Rough day today on the water, but it was my first trip of the year where I wasn't under any time limit windows. I had originally planned to hit a major reservoir, but when the winds combined with the water temps were not favorable for my planned attack, I opted to stay local at a neighborhood pond. Less time driving = more time to fish. When I launched, the winds were blowing about 5-10, air temps were in the high 40's and the sun was already creeping through the clouds. Water temps were in the low 50's on the shady side of the pond, but the sunny side crept into the 58 degree range by the time I had to pack it in the for the day.
I started by attacking the various submerged brush piles and lay downs with a PTL Texas Rig Jig and a Siebert Outdoors Zenith Jig and PTL Craw D'oeuvre. Didn't get a single hit in two hours, so I switched gears to a new spinnerbait I have been wanting to try but no luck either. Then again, it could have been the right bait with the windy conditions, surface chop and murky water, but a big ole snapping turtle that was every bit of 30" in length ended that approach pretty quickly with a quick snap at the spinnerbait as it passed him and severed the line. I was more than ticked off at this one, because it was my only one.
Oh well, those are the breaks. I tied on a Confidence Baits Draggin Head and a PTL Sick Stick and figured a different bait profile might be the ticket. I went back and worked the same cover again for a couple more hours to now avail save for that dang snapping turtle a second time. Only this time he was hooked directly behind his head in the shell. As I reeled him closer, he remained docile until I touched the top of his shell with the rod tip to try and dislodge the hook point. His head spun around quickly and snapped at my rod. I pulled it back just in time to avoid losing a rod tip and only losing a bait.
At this point, I was at a loss for what lure or approach to use, since I took the minimalist approach today and only had the jig box and some soft plastics. That is until I realized I had left one of my rods in the car rigged with a square bill crankbait. Ureka!!!! I beached the PA14 and made a bee line for the van long enough to grab the rod and make my way back to those shallow cover locations mentioned before. The pond is only 5.5' at it's deepest point and is mostly a flat 3-4' pond with very little structure changes. Almost all of the cover is right next to the banks where the drop off goes from 1' to 4' pretty quickly.
I made my way over to a corner of the pond that had some surface activity of a fish chasing something. I fired off a cast to the corner of a lay down and started the retrieve when I felt the line go dead and the crankbait stopped moving. A quick side sweep hook set and fish on!! Finally - after two more hours of hard cranking, I landed my first and only fish of the day....a thin 17" Largemouth Bass.
One thing I can say is that my new custom handle from HawgTech really came in handy today. Cranking for three straight hours is tiring work, but the lightweight handle on my reel made it so much easier. I never felt tired or even thought about it the entire time I was slinging the squarebill. Awesome handle guys - top notch! I'll be ordering a few more soon!!
Until next time - tight lines!!