It took me longer than it should have to get the chickens back in their coop tonight. While I rushed through chores and brought my grateful horses into their dry stalls, the chickens delighted in splashing through the puddles and took no notice of the water dropping on their heads. In fact, they ignored when I first went out and even with a big bowl of treats, it took some coaxing.
While the chickens were dismayed to end their outdoors time early, I found myself thankful for the rain that has given me time to sit in front of the computer. I’ve been wanting to blog about all the fun fishy adventures we’ve had lately, and now is the perfect opportunity.
Bass opener for Zone 16 was on June 27th this year and it marked the beginning of my summer vacation (Darrell still had to work the following Monday before he was off). We timed vacation to coincide with the opening of bass season, so we were obviously excited to hit the lake Saturday morning in search of all the beautiful smallies we had been watching since ice-out. We weren’t the only ones eager to get there, as witnessed by the several other boat trailers in the parking lot.
Darrell was parking the truck while I started my normal routine of driving the boat to the pick-up spot, a routine that was interrupted by the sight of three nice smallies swimming under the boat. I grabbed the first rod I could get my hands on and took a few casts, but they had already seen me and they weren’t coming back. I went over to pick-up Darrell and it took him only a couple of casts to get a fish to the boat – a nice pike that came out of heavy weed cover. We had a good laugh about continuing with the toothy critters, then headed off in search of bass.
Since there were other boats working some of our regular spots, we decided to fish some frequently overlooked areas. While we use most techniques across the species barrier, it felt great to be throwing a wacky-rigged worm for bass once again. It’s a simple but effective technique, one that Darrell is far more skilled with than I am. When I got tired of snagging weeds with the wacky I would switch up to a spinnerbait, chatterbait, or crankbait. I prefer to power fish more than finesse – I have a short attention span.
The first bass of opener chose a rather opportune moment to be caught. Another boat was going by and slowed down to ask, “How’s the fishing?” I opened my mouth to reply but was cut off by Darrell’s, “There you are!” followed by a hookset. He lifted the pretty smallmouth bass into the boat and we all started laughing. It’s not often you can answer a question in that fashion.
Despite that bass, the day really ended up being about the pike. We saw plenty of bass swim by, but the toothy critters were the ones wanting to bite. I missed a rather large pike that came out of the shadows of a boat house, chasing my orange and black spinnerbait all the way to the boat and hanging around for a few seconds before disappearing to the dark depths.
With the wind blowing and the clouds growing more ominous by the minute, we decided to head back to the launch before rain came. However, Darrell couldn’t let us just go by the weed patch he caught the first pike out of without a few casts to other one he had seen in there. I rolled my eyes but cast out the spinnerbait anyway and it wasn’t long before I felt the smash and saw water spraying everywhere and a pike flying out of the water. I reeled, she swam away, I reeled, she swam away. It was awesome! After I got her to the boat I may have actually yelled, “Screw the bass!”. It’s always an adrenaline rush to play with a nice fish.
So our bass opener didn’t feature many bass, but it kicked off an incredible week of on-the-water adventures.