Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wednesday Sunfish

As soon as I saw the weather report on Monday I was in a panic. The turbulent weather had played havoc on my entire season but now laid a perfect scenario in front of me with 3 good weather days and one big front as opposed to all bad days and maybe an hour here and there where you weren’t feeling Mother Nature’s wrath at less than DEFCON 4 (depending on exactly where you were that minute). Not being able to take the entire time off of work the focus had to be set on where it would count most…the last day before the @#$% hit the fan. By Tuesday I was calling in favors and looking at a day off on Wednesday.

Reach the water and conditions are beyond tasty. The air temp in the morning was a mild 55-degrees but climbing fast in the open sunlight. Water temps were guesstimated at mid-60’s in the shallows. Right away I see fish and lose sight of the game plan, which was to catch some fantastic sunfish and start casting at anything visible with fins. Early in the game I pull up a smallmouth scrapper.
(Above: Little red-eye bronze that put up a decent scrap for no good reason at all other than to take me away from my green sunfish hunt.)

The small smallmouth bass is released and I toss a few casts at some fish cruising. These fish were fairly selective and avoided anything my presentations. Not have the time to linger I quickly port out and move on to the second pond and start my search for sunfish. Within the hour I was spotting schools of sunfish but nothing above average in size. Most of the fish were bluegill and not the green sunfish that look especially spectacular this time of year. With some additional rowing and scouting I was able to dial in a few.
(Above: New camera and all but the 10.5” Green Sunfish(hybrid?) still looks a bit washed out. Honestly you would think these fish come from the Amazon or some exotic salt-water region. Through snow and ice these fish thrive in many waters.)

One of the ways a Mattsabasser deals with the bass post spawn is to fish for other species that are more active. Sunfish are moving into that mode right now as well as that whole summer time pattern is falling into swing. This is also a good time for me to fine tune the bass presentations as the fish get can afford to be more selective with so much forage around. Make a tweak here, change the color pattern there. Pick up the retrieval speed just a touch and WHAM! Post spawn bucket grabs and holds on.
(Above: Medium\heavy forward hold on a post spawn bucket mouth that shows a few signs of aging. Big head, dark colors and a dense body lead to me believe this fish has seen many summers. It is my wish that it sees many more.)

About halfway through the trip I get a gust of wind when trying to position the tooner  over a good spot. Cranking down on the oars I give the boat just enough forward momentum to compensate and keep me on the location. Wooosh! I hear a something going in the water directly behind me.

“Oh no.” I say knowing this sound is never a herald of good tidings.
Turn and see my blue milk crate in the water and all of the contents emptied. After some struggle I manage to retrieve the water bottles, life jacket, air pump and tooner gear bag. What was lost was the crate itself, the handle to the cart and the underwater camera that I had purchased last year with some amazing footage. Fishing for me does not come without its struggles, danger and perils.

My name is Matt and I’m a fishaholic.


Gary Thompson said...

Awesome assortment! I've been frantically tying at the vice, having been bitten by the warm water bug this summer. Can't explain it, just tired of trout I suppose.

Jay said...

Despite the struggles and perils, it looks like you had a good day fishing. I don't know about you, but if I lost an underwater camera I would mark the spot and go back with a dive mask.
I would definitely concur that the Green Sunfish looks like a hybrid. Those promiscuous little sunfish are always making mutts.

Bill Trussell said...

One of the largest sunfish I have seen, they have got to be one of the most colorful fish out there. thanks for sharing a great post

Anonymous said...

That is one great looking Sunfish! Yes, they do look like something from somewhere besides Colorado water. I have caught many small ones in Idaho ponds, but, nothing of any size. Sorry to hear about the tough luck with your gear and camera.

Natalie Leung said...

hey cool hobby you have here. I wish i can fish but the most ive done is sit around with a one of those finshin line plastic wheels. epic fails. thank you for the lovely comment :)


Coloradocasters said...

@Gary: Thanks, Gary! I look forward to the summer time patterns and panfish pics on Silk Lines and Paper Hulls…great stuff ova’ there.

@Jay: I am really tough on cameras for some reason and average a new camera every year. The weed bed is very thick on this pond so the aquatic veg swallows everything that goes overboard. Folks should check out your blog, Naturalist’s Angler.

@Bill: Thank you so much. Sunfish are one of my favorite class of species to go after and respect them as much for sport as forage for other fish. Fishing Through Life is one of my favorite blogs by the way.

@Mel: Eh, it was bound to happen sooner or later. It was my own fault for not anchoring the crate down like I normally do. The two pond hop and near summer heat may have blurred my focus. You know that I really dig your new blog setup over at as always Mel…you are the best.

@Natalie: Thanks for stopping by and yes I may be a little obsessive about this whole fishing thing. I recently started following your up and coming fashion blog that I have no doubt will soon be immensely popular. Feel free to follow my insane and slightly boring fishing blog at your leisure.

Apologies for not keeping up with the comments as much as I would like. I place so much focus on the content generation that everything else seems to fall by the wayside. This is something I look to improve on and maybe even do those formaty tweaks I keep talking about.