Monday, September 2, 2013

Anchor Away

I had a lake I wanted to kayak before I had a kayak.  I had been taken to this lake a few years ago by Marty and Patrick from DuPage Angler in the summer for shoreline bass fishing.  We did ok but not great.  The next year I was taken here to fish for crappies.  There are nice crappies here and as I learned VERY nice bonus bass!  

Like most lakes and ponds in the Mid-West the shoreline weeds make it tough to fish from shore during the summer.  Enter the kayak.  Ok, so it was a literary device AND the next thing I did before I started paddling.

I pitched my minnow bucket over the side of the kayak and began to look for a spot past the shoreline weeds to look for crappies.  I anchored my kayak and positioned the anchor line at the rear of the kayak with my homemade anchor trolley.  Satisfied with where my boat was positioned I nose-hooked a minnow 1.5 feet under a float and cast to a spot clear of the weeds.   Soon I was rewarded with crappie.

It wasn't the largest I'd ever caught at this lake but at least the skunk was off.  I could concentrate on fishing now that my boat wasn't drifting across the lake.  In some situations the drift would be welcome but not when I had minnows under floats.

I wanted the minnows to get eaten by hungry crappie but the bass had other ideas.  After catching several small largemouth bass I decided to stop wasting minnows and pull anchor.  Anchor away I started paddling to a new spot.  My effort was rewarded with another crappie.

I used the rest of my minnows and caught more crappie and comparable size largemouth. 

The wind had been light but steadily blowing.  I say had been because it all of a sudden stopped. The surface of over half the lake glassed up and became still.  It was then when bass started rippling the surface eating bugs and minnows.  I quickly got my tackle box out and tied on a large perch patterned Chug Bug topwater plug.

I cast near a surface weed clump and chug-GluG-GLUG-chug-p a u s e-GluG-chug- l o n g e r pa u s e........SMASH!!!!!!

My plug disappeared.   I saw the strike and had the presence of mind to wait and reel my 15# fluorocarbon snugly to my custom spiral-wrapped casting rod.  My Lew's BB1 held tight as the rod bent and I felt the weight of the fish.  Ok, now it's time to set the hook!

Oh, that seemed to tick her off!  The bass leapt into the air shaking her head back and forth to let the trebles loose from her lip.  She hit the water and I got her closer to the kayak when she jumped again, tail walking and shaking her head.  I saw one of the two treble hooks that was attached to lip hanging free.  I didn't want to stick my thumb in the bass' mouth at the angle I had her at because I'd certainly get a treble hook in my hand.  I did the next best thing, I reverse-lipped her; stuck my index finger in the bass' mouth and my thumb under the bottom lip.  I had her!

3.5# on my Boga Grip scale.  I have to say that topwater of any type is cool but topwater on a kayak when you're right down at water level is awesome!!!

Nothing else would come on topwater today but that's ok.  Catching a big bass is enough.  The wind kicked up anyway and I was out of minnows.  Time to rig up the 4" Power Worm finesse rig. I can fish that in my sleep and pick apart areas between the weeds for bass.

I caught several small bass and a nice bluegill.

I pulled my anchor back to the center position on the trolley and hand-over-handed the anchor up from the depths.  Ok, it was really only about seven feet but I'm not used to anchoring the kayak yet and the anchor trolley performed flawlessly.

Several more small bass ate my Power Worm on the drift across the lake to where I had parked. I was ready to go.  The bluebird skies with the big fluffy clouds are pretty to look at but they make fishing stink.  I got some sun, I caught some crappies, I got rid of minnows in a way I hadn't thought to before, and I experienced topwater bassin' in a kayak.  All in all a great morning that started because I wanted to test my anchor trolley.