Friday, March 22, 2013

Back in the Game


So this is the first “real” trip out on the water in a while. The winter fishing scene was pitiful due to water levels on most of the areas that I fish during the cold three. Driving by water on my way to work usually makes my casting elbow twitch. This year seeing water levels down so much brought concern and even sadness. I’m used to droughts in Colorado but it is looking more and more obvious that low water is becoming the norm. It wasn’t until the ice started rolling off that I could get excited about casting again.

Conditions for the day would start off cold compared to the spat of near 70-degree weather we received just a day or two before. The air temperature would reach a high of 60-degrees with 40% chance of rain and possibly snow depending on the altitude. Wind was mild at 5mph with occasional gust of 15mph that push my toner around pretty good if it wasn’t anchored. Drop down the fish finder unit to get the temp…”51 degrees? I didn’t expect that. Two or three casts in and the strikes hit the end of the line.

At this point I am throwing fantastic plastics and doing well with the 6” senko in dark colors. Cast out, let it sink and wait for something to pick it off the bottom. If nothing hits, lift the bait off the bottom with a raise of the rod tip. The fish would usually hit on the first or second lift as opposed to the first drop. Bump, bump…set the hook.

Move out of the first cove and start working a long incline section. The plastics did nothing. Don gets a hit on a jog and I make the switch. I pulled out one or two 14’ers and could feel myself getting back into the groove. Move off the incline and into the northeastern cove. Things just started to light up after that. Bigger fish started to attack the bait and action was about every other cast.

Coves were the most productive and on this lake there were three coves that sheltered the lake from the blasting winds with sandy banks that collected warmth. In areas where the water was one degree higher really made a difference. In the most sheltered cove I seem to get small, sporadic bites on the bait. We are talking hit and quit strikes where you feel only the bump and nothing but air when you set the hook. Most of the time in Colorado lakes\ponds small bites mean small bass, perch or something similar. Drop down to smaller bait size and see what happens. In this case I pulled up a crappie.

Smaller bass could be caught near the shallow structure but most of the quality fish were holding in deep water at the base of the incline. The best action came from fishing the bait as slow as possible just above the bottom of the lake. I could have experimented with more colors and presentations but dark color patterns seemed to do the trick.

My name is Matt and I’m a fishaholic.

5 comments:

Team MiRketti said...

Looks like you had a good day of fishing. The water levels are sad right now, even in Kansas and Oklahoma. My main lake is 15 foot low with no usable boat ramps. I'm thinking of buying a smaller boat that I can carry to accomadate to the low water conditions.

Jay said...

Nice Crappie. That's not a fish I would expect to be too common in Colorado.

Howard said...

I was beginning to wonder if you gave up fishing...
I'm very concerned about what the whole landscape is going to be like this summer. Fires are already starting, water restrictions are going into effect. Sad.

Bill Trussell said...

Got to love crappie fishing in early spring---some of the best eating of all the warm water fish. thanks for sharing

bluecollarguy said...

Looks like a great start to the year, i was wondering when we'd see a good post to start the year!

And for Jay there's plenty of crappie in Colorado (in the flatter areas), unfortunately they have a habit of hitching a ride to someone's home in a bucket once they hit 9-10" which makes the bigger ones harder to find...