Saturday, March 31, 2012

It's Getting Warmer.....

Here in 'The Old Dominion", winter has been kind to say the least.  Sure we had a period of sub-freezing temperatures at night but never any extended freezing temperatures during the day.  As a result, old man winter has not reared his ugly head.  When you combine the benign winter with mild to warming temperatures prior to spring arriving that usually means the fishing turns on in spades.  For me, this trend has not coincided with my days off, rather the onset of spring also means more rain which has unfortunately been the case for me.

I have been rather envious of my fellow kayak anglers of late, especially after reading their fishing exploits - the guilty parties know who they are but you know them as Rob Choi, Seth Goodrich, Bill Ragulsky and Justin Mayer.  Combine that with the outings I have been reading by Kayak Kevin and on the various forums about the exciting Tog bite that is on and you have yourself a recipe for some anxious fishing genes itching to get out and get some bites!!!

With the sky-rocketing gas prices, I decided to stay local and hit the neighborhood "sweetwater" and chase some "greenies" - aka Mr. Bucketmouth, the ever popular Largemouth Bass.  The spot I chose is where I previously had an epic day on the water and had landed by kayak best 21" Largemouth.  I knew the air temps for the day would be steady in the morning, so there was no rush to hit the water at first light like a typical summer day where the air temps get hot quick.  So I loaded up mid-morning and headed on over to the pond with a planned launch time of around 9:45am.

I got to the pond on time and loaded the Hobie Revolution 13 up for a planned 4 hour outing.  I took a different approach today and carried out 5 rods in total.  Those that know me know I usually carry 2-3 rods at most, but I wanted to have the greatest amount of flexibility in the short amount of time on the water.  Also, the targeted water is relatively shallow with maximum depths of 11' in one area but is consistently 6-8' and was in a state of transition from winter to spring with a steady warming trend over the last couple of weeks.  Who knows what the bite will be, so it is better to be prepared for varying approaches.  I went out with 5 rods rigged: a jig-n-craw setup, a spinnerbait, a suspending jerkbait, a finesse soft plastic and an ultralight with a small shallow running crankbait.
 I headed to to the southern end thinking that would be the end with the most exposure to the sun already and would most likely have the most active fish for this time of the morning.  I worked the sun-exposed banks with moving presentations first to see if there were any actively feeding bass or pickerel ready to chase.  No takers for the first part of the morning up through lunch time.  I did have an audience throughout the day as the endless turtle population was in force and appeared to be unimpressed with my activities.  I think next time I will remember to bring along my Castalia Bombshell Turtles and give them a go.

I then remembered that this pond is shallow and may have warmed up quicker than normal so I switched tactics and decided to target the shady areas extensively using slower presentations.  I switched over to my finesse rod setup which had a Confidence Baits Floating Bird in Blueberry color paired to the Draggin' Head in 1/4oz.  Hindsight being 20/20, I probably should have opted for the 1/8oz. version to force myself to fish slower.  I think the fish were still somewhat lock jawed and did not show much interest in feeding today.  I managed a total of 3 bites with one Largemouth landed and another that was a "hands-free release" kayak side in the 4 hour outing, but like many outings during a transitional period, the bite can sometimes be difficult to find.

While the outing wasn't a huge success from a numbers perspective, it was still productive from the perspective of having caught a fish, had some bites and enjoyed my time on the water finally.  Looking back on the day, I think the best approach probably would have been to target the sun line where the sun meets the shaded area on this pond, and the bait du jour was definitely small profile slowly worked soft plastics.

My next post will hopefully detail the installation of my latest toy for the kayak - the Lowrance Elite 5 DSI!!  I have the Lowrance Scupper Transducer kit and the Hobie Full Size FishFinder Installation Kit at the house and ready to go.  Now I just need to find a period of 2-3 days where the weather is favorable and won't compromise the cure time on the adhesives I use during installations.

Until next time, tight lines, be safe and remember to take a kid fishing or share some time with a service member.  The rewards and feelings you glean from the experience are priceless!

No comments:

Post a Comment