Have Kayak, Will Fish Part II

20 05 2012

Next July my family, girlfriend and I are planning a long weekend camping trip to Harrisville Michigan. Since my siblings are kind of novices at this tent camping stuff I suggested a trial run campout at Sterling State Park. Of course I had an ulterior motive, I wanted to go take the kayak out again and fish the Lagoon at the park. Last year I did pretty well on the Largemouth Bass and I was hoping that it would repeat. In this case though history did not repeat itself.
Normally any time I go camping it is a safe bet that it is going to rain. This weekend was the exact opposite, clear skies and sunshine. As a matter of fact it has been awhile since we have received any rain. Because of this the water levels are down on the Detroit River and Lake Eire and the SSP Lagoon was no exception. The other thing that changed from my last time here was that the water was very clear. Normally that is no big deal but the low clear water seemed to make the fish skittish and they would scatter as I paddled up on them. Another surprise was all the minnows that were chasing insects on the surface. I thought they were small panfish at first but to my surprise it was minnows, by the thousands. That bothered me, with all this baitfish I really wondered just how responsive the bass would be. After about 30 minutes I found out that they were going to be difficult. I started off with my usual tube baits but they didn’t produce this time around. I switched over to some spinners and then cranks but still nothing. After about an hour I gave up and decided to come back out again after dinner. Besides, I was close to the Bass Pro Shop south of Toledo Ohio and I wanted to stop in.
After a dining on bacon wrapped barbecued walleye and a pineapple upside down cake that I baked in my Dutch oven I launched my kayak once again. Kelly came by for moral support and to enjoy the cool evening air. I fished the west side of the lagoon first and still nothing. I pitched my tube bait up around a few blow downs and some reeds but still no fish. The sun was starting to set so we made our way back to camp. I decided to make a few final casts by the fishing pier when I finally hooked into my only fish for the weekend. He smacked a white tube bait as I was twitching back towards the surface. A quick picture and he was back on his way. No Skunk this day.

Another entry for the Season Long Challenge

The next morning my sister-in-law Karen wanted to go try out her new custom fishing rod I had made up for her. She is taking this whole being a Schaller thing to heart and wants to learn how to fish. At first she wanted my Dad to teach her because he isn’t as species specific as I am…..she’s starting to come around. A pack of wax worms (purchased at Bass Pro), a small teardrop, one slip bobber and she was ready to go. Things were slow at first but I spotted a group of bluegills in the shallows and soon Karen was bringing them in left and right. She ended up catching about 30 bluegills in various sizes from a couple of inches up to about 8 inches in length. Didn’t matter, she was having fun and all she had to do was reel them in. I did everything else. In a couple of years I will get to teach her daughter Katie how to do this. I can’t wait; teaching kids to fish is one of the great joys in life for a devoted fisherman. I know my Father and Grandfather did.

One of the smaller ones

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