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August 5, 2011 / flogginwater

Better Than The Neck Basket

Had a great day today with my wife at the lake – weather was a few degrees cooler than yesterday, there weren’t quite as many splash & giggle types out, and it was just nice to get away alone with her.

We got a later start to the day than we’d planned – we were on the water at about noon-thirty. Today was the trial run for my new prototype boat seat – one I’d made with an oak frame and hand woven paracord seat. In the driveway Wednesday night (when I finished work on it) it was steady and comfortable and did fine. Crawling into the boat today, the front cross member snapped like a twig. The seat could handle my weight, when it was evenly distributed. When I made the mistake of focusing all my weight on one point – it snapped. It wasn’t a killer for the day – the way I’d woven the rope, it actually still stayed together. We plugged on, I fished a bit while Kay paddled, then we’d stop and anchor and fish (well, I’d fish – Kay didn’t pick up a rod today, she was just enjoying the sun and the water and the peace).

I started the day tossing a 3″ wacky rigged Yamamoto Senko (red, metal flake) on a 1/0 heavy Mustad live bait hook, with no other weight. Got some good strikes, caught a couple decent sized yellow perch, missed a couple strikes that felt very bass-like – then it happened. I hooked up with a BIG fish – it started immediately taking line, then made a run at and under the boat, bending my poor little Celilo light rod (the 7’6″ – my original, and favorite one of the bunch) into a U shape. I brought the fish to hand and was happy as a pig in a wallow to see it was a largemouth bass about 15 inches long. I asked Kay to dig the camera out and get a shot. “I don’t have it.” She says. “What? You brought it, I saw you pack it.” “It’s in my back pack.” Which was in the car. Half a mile behind us. No fish pix today! Ohwell, I was happy to catch the fish, and just as happily released him. A few more missed strikes, and we continued working the shoreline. I had a destination in mind, and wanted to get there. We did stop a few more times, so I could work some very fishy looking spots. Had a few more bumps, missed fish, and had a fish on that spit the lure. Then we made it to some flooded timber, thick enough I didn’t really feel great about tossing the little senko with only 6lb line. I grabbed my baitcasting setup – the rod Kay’s father had given me – one of the ones that belonged to her brother. I tied on a white and green spinner bait (twin Colorado blades) and began crashing it through the timber and rolling it right above the weed and tree tops. It didn’t take long and BAM – another good fish, this one fought harder – and my smile grew bigger with every head shake. Then it went airborne – and airborne again. It was no use – my spinner bait’s hook was firmly planted in his upper lip. Another fat 15 inch fish, with a deep belly.

I fished the timber some more – without another bump. We paddled on, reaching the creek inlet where I’d ended the previous day – where I’d caught the smallmouth bass, and watched the men in float tubes slay the fish. Not a bump – but I did see a few fish follow (without attacking) my spinner bait. The senko produced zip. No more fish more me today!

We had lunch on the gravel bar there, and began heading back for the car. As we moved from the creek into the lake, I made another cast – only this one with disastrous results. I had hooked my spinning rod with the spinner bait’s giant hook on my back cast, and on the foreward cast, I launched my spin rod into the lake. I said a few choice words, and we got the canoe stopped and started backing up. I could see my rod sinking slowly into the depths. Then miracle of miracles, I saw it settle on the bottom, and realized the bottom wasn’t as far away as I thought. I tried grabbing for it. I managed to further break my seat in the process, and soak my arm to the arm pit -without reaching the rod. Okay, so it was still pretty deep. I reached down with my paddle, and managed to just get it under the rod’s shaft and ease it vertically, and Kay grabbed the tip. Seemed we were in 5 feet or so of water (7’6″ rod, only about 2 feet were sticking up out of the water when I got it up). I would’ve been heart broken had I lost that rod forever. The incident did put a little bit of a damper on my spirits, and made me way more cautious with future casts.

After leaving the creek arm, I stowed my rod and we headed back at full steam.

I retrieved the camera from the car, and snapped a few pictures – so the day wouldn’t be entirely picture-less.

A BIG thanks to Cameron from The Fiberglass Manifesto for the decals he sent. They do look damn good on my rig 🙂

And it prettied-up the canoe also

I wasn’t quite ready to call it a day – so we drove around the lake and did a little hiking, and I did a little fruitless bank fishing. I did find an interesting tree:

With a wood nymph living inside it, which I managed to coax out and capture on (digita)l film:

It was a pretty good day, despite my best efforts to ruin it. Can’t wait to do it again, and I don’t think I’m going to write off Hagg quite yet – I might not be getting pannies anymore, but the bass are getting more active – or at least more willing to eat! Till next time.

One Comment

  1. Cofisher / Aug 5 2011 11:49

    Leave to a guy to try and ruin a perfect outing. Ha! Nice post and it sounds good to me.

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