I forewarned him that fishing this late in the morning, especially after Irene dropped a ton of debris in the pond, could make for a long and boring day on the water. There is just no way to tell until you get out there and try your luck. Well, I loaded up the kayak and packed some frozen waters, his medium combo and a couple of my light rod combos along with his panfish tackle tray I put together for him and headed for the pond.
We saw a couple fishing off of a pier and another gent in a jon boat making all sorts of racket and not catching a thing on the far shoreline. I told my son that we would start over on the quieter side for now and see what we could find. After about 15 minutes, my son is the first to land a fish, albeit a small bluegill.....
I told him to keep casting ahead of us next to the lily pads and the docks and wait for the strikes. He was getting a little impatient and didn't want to heed my instructions of slowing down his retrieve. He put his rod down after about a half hour and said he was just going to let me fish today and he would take pictures.......twist my arm why don't you!!! So, I started off with my ultralight spinning combo and landed one pretty quickly....
I kept working the shoreline looking for any pockets of shade next to lily pads, overhanging trees or docks. The pattern seemed to be a slow retrieve, almost too slow but every time I doubted that technique a fish strike followed in short order.
You can see the lily pads offer some escape from the sun, but there are still plenty of pockets to work a non-weedless lure like the beetle spin I was throwing at them today. I quickly learned after losing 3 gills, a chain pickerel and a chunk of a bass that my combo was not the best outfit for the day. The rod has almost no backbone and is difficult to get a good hook set. My son quickly volunteered his combo telling me that all the fish I would catch would be his fish, since it was his rod and reel.......you gotta love the thought process of a 6 year old.
The wind started picking up making it difficult to maintain position back in the cove of lily pads, so I paddled over to the over flow drain and started working the shoreline pretty rigorously. A few casts after this approach landed me the best bass of the day - a chunky little 14" with lovely coloring.
I reassured him that the white one would catch fish. I showed him where to cast and started a slow retrieve that was greeted by a prompt thump. I saw the fish flash in the water, but he spit the lure and swam away. I reeled it back in and recast to the same spot, only this time I was able to set the hook. End result - a nice little black crappie.
All in all a great day on the water with my son even though he lost interest pretty quickly due to the apparent lack of a bite. I tried to remind him that some days are better than others. We caught the same amount of fish as we had the previous trip, only this time the shoe was on the other foot so to speak. Final tally: 24-1 in my favor but I didn't make mention of it. At least he enjoyed taking photos, but now it looks like I need to invest in a camera float with wrist strap and a waterproof camera quickly!!!