Slow Numbers Day
November 26, 2011
Sam, Hassan & Dave were with me today, for one more kick at the can! They wanted to get out again before the weather put them into a hibernation mode, longing for the spring thaw. We hit the water at the crack of 9 and were fishing soon after! Winds were non existent and the air temps were actually quite warm at about 50 degrees. This would not last however as the forecast called for a drop in temp with an oncoming north wind a little later. Water temps were 41.5 to 43, depending on where we were and the fish were really lethargic. So much so that on the first drift through an excellent area, no one hooked a thing. I made a couple of blind casts on the second pass and landed about 8 pounds of bass, signifying that they were definitely here! If they were to catch anything today, they were going to have to slow down and really pay attention. The bites weren’t aggressive and some of them wouldn’t even feel like a bite at all today! In frustration, I decided to move from here and try casting other area in hopes of them having better luck at hookups. Dave was the newbie in the group and ironically, he was doing better than the other two. In fact, he managed to get the first decent bass over 4 pounds landed and followed it up with another soon after. Eventually, Sam & his brother joined in and they all had the skunk out! Just when everyone was really enjoying this warm fall day, the wind picked up and the temps began to fall. In only a short time, they had gone from no jackets to bundling up with hoods. Fortunately the fish hadn’t felt the sting and were still biting, somewhat! It was difficult at best for them to detect hits and I had to inform them to slow down more and really pay attention to their baits. I’m not really sure just how many fish they missed today but I think it was about 75% of their takes. These fish were going to have to commit suicide in order for them to hook up and I wasn’t going to let that happen. It seemed like every time I made an example cast, I got bit and landed a fish. I think it was after the fifth or sixth bass that they finally caught on and began to slow down to the speed they needed. In fact, several of the bass caught were from dead sticking the jigs on the bottom! It was from this point on that the fish started coming aboard and the numbers finally started to rise. Dave even hooked into something that had us all wondering, as line began peeling off the reel. I actually had to follow the fish as it was going everywhere! After several minutes of battling the unknown, we finally saw that it was a sturgeon. It may not have been a large one but it was his first and one heck of a battle. Once landed, we took a few pics and released this prehistoric animal back to the water unharmed. They all went back to fishing and as we slid along a deeper edge, they began to hook up regularly. I’m not sure if they had caught on or if the fish just became a little more active, but something was working! Several more nice bass and even a walleye were taken from here before we shifted to another area further away. Sam had managed to land one bass that may have topped the scales over five pounds along with many others slightly smaller. In fact, everyone had caught fish from this small loaded section before we moved. They were all feeling the chill in the air, but Sam was feeling it the most. Thankfully, he was catching bass and not thinking about the cold as much from this new area! All three of them had multiple chances at fish but only caught a small percent of their actual hits. Somewhere around 2:30 there was talk of pulling the plug, but they managed to hold out a little longer before throwing in the towel. The cold had set in and they were done! In less than 6 hours of fishing, they had all managed to catch their fair share and ended the season on a high. Although today had the potential of an incredible day numbers wise, monopolizing on all the takers wasn’t in their favor. Fortunately however, they did catch a bunch and that’s all that counts! Today would make the long cold winter ahead a little less miserable. Only four more months before open water and springtime fishing, I hope!!