Realize that I say this every time)
First the fish tries to go under what used to be a small wood dock. Lift the rod an inch or two, turn the angle of direction and cup the drag (top of the reel). The fish turns and comes straight at me.
“He’s going under the log.” I say turning the reel handle like a madman to pull in the slack.
Another rod lift and cup of the drag. This lifts the fish up just enough to bump his nose on the log instead of it going completely under. Quickly the fish turns and heads for the back of the cove. The reel starts to sing as line goes out.
“Oh no you don’t.” I say not realizing that the fish can’t hear me.
Turn the fish one more time and bring it back to the log barricade. The fish runs along the side for two inches and then leaps into the air. I pull the fish towards me and the fish looks as if it was literally dancing across the top of the log.
Sploosh! It lands into the water on my side of the log and the battle continues for a few moments more. At least on this side I have room to operate the drag and let the fish run a bit without stretching the line or worrying about trouble in every direction. Soon the fish is landed and as I grab the fish by the lip, the lure drops out of its mouth. It was one of those moments that I really wish had been captured on film. Too lucky.
“Have you ever had to dance a bass over a log in the mid-day light?” My lips mutter recalling the recent events and Jack Nicholson dialogue from the old Batman movie for some strange reason. “Oh man…the heat must be getting to me. I’m outa here.”
My name is Matt and I’m a fishaholic.
Posted by Coloradocasters