Welcome to Panfish!

The Uninvited

Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa

I loaded my canoe and gear and headed out to a pond on Saturday morning. I had received a phone call that this pond was going to be pumped way down and that several people would be fishing it over the next week or two. This is a pond that I had not had access to for a few years, so I decided to try it.

When I got out to it, I saw why it was going to be drained. About half the pond was lily pads. These pads were very thick and had a lot of other vegetation in with them. One advantage with this might be that the water is kept clean. I could see down about eight feet below my canoe.

I know that there are bluegills, crappie and bass in this pond. I tied on a Marabou Miss and started casting. I was looking for crappie. I started by retrieving the fly near the surface and continued to let it drop a little deeper each time I retrieved it. When I got it down about five feet I would see flashes around it every once in a while but still no fish. At this point I slowed the retrieve down to almost a standstill.

This is when I began to catch a few fish. With this very slow, almost a standstill, retrieve they would take the fly in. I would have to wait until they would turn or do something else before I would know that they were on the line. It was still fun to catch them, especially after a week or near 100 degree temperatures.

At this time another vehicle showed up with a small boat on it. This guy got all his stuff ready and launched out into the pond. He had watched me catch a few fish as he was getting ready.

The next thing I knew he pulled in front of me. This meant that I could not cast where I had been casting.

Wanting to keep my cool, I moved to another spot. I told him that he could have that spot. As soon as I caught a fish he moved to block me from that spot. I asked him what he was doing? His reply was that he wanted to catch fish and he could do it wherever he wanted on the pond. I asked if he realized that he was being discourteous? He told me "where to go and what to do with myself when I got there."

I moved again and he followed me. I then went to the one side of the pond and let the wind slowly move me across the pond. I cast in a random fashion and caught a few more fish. At this point he pulled up about three feet to the side of me and stayed there. This meant that I could only cast to the side. I still caught fish as he was getting nothing.

As I was going down the pond, I was casting into depressions in the weed line and between the lily pads, wherever there was an opening. I was catching a few fish from each opening. At this point he decided to move his boat right over the edge of the weeds.

I yelled at him to stop or he would hit the stumps that were in the weeds. He told me to "shut up." He knew what he was doing. I had already started paddling for the shore when he high centered on a stump. This stump is in about five feet of water and has two to three feet of mud under that.

The owner wants to dredge the mud out of the pond, to increase its capacity. He will then water some cattle from it.

I was on the shore and starting to load my canoe when the boater yelled at me. He wanted me to bring the canoe out and pull him off the stump. I told him that I would not be able to do that as he had run onto the stump with a trolling motor. Also that he had not listened to me and now he could take care of it himself.

I loaded the last of my stuff and left, with him still sitting out in the pond. I did call the land owner and told him that this guy was in trouble on the pond. I also told him what had happened before that. He said that he would go check it out.

After I had cleaned the fish and taken a shower the landowner called me. He said they finally got the boat off the stump with a tractor. It also made a hole in the boat. He said that he got about the same story from this fellow. He was uninvited from the pond.

I was mad enough at the other boater that I would not help him. I do have trouble with poor behavior when I am out fishing. That is why I try to fish a lot of small ponds where other folks are not likely to show up.

It was fun catching the fish, but not a real fun day on the water. Hope you can get out on the water, and have a better day. ~ Rick ziegeria@grm.net

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