Fishing - A Game Of Two Halves!
Saturday I was invited to fish with a friend on a private, club-run lake in Lexington, Kentucky. This would be my second go on Lake Ellerslie as we had first wet a line there back in late August.
Don picked me up around 8.00am. Sounds late, I know but the weather forecast had a fresh 32 degrees with fog on the water. We put in and were ready to chase the fish around 8.30 or so and, as cold as it was we were both keen to hook up with some good sized bass.
Twenty minutes in and Don pulled in a warmouth on the edge of some grass. Just three minutes later and the first bass was boated. Just a largemouth around 9" in length taken on a Booyah Alpine Micro Pond spinnerbait, not a keeper but encouraging all the same.
Then it happened! Neither of us could hook up for love nor money. We tried all kinds of baits and lures from tubes and jigs to crankbaits, spinnerbaits and buzzbaits with no reward. The weather was still very cold and misty and the water was pretty still, no baitfish or anything being visible on top.
We followed the contours of the lake trying to find both fish and sunshine. By about 10.00am the warmth of the sun was trying to push through and the mist had been burning off quicker than earlier. Still we struggled to get bit.
Around 10.45 Don hooked into a small dink of a largemouth as we entered a creek arm and our hopes were reignited again. As we approached a downed tree I latched onto my best fish of the day, another largemouth, this one around 15" in length and a very healthy looking specimen. By now it was almost noon and we were both hoping this was the start of something better. We'd been on the water three and a half hours for just four fish at this point.
As we moved to clear out of the creek arm Don switched to his Rat-L-Trap. Two casts and suddenly he had something decent on his line. It was pulling hard and Don and I were hoping for a big fish this time. Surprisingly the fish turned out to be a gorgeous common carp that Don had hooked in the dorsal fin. Weighing in at around three pounds, the colors on the fish were simply beautiful. Not the species that we were looking for though.
The afternoon continued as we pulled in better numbers but no substantial fish. By now the sun was warm as it was probably going to get and the water temp was hovering around 60 degrees. The wind was also picking up as we turned to head back toward the ramp, still throwing into grass and riprap along the way.
I had relegated myself to working a small Rapala jointed minnow while Don was sticking with his tubes in and around the grassline. He had a near miss as a bass attacked then pulled off at the last moment while Don retrieved his lure. Talk about a preview of things to come! Don threw back into the same area and bang ... a good 17" largemouth with a decent girth took the bait. Fired up now Don threw back into the grassline, all this with the sun and the wind to our backs. Bang ... this time Don's lure got hammered by a nice 21" specimen and weighing in at approximately 3 1/2 pounds.
We flipped the boat around and ran the length of the grassline again. Nothing. Not one nibble by a panfish nor a hammering by a hawg. It was like someone had just flipped a switch again. Still, we had encountered a fine end to the day. Indeed, our second half had yielded a total of nineteen fish between us compared to just four in the first four hours of the day.
You could say we had participated in a game of two halves!