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Noon Hour Shut Outs

Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa

There have been six of them in a row. I have been out for the past two weeks (this is May 25, 2007) and the fish have not cooperated. I have fished a variety of flies at various depths and speeds.

I have been fishing at the same places where I have caught fish before. I will admit that I have seen two fish following the flies and have had a few hits that I did not hook anything on. I did hook one crappie, but it was off almost as quick as it was on the hook, but long enough to see what it was.

I am not the only person who is having difficulty at the lake. I have had several other fishermen stop me at the lake or call me to see if I have been catching fish. I have watched other folks use all sort of artificials and they are not catching anything. There were even two boatloads of folks using minnows and they were not catching anything.

Usually by this time of year the crappie are right up against the shore. Joe Hyde has been here and seen the way they stack in against the shoreline. I have yet to see any crappie that close to shore this year.

Over the six noon hours I have used every one of my favorite crappie flies. In fact I have used more than that. I have tried the boa yarn leeches in a variety of colors. I have used several types of nymphs. I hate to admit it, but I put on "ole reliable" and had no luck.

This just makes me more determined to figure out what to do to catch those fish. I am supposed to have a larger brain than they do. Some of it may be the cold fronts that we keep having come through here. Another thing may be the amount of mud that has been washed in by the rains.

We are not getting the gentle rains, but the "frog stranglers" that dump a couple of inches in an hour or so. Then the wind blows so the water is constantly stirred up. Many times it is blowing from 25 to 30 mph. Not the best of times to be trying to cast into the wind.

I guess I will need to make a fish in and get lessons from our FAOL hosts. They have no idea what a great challenge that would be to them.

I just received a phone call from a fisherman that had been out in a boat. The schools of crappie appear to be suspending from 14 to 18 feet deep over water that is from 20 to 25 feet deep. He had checked several places in the lake and that is true wherever he checked. I am not sure why the crappie are doing that, but is why it is called fishing and not catching.

I will eventually succeed in catching a fish over my lunch hour. Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick

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