Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Luck of the Chi-rish

I'm not Irish.  I'm pretty sure there aren't any or many Irish parts in my background but as a European-mutt there may be some real Irish hiding in my DNA, but for yesterday's St. Patrick's Day fishing I'll call my luck Chi-rish!

Saturday's fishing was to be a crappie tour.  Dan and I were rigged up ready to find 'em and catch 'em.  The problem was nobody told the crappies!

Several spots yielded some small and inconsistently spaced out fish but no solid bite could be found.  One thing I did notice from the first spot to the last we fished were fish breaking the surface farther away than I could cast.  These were bass slamming baitfish near the surface.  

After hours of no fish for me I decided to switch up my presentation and back-hook a bass-minnow; a trick I learned from the In-Fisherman Ice Fishing TV Show.  The bass-minnow isn't really a juvenile bass, but more the proper sized minnow for targeting bass with live bait.

I quote from the In-Fisherman website:     

My patience was growing thinner with each bass that jumped and flopped after bait fish.  I decided I was going to reel in my spinning gear and go get my baitcaster from the car.  I wanted to ditch the plans for catching crappies and target the fish breaking the surface.  

I reeled my ultra-light rod in, pulled the waxies off my hook and got it ready for storage.  Next I turned my attention to my 7 foot spinning rod.  I picked the rod up off the ground and smirked at the Thill float that hadn't moved.  I'd show it!  I'd reel it in and stow it just like I did the ultra-light.  One problem though.  At the exact moment I started reeling in my line got heavy and began pulling back.  I set my hook and worked the fish to shore.

I avoided being skunked by less than an hour and did so in grand-scale!  This is my largest bass to date largemouth or smallmouth.  With a 17.25" length and 11" girth she's just shy of three pounds according to the forumula below.  Using a different formula she's three and a quarter pounds.  I'm just glad she found my minnow!

Weight =

This formula is the most accurate "overall" for largemouth bass under 14 pounds in weight.

Until the rivers slow down and I can chase smallmouth bass again big-girls like this one will help fill in the catching-gap nicely!  After this photo-shoot the largemouth star of the afternoon was gently placed back in the water, revived, and released to eat, reproduce, and grow bigger!