Game On

Spring certainly has slapped us in the face this week. The back of my car is full with fishing gear again, the garage is a mess of buckets and nets. Surprisingly enough I’ve yet to really do much in the way of actual carp fishing. I’ve been baiting a few spots on the weedy lake and as of yesterday saw the first signs of active fish. Finding time to fish has been a challenge but hey ho nothing new here right? It’s the curse of the fisher person, born to fish forced to work. In fact, even writing a post has been challenging and I’ve been working on this one during meetings when I should probably have been paying attention. (I think this one was something about enabling RepWebview for prod support)

These small pockets of time have been filled with quick adventures, fishing for various species and I will even admit that I have enjoyed it. Don’t get me wrong, I love my pond tuna. If they sold pond tuna bed sheets I would have them. However, it can be refreshing to cast a lure or fly instead of sitting behind alarms. Of course, I’m always keeping my eyes peeled for carp. I recall one morning a couple of years ago on the Blackstone, I was trotting a mackerel tail along the river hoping to pick up one of the pike that reside there. Lo and behold what did I see except a few mirrors leaping majestically out of the river. It was a long walk back to where I saw them the next morning but I ended up catching a few fish from that spot.

I’ve had one real carp session this week, a blank on the weedy lake. In spite of the dry net, I do have a few fishing stories to tell you about. It was my kiwi friend who first coined the phrase “Pond Tuna” to me. It was a time when I deeply resented my job and found myself fishing later and later into the morning so it became obvious that my tardiness was linked to my fishing. The phrase “Pond Tuna” rung true to me seeing as the carp I was catching in ponds throughout RI were big and powerful like a tuna and for those of us who pursue them feverishly, they are extremely valuable. It crossed my mind however that a pond tuna could really be any of the many freshwater fish that inhabit our lakes and rivers and well…ponds. An angler can have one species of fish that they value above the others, a big bass, a big pickerel, even a big bluegill can be as special as an elusive tuna. Me being me, I can’t resist some multi-species action when I have an hour or so to spare.

With an hour to kill between work and home I caught my first ever trout on a fly this week. I acquired a fly rod last year and I couldn’t help stopping by a little fly fishing only, trout stocked pond. There were trout all over the place, anglers too. Despite my terrible casting skills, I managed to present the fly well enough for at least one fish to be fooled. It wasn’t big and I didn’t catch any more but that one fish was very special. At some point in my life I’d like to catch a carp “on the fly” as well. I ran into someone this weekend who told me a story about hooking a carp on a fly rod on accident and it eventually spooled him! What a thrill! More fly fishing must happen this year.

Something else I like to do when I have just an hour or so to fish is to fish under a float. I absolutely love float fishing, especially in rivers and little streams. So there I was, trundling up and down the canal dropping a few maggots under a float on a size 14 hook as I went. The perch were finicky that morning, just pecking at the maggots but not committing. In times like this a more sensitive float is the ticket. I am big fan of the thin Thill floats and I don’t understand why people insist of fishing with red and white bobbers. Tradition I guess. Anyway, on one occasion the float drifted under the wooden bridge I stood on when out from the shadows lunged a biggish silver fish after 2 maggots. It was a sizeable bass, completely out of place in the canal. The fish was on for about 10 seconds before that hook pulled. To be honest, I wasn’t even that disappointed that I didn’t land it. The mere fact that it came after such a tiny little bait was enough entertainment to make the morning worthwhile. I carried on fishing and as the sun moved higher in the sky, the perch started taking worms over maggots. A few cast in, the bass was back! This time the fish seemed to be hooked decently. It fought well, dashing under some sunken tree branches at one point, miraculously it did not get itself all tangled up. Finally, I coerced it under the bridge where I lipped it and pulled it out of the water ala Bill Dance. I did not have any scales on me but If I had to guess it was over 2 pounds. I had accidentally caught a new PB bass and I wouldn’t have wanted to catch it any other way.

Still getting over this one

Well that is it for now. Spring is upon us and I plan to bask in all its glory. Game On!