One More Day Out
December 1, 2011
Just when I thought it was over for the year, Darren calls and wants to go back out! We hooked up at the boat ramp before 9:00 and readied for the chilly morning run. The forecast called for a high of just above freezing but it definitely wasn’t there yet! In fact, if it weren’t for the sunshine, the 28 degree temps would have been bone numbing. A lack of wind also made it feel a whole lot warmer as we raced to our first area to fish. It didn’t take long before we realized why we were here, as a chunky 3.5 pound smallie came aboard. I hadn’t been on the water since the previous week and was surprised to find the water temps about the same. A 44 degree surface water temperature had these fish somewhat active and we were about to take advantage. I was on a quest for big fish and decided that a run & gun approach was to be the game plan. We would try to hit as many areas as we could today and hold a little longer on the ones that produced quality bites. After Darren landed a few more 3 pounders, we were off to our next spot in pursuit of heaviness! Water temps were a little cooler here with 41.5 and I knew the active ones, wouldn’t be many. Although we managed to get a few, they weren’t the large ones I had hoped for and shortly after, we were on the move again. Similar results were had at the next couple of stops and we just kept searching for bigger & better. Once I found a little warmer water, we located some bigger fish. A four pounder was the first to get landed and one over 5 pounds soon followed. I thought we had hit the mother load but soon realized that we had caught the only two eaters in the area. It was a fine line today between running & gunning and fishing slow enough to take advantage of the biters from each area. Our sunshine had been blocked by a heavy cloud bank early in the morning and air temps were feeling much colder. Ice was gathering on the guides and constant cleaning was necessary. The high percentage plan was soon adjusted to a finesse approach and a major slow down. We returned to a couple of areas that had produced earlier and changed our presentations to increase hookups. This was obviously the right decision and many other fish were landed with this technique. Fish of all sizes were now falling victim and the action was picking up nicely. In one particular refined area, Darren must have landed close to 10 fish in as many casts! They were definitely here and we were going to milk it before relocating again. Eventually the bite slowed to a crawl and I was forced to shift in search of others nearby. We picked at them, but not to my satisfaction and another move was necessary. One final stop before calling it a day and we managed to get them pretty good, once again! I think there was a bunch of fish in this small area as we both landed and lost several more. I’m sure we could have stayed longer and picked at the bass until dark, but the cold air had us rethinking this option. We had managed to cheat Mother Nature into December and wanted to end on a high. It’s not too often that fishing this late occurs and we were both content to throw in the towel. Plenty of fish were caught, including a dinner walleye for Darren today and we were done. A long term look at our future weather tells me that this may not be the last time the boat gets wet. I think I will be back next week to fight again!!