Pretty June foliage reflects off the water at my favorite fishing spot.
If you read my blog or know me very well, you know that Mondays are my fishing days. But June has been so busy (mission trip to Chicago, convention in Orlando) that I haven't done much fishing this month. Fortunately, I was able to get away this past Monday morning, and had a memorable trip.
I was raised to be a minnow fisherman. I know how to make my own traps. I know how to catch 'em. I know how to fish 'em. But the last couple years I've kinda been on my high horse with the minnows. Using live bait isn't near as challenging or sporting as using artificial. And so the past couple years I haven't used minnows very much at all. But then something happened... I got sick of not catching fish. So the last couple times out I've fished with minnows, and boy have I had a ball.
This past Monday morning, I went to my favorite fishing spot and the smallmouth were CRUSHING the minnows. You talk about fun! The only problem was that I couldn't keep minnows in the water. It's a good place to fish, but it's a really challenging place to catch minnows. I ended up with about 10 good minnows, and with those 10 minnows I landed two nice size bass, hung a couple more nice ones that spit the hook out, and caught some smaller ones as well. Every minnow I threw out was hammered as soon as it hit the water. When I ran out of minnows, I tied on a little Rebel minnow and just wiggled it on top of the water. Sure enough, they started hitting that too. In fact, I hung a really nice smallie and that's when I heard a "crack"...
I looked down, and the bracket that attached my Zebco 20/30 to my rod had broken. The reel feel into the creek. The water was only about a foot deep so I reached down and picked up the reel. Keep in mind I've got a nice fish still on the line. I ended up getting the fish in by pulling my line in with my bare hands!
If I was smart, at that point I probably would have gone home, but the fish were biting too well. So I found a method of holding the reel in one hand the rod in the other. I managed to catch one perch this way, but just when I was getting used to it, the button on my reel broke off and fell off into the creek! Now I had no way to cast. Again, with the fish biting as they were I couldn't stand to leave, so I pulled off several yards of line, tied it to the end of my rod, and used it like a cane pole. But by this time the sun was getting hot, and I was getting impatient. The trip was over.
If I could have caught some more minnows, and had a working reel, I'm pretty confident I would have left the creek with quite a stringer. As it was, I had to settle for three nice smallmouth (between 12" & 15"), and one chunky goggle-eye. But as nice as it is to catch fish, it still comes in a distant second to spending a quiet summer morning all alone on a beautiful stream. And I reckon the fish will be there next time.