One nice thing about working second shift is that I can get up early and hit the water for a few hours before work. Usually Monday mornings are my day to fish during the week since I can get to bed earlier on Sunday nights and yesterday was no different. I was lazy and didn’t load the truck up the night before, and I was kicking myself in the backside when the alarm went off at 4 a.m. Monday morning. I wanted to be on the water to watch the sunrise, so I had to get up and get moving. Once my gear and my Slayer 14.5 was loaded, I grabbed a cup of coffee for the road and was on my way.
As my friends will tell you, I’m a bass fisherman. I’ve spent most, if not all, of my life fishing for largemouth bass. However yesterday was different in that I finally broke away from bass and decided to put some fish in the freezer by targeting bluegill and crappie. Words can’t express how out of character that is for me. To top it off, I was going to troll with some small crankbaits. Again, that’s out of character. I much prefer to cast and I can’t stand using crankbaits. I’ve never had much luck on them, I don’t really know how to fish them and those stupid treble hooks get caught on everything. Nonetheless, I had bought a couple of small Flicker Shads and took a friend’s advice, and trolled all morning with two lines in the water pulling two Flicker Shads. Man, talk about something different.
I had chosen a small, secluded yet public accessible lake more for the scenery than anything else. Surrounded by mostly forests, I knew it would be a beautiful spot to enjoy the morning. I underestimated the mosquito bomber squad at the boat ramp, but I was on the water on time and enjoyed the sun coming up over the trees while I paddled the lake in search of fish for the frying pan.
After about an hour of trolling and watching two guys in a motorboat not catch anything, one of my rods finally bent signaling fish on. I grabbed it out of the rod holder and was reeling in what turned out to be my first crappie of the day when my other rod bent as well. First time catching fish by trolling crankbaits and I had a double! Soon my kayak was a jumbled mess of tangled fishing line, fish slime and treble hooks. Remember what I said about hating crankbaits? Yeah. Still, I couldn’t argue that they worked and I had a crappie and a fat bluegill in the cooler for dinner later.
Another hour produced nothing, even though I trolled the same spot over and over in hopes of picking up more crappie. Finally I had another fish on and it proved to be my second crappie. A 14″ largemouth bass also took the bait ten minutes after that, but he was released unharmed.
Figuring I had 3 fish to clean and still had to get ready for work, I called it a day and headed back to the boat ramp about 9 o’clock. On my way I passed two older gentlemen in a motorboat who were bobber fishing for bluegills. I asked if they had any luck and they said not a bite. When one of them asked me if I had any luck, I simply smiled and said “A little bit.”
Definitely a great morning to be a kayak angler.