Rick Zieger - Dec 31, 2012

I had a Saturday off, and the need to be on the water was so bad. Bad enough that my better half said to get out of the house. She said that it was worse than the shack nasties. I am sure that you will believe me when I say it was not that bad.

I went to a pond that has some nice crappie in it. I did not fish it last year as it was too wet. There are a couple of flow places to cross that would eat the truck when they are wet but now it was dry enough now to get into the pond. I arrived at the pond and set up my canoe. The lily pads had exploded in number, and they were around most of the pond. The water was down about 2 feet, and several of the lily pads had their feet in mud and not water.

I got out on the water and dropped an anchor. I had a yellow boa yarn fly and a gold Goldie Jr on the two rods. Both flies have worked very well for me on this pond in the past. This pond is very clear. I can see down about six feet with great detail. I can see weeds down to 10 to 12 feet. I hope that the fish will be able to see the flies.

I cast out and let the Goldie Jr. drop. It was down about three feet when I started to retrieve it. I moved it about an inch and stopped. I let it set a few seconds and then moved it again. The fly disappeared. I did a slow one thousand one- one thousand two count and set the hook. I had a nice crappie on the line, and I coul see a few others around it. I got this one in, but the others were turned off. There were no more fish in that area.

I cast about 15 feet to the side and did a slow retrieve again. The fly was almost to the canoe and I could see the crappie coming up to get it. Patience is very hard to have at a time like this. The fish rolled on the fly and I did the slow count again before setting the hook. I get this fish in also, but no more fish in this area.

I cast on the other side of the canoe, and on about the fifth cast I saw the fly disappear. The line did not move, but the fly was gone. I waited a few seconds and set the hook. I did not get this fish to the canoe. I could see that it was a nice crappie that is still swimming in the pond.

I Mmved the canoe and tried again. This time I decided to try the yellow boa yarn fly. This fly was unweighted so it took a long time to drop. It was down about three feet when I saw a crappie roll on it. The rod tip was down before I got done with the count. So I set the hook and had another nice crappie.

I made another cast and slowly worked the fly back. The fly was about 10 feet from the canoe when I saw the crappie coming up behind it. The water was so clear that I could see the fish take the fly in its mouth. I did not try to set the hook as I wondered if the fish had closed its mouth. I was afraid that I might pull the hook out. I moved the rod so the fish was past me before I set the hook. I netted this fish to be sure, and it was a good thing as it was barely lip hooked.

By letting the flies drop and slowly retrieving them I was able to pick up several more fish. I had crappie from about 10 inches up to 15 inches.

I was having great fun. I noticed a few crappie at the top of the tube of my fish net. I started to raise the basket to get them back down and met some resistance. Worked hard to get the basket up and found two snapping turtles with their claws on the side of the basket. It's a good thing that my face is so ugly as they dropped off. I could see that they were down about four feet in the water so I decided to move about 40 feet away and try again. I still had the basket out of the water, and I made a cast and hooked a crappie. One of the turtles was close as I took the fish out of the water.

It was obviously time to leave as the turtles were following me. I did not want to leave the other fish out of the water to catch more, and I did not want to waste them.

I was loading the canoe when I saw one of the turtles come out of the pond.

He was following the path the canoe made. It was time for me to leave. I got the Canoe tied on fast and I was out of there.

I saw the landowner as I was leaving the field, gave him a few fish, and told him about the turtles. He will get them as his grandkids go to this pond.

I ended up with 35 nice crappie, and 20 or so bass that I put back into the water. I also returned several green sunfish as his grandkids like to catch them.

Hope you can get out on the water.

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