Going Fishin'

Going Fishin'
Red Sunset

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Mouse is A Mouse

I spent a very enjoyable Sunday on the Allegheny River with Dale Black and Chris Wolfgong as we concentrated our efforts on some river sections we had not fished before in the spring.  The day was great; catching part was good but not spectacular.  A total of 44 smallmouth came on board for a brief moment before being returned to the water.  The largest was an 18-inch Chris caught late in the day.  Every bass, plus a bonus walleye, came on tubes and 4" Yum Dingers. 

As usual, I begin each fishing trip experimenting with different baits, but it wasn't until I tied on a Yum Green Pumpkin Finesse Tube that I started catching fish.  We had about an equal number of fish come unbuttoned on the way to the boat.  It really didn't matter - we were just having fun. 

Chris is in the habit of checking the mouth of each smallmouth he catches to see what the fish might have chomped before eating his lure.  Looking down the throat of one of his bass, Chris saw something odd - dark and furry.  With a pair of needle nose pliers, he removed a mouse!  I told him that if I recall correctly, Heddon once made a Mouse lure with fuzzy finish at one time.  Now Chris wants to special order several of these discontinued lures!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Best Laid Plans

Every spring I look forward to exceptional fishing during May in NW PA.  Of course there are always a few bad weather days.  But this May we've had unusually nasty weather -- wind, cold, wind, heavy rain, wind.  Did I mention wind?  Since the first of May, I've only logged a couple evenings of fishing between storms.

Regardless of my lack of fishing success, I still need to conduct photo shoots in order to fulfill magazine assignments.  Take for example my BASSIN' assignment on swimming a jig due June 1.  For this story I needed updated photos of FLW Pro Dave Lefebre of Union City, PA, including a hero shot of Dave with a 4 to 5 pound largemouth.  For three weeks, Dave and I tried to set a date to do photos only to have wind and rain wash away the opportunity.  Finally we saw a sunny Sunday in the forecast.

We chose a small inland lake in Erie County that had the type of shoreline cover and weeds that Dave normally attacks with a swimming jig.  The lake selection was perfect for a shot at a BIG bass.  After all, this was the lake where Dave had caught his largest northern bass a few years back - an 8-pound plus monster.  Two years later, I was with him one day when he caught back to back 7 pounders.  And only last week, Dave had a photo shoot with a writer from the Erie paper on this lake; they caught and released twenty some bass from 2.5 to 5 pounds.

This would be a piece of cake.  All we needed was a single big bass for a quick photo.  Dave figured we could wrap it up in short order.  But we hadn't factored in the major cold front that hit on Saturday, dropping the lake's water temperature.

We started about 4:00 PM.  Four  hours later we called it and went to dinner.  Dave had worked his jig magic to land 4 bass from 5 to 10...inches, not pounds!  Fishing shallow and deep, it just wasn't meant to be. But Dave insisted a good photographer should be able to make even a six inch largemouth look like a six pounder...