Tuesday, March 20, 2012

First Fish Of The Season At Burnt Mills Reservoir!

My Dad and I finally got out on the water yesterday. We went out more to test out everything on the boat than to fish.  I didn't expect to catch anything, it is still early. We just had cabin fever and wanted to get out. It ended up being a good trip in every respect!

I get off work at 2pm and my Dad has Mondays off, so we were on the water by 3pm. This is how we always fish. The few times we have made it out early we haven't caught anything, so the evening is when we usually go.

The boat was not used last year, but it loaded up easily enough. All of the wiring checked out, which is a minor miracle. One of our batteries was dead, as in dead forever, but our main battery was in top shape. Of course, you can't go fishing without forgetting something. I forgot the fish finder, live bait, my hat, and most importantly; the cameras! I was so upset with myself! I've spent several hundred dollars on new camera gear only to leave it at home the first time I go out! Thank goodness for the iPhone and it's quality camera.

On a whim we decided to try a new lake, Burnt Mills Reservoir. It is about 15 minutes closer than the lake we normally frequent. I had read that the new boat ramp there was awful, but the fishing was great!

We have a very small, light Jon boat. It is 12 feet long, 3 feet wide, and does not have a gas motor; all electric. Our boat did fine at the ramp. I can see how some people with larger boats would have difficulties. The ramp is very shallow. You almost have to drive your truck into the lake to get your boat to float off.  Once we started float away from the ramp, we got stuck in some shallows about 20 feet from shore. The water was so murky, we did not see the shallows until it was too late.

Getting stuck in the shallows is par for the course when we go fishing. So is tangles, stumps, snags, and injuries. All of these made an appearance this trip! My dad had an awful time with his line, it has been on the spool for about four years and badly needs replaced. He got a tangle after almost every cast. I got a crankbait snagged on the top beam of a dock and tore up my hand freeing it. The water was very murky. We hit a few stumps without ever seeing them. As bad as this sounds, the day went surprisingly smoothly! Usually the boat almost sinks, or I loose at least $100 in gear. I'm not exaggerating.

I caught fish! The first was my very first chain pickerel!

I'm wearing the glove because the thing was so slippery! I literally could not pick it up. I was using my trout rod, a 7' 6" ultralight with 4 pound test when I caught it. It was a fun fight! My Dad did a great job of netting it. I was using a Rebel Minnow, which is my go-to lure.  Stupidly, I neglected to check my line. I am not used to catching toothy fish and this one damaged my line. The line broke on my next strike.

I went on to catch two very nice bluegill (or whatever they are). I would have eaten them, but the first literally slipped out of my hand into the water a second after Dad took its picture. The fish were especially slippery this trip!

 Yes, they are cheesy pictures. I can't help it, I get excited when I catch a fish, no matter the size or type!

I caught the bluegill on a weird spoon/crankbait thing that I picked up a few years back. It is similar to the Gay Blade, but smaller and not as nice. I doubt they are made anymore or if I will be able to find them again. If I do see them I will buy a handful.

All of the fish I caught had a very light strike, even the pickerel. They were all caught suspended over deep water about 20 feet from the bank. I spoke to a few fishermen and they all said the same think. The fish are screwy this year. They are not where they are supposed to be. One guy was fishing for crappie and caught perch, catfish, bluegill, bass, and pickerel where the crappie should have been. I guess it is a good thing I don't know enough about fishing to target a particular species. I just fish and am happy to catch anything!

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