Rick's fishing season is over until the ice melts,
but we have a nice stash of articles he has written
in the past as ideas or events occured to him. We hope
this will explain apparent 'out of season' articles.
I was out at the lake late this afternoon.
No patients were scheduled and the crappie
have started to come in. I thought it would
be more fun to catch a few crappie than to
sit in the office and try to do something to
When I got out to the lake there was one other
person fishing on the far jetty. I decided to
fish the jetty by the parking lot and see what
would happen. I tied on a Bead Body Minnow and
I had caught about a dozen crappie, measuring
about 8.5", when I felt a different hit. When I
got the fish in it was a 6" walleye. This was a
surprise. The only reason I can think of that a
walleye would be in this shallow of water would
be to eat the spawn of the crappie. I ended up
catching 4 more walleye about the same size. I
decided to move from that spot and change flies.
I tied on a Streamer Nymph with a bead head and
started casting. I was doing a slow steady retrieve.
The fly was down about 2 feet from the surface and
I could see the fish strike at the fly.
I will not tell you how many times I rushed the
setting of the hook. I did catch several fish
before the bite started to slow. Being somewhat
curious to see if a different retrieve would
start the fish again, I started and strip and
pause retrieve. The crappie loved this and
smacked the fly very hard. I caught about twice
as many with this retrieve as I had before.
I decided that it was time to move and went to
the other side of the jetty. I know that about
ten feet from the shore there is a drop off that
goes from about 3 to 6 feet of water. I cast out
along that and was retrieving the fly. I felt a
tap and then a heavy weight. I thought I had hooked
a log or a piece of concrete slab. I could not move
the fly. I was getting ready to go around the shore
to see if I could dislodge the fly when the line
started to move.
I knew that I would have to be careful. I had some
5X tippet material on and would not be able to
horse the fish. I let the fish take line and when
the fish stopped I would try to retrieve a little
of the line. We did this tug of war for about 15
minutes before I got my first glimpse of the fish.
I had tied into a huge bass for this part of the
country. She decided to swim off again so I let her.
I had about 10 minutes where she did not take
any line, but I could not gain any line. Finally
I started to gain some line. Now my thoughts were
beginning to think about how I was going to land
this fish. I did not have a net with me and was
afraid to try to lip her, for fear of breaking
the leader in the thrashing at that time. I knew
this was going to be a problem as I could see the
fish every once in a while as she moved up to the
surface and then went back down.
Then the good thing happened. A truck with a boat
pulled in to the parking lot. He was going to head
out onto the lake to do some fishing. When he saw
me fighting the fish he came over to see what was
going on. When he saw the fish for the first time
he ran to his boat to get his net.
About 35 minutes after I felt the strike I got
the bass in close enough that he could reach
out and net her. I reached in and took the hook
out of her jaw. It came out fairly easily.
His net was one of those that weighs the fish
while it is in the net. She turned out to be 8
lbs 4 oz. This is a new personal best for bass
for me. It beats my old record by almost 1.5 lbs.
By this time a few other folks were there. One
guy said that he wanted the fish and tried to
take the net from the man who owned it. He shoved
the guy away and handed the net to me. I turned
the net over enough that the bass could get out
and swim away. I felt that it was the very best
thing that I could do. I then stowed my rod and
headed back to the office. Anything else for the
day would be anticlimactic.
Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick Zieger