Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Forgot the bass bag-caught fish on the rebound

Air temp: Low-56, High 94 degrees
Water temp: 75 degrees (guestimated)
Water Clarity: medium algae stain\visibility fair\poor
Wind: Calm most of the day, gusts averaged 10-15mph

This has not been my best year to be sure. The fact I have shown up a few times at the water with less than everything intended doesn’t help. One time I forgot my tooner frame, one time I forgot the wagon and on this trip I show up without the friggen tackle bag. Definitely something this Mattsabasser will never live down. Tell Don what happened and he just laughs then opens up his tackle bag.

Sort through the assortment and realize there is nothing quite like having your favorites. Nothing he has seems to match what I like to throw. Thankfully in the very corner of the bag my eyes spot the grubs. The same ones used on a lot of my combos and also fished plain Jane weighted or even weightless. A skirted jig was still tied on from the last trip so the knot was doubled up and I threw for all it was worth. This would be a great story if that were how things actually happened. That is the story I want to tell you. Unfortunately I didn’t find the grubs until asking about them a few hours later. I spent the first few hours struggling with colors completely foreign to me. Once I got my hands on the grubs it was all over. It was like a whole new game and I started slamming fish on a rebound situation.

The first fish was a brute and came from a patch of wood structure. The same wood structure that Don “killed it” on early in the AM. At least he saved me one sturdy bucket mouth bass. The trick was swimming the jig over the top of the structure to avoid a snag. Definitely risky business running a heavy bait through a clump of fallen trees. The tackle bag has three of these and with a backup or two I would have been able to do more of a bump and run retrieve. Having only one jig my game was going to be a little more finesse and a lot more fear.

Weed through a couple of dinks and then hook into another sturdy bucket. This time I was casting at a flat clump of moss anchored between the middle of the lake and the shoreline. Heavy baits can attract a lot of attention from filamentous algae and I consider this to be the Achilles Heal of this lure type. Not having to deal with wood or rocks in this section means things could be a lot worse. Practically every cast required a cleaning of the lure by the time it came back.

The last sturdy bucket came off of the cattails. One cast to the edge and wham! A large boil hits the water surface and the dance is on. My hand cups the drag as I literally bully the fish away from the cattails and into open water. Let the fish run a few seconds and then guide it to the hand. The colors were extremely dark green and sported a slight mark from a previous catch. Twice in one week means that a few folks are willing to toss a big fish back in hopes of keeping the sport of bass fishing alive.  That is all a Mattsabasser can ask for.

Some key points of the day were: Determination, structure fishing and confidence. When all three of these elements are on fire…I could fish a mud puddle with a cheese sandwich and catch fish. Don also gets a huge amount of appreciation for saving my bacon with some gear. I didn’t need much but it was all the difference in the world.

My name is Matt and I’m a fishaholic.


bluecollarguy said...

Looks like a pretty good day on the water even without your regular tackle Matt. I haven't quite pulled the "hmm forgot the bag" but i have forgotten something new i've just purchased and wanted to try once or twice before which is a little bit of an annoyance!

Ricky Anderson said...

Looks like you caught some awesome fish in spite of your disadvantage.

For me using unfamiliar baits from a friend, or even deliberately bringing just one or two kinds of baits, can be a huge learning tool. Having limited tackle on hand forces me to "play" with them to figure out what works best with that bait in various situations. This kind of fishing can only improve my skills and lead to more fish brought to hand.

Dar said...

You make me so hungry to get back in the boat...but the gardens have me 'tied' at the moment.
I love that you practice CPR, catch, photo, release. It does the larger fish population wonders.
Great day on the open waters for you. That makes me happy but envious.
BlessYa now, go wet a line