Going Fishin'

Going Fishin'
Red Sunset

Monday, April 20, 2015

1st Smallmouth Bass of 2015

Darl's First Smallmouth of 2015
Spring of 2015 so far has not been the spring I envisioned all winter long. Usually I'm on the Allegheny by mid-March catching smallmouth bass. But a series of impediments delayed my fishing this year. But I finally got out for a few minutes on Sunday, April 19. Actually I was driving to Oil City to meet my wife for lunch. She was working the weekend at her office to catch up. So I threw in my G.Loomis 721 spinning rod and called Dale Black's cell phone as I headed down the highway. Sure enough, Dale and Chris Wolfgong were fishing on the River - both for their first time this year, too. "Got room for a third in boat," I asked. "Well, my trolling motor batteries are dead and we are fixing to pull out. But if you can be here shortly, I'll wait and we can make a drift or two to see if we can get you that first smallmouth of the season for that Facebook contest you are running."

Pulling into the parking lot, I grabbed my rod and camera case, and headed towards Dale's beached boat, passing Chris on his way to  his car. "We caught most of our fish on tubes today," says Dale. But I had a Galida's Grubz tied on the rod from last fall, and decided it would work just fine. Dale raced the boat upstream about one mile to a shoreline current break where the boat would sit in the slack water. I made my first cast into the Allegheny River of the 2015 to a current seam. I made two turns of the reel and a fish smacked it! Fighting the strong river bass to the side of the boat, we quickly netted it and measured it. It was 17-1/2 inches. "Well, I accomplished what I needed to do," I explain to Dale. "We can leave whenever you want to." Of course Dale had to fish a few minutes longer. In the next 10 minutes, we landed six smallies. Then we headed in.

So with my first cast into the Allegheny, I was able to conclude Darl's First Smallmouth of 2015 Contest. The winner of the bass lure pack is Gail Petersen of Meadville whose guess of 17-1/4 inches was the closest of all contest entries. Go fish!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Long Time Coming

Darl's First Two Crappies of 2015
I finally got out fishing in open water for the first time in 2015. It was a long time coming. There was a storage building cave in that wipe out both my fishing boats in early March,. And there was late-ice out, and the same day it went out I came down with a nasty bout of the flu. Finally recovered, I was ready to fish on April 18 - but no boat ready. So I called my buddy Jim McClave who had just moved to the Pymatuning and was anxious to fish in his boat. So we motored to a nearby cove, and dropped anchor by a couple stumps barely visible in the water. Five minutes and no fish, so we moved to a deadfall on the other side of the bay, and dropped anchor up wind of the tree. Jim was a bit apprehensive about getting snagged in the branches. But I figured the crappies would be in the branches, not outside the tree. On my second cast to the tree, I let the wind carry my bobber and minnow right up to edge of the branches. Fish on! It was a 12-1/2 inch black crappie. From then on it was easy. Cast almost to the branches and then let the wind carry the bobber and bait to the honey pocket. One crappie right after another. And except for the first one, all the others ran between 13 and 14 inches. Jim kept the first dozen crappies for a fish fry, and we released all the others we caught after that. By the way, that first crappie I caught earned Ron Burger a huge lure pack in Darl's First Crappie of 2015 Contest. (Details in a previous post at Going Fishin' blog)
Jim McClave scores with bobber & minnow