One Last Time
By: Pat Rodger
A week into November and my thoughts of getting on the ice soon are shattered by mid 60 degree temps. Being a diehard angler I just could not pass up an opportunity like the one presented to me today. I needed to get back on the water one more time. With the big boat already put into hibernation I had to load up my Kayak and off to the lake I go.
I really like this time of year for fishing because most anglers are either done fishing or in the woods hunting. This is also the time of year you can get a good sense of where the fish of your choice will be when the lake does finally freeze up. The Lakes have turned over and the fish have their fed bags on. And boy they did today.
With some early morning obligations I was not able to get on the water until a little after noon. Arriving at my destination I found that there was maybe 6 other boats out on the water. They were all pretty much hovering over the popular point of the lake, I had other plans. A few weeks ago I made this same trip and was successful at gathering up a very nice batch of crappies in less than 3 hours at a less populated area of the lake. With all my gear strapped on to my kayak I shimmed into the water and started paddling away.
After arriving at my destination I turned on the Marcum Lx3 to see if the fish had kept their position from the previous weeks before. And they had. So I thought, because once I was set up to make my first cast they were gone, all of them. To go from showing fish stacked in 18 feet of water all the way up to 12 feet and all the sudden no fish at all told me they were on the move. Fish schooled up on the search for forage. My hunt was on.
The lake I was on is a small 600 acre lake, with the deepest hole being 37 feet. Approximately one third of the lakes basin consists of the average depth of 18 feet. My thoughts were to work that 18 foot deep basin and try to find the schools of fish. With the wind to my back I paddled about 15 minutes and the Marcum just light up. At that moment I had a 1/16 oz white jig head on with a 2” white twisty tail grub tied 12 feet underneath a slip bobber. Within minutes I had my first Crappie on my stringer, but that was it. My confidence jig had just stopped working. Still on top of fish I quickly changed over to a Northland 1/16 oz. pink jig head tipping it with a piece of 1” Berkley Gulp Alive emerald shad minnow.
With my new bait set up it was time to give it a try and down it went. Within seconds my slip
bobber went down and I set the hook. Wow what do I have here this is not a crappie. This fish was pulling drag and thumping as if it were a Walleye. But to my surprise it was a big bull bluegill, measuring out later to be 9.25’’
For the next two hours I focused on stay over these aggressive Bluegills and Crappies. This brought me to my next dilemma; I was not satisfied with the weight of the lure and its speed of decent. To fix this I incorporated a split shot on my line about a foot above my lure. Now when I found myself above a school of fish I was able to catch 3-5 fish instead of 2 fish before the school was no longer in my reach. In my opinion the day turned out to be a successful day totaling 22 crappies and 16 Bluegills, bringing 10 fish home for dinner. One of my favorites, fish burgers
1 Pound fish fillets
1 cup of Bread crumbs (I use the Italian style)
5 green onions chopped
6 table spoons of chopped fresh parsley
2 table spoons of Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
2 eggs scrambled
Boil filleted fish in water softly until firm
Strain fish and let cool
Once the fish is cool and the rest of ingredients and mix well
Allow the mixture to firm up by placing in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Patty into 6 burgers
Place in refrigerator for at least a half hour
Spray a skillet with some cooking spray. (I use Pam with olive oil)
Cook on low medium heat until brown on both sides.
I like to top with Dijon mustard and lettuce between a bun, for a low calorie and fat burger
Get out and enjoy these last days of open water, the fish are aggressively feeding and setting up for first ice.
Until next time, introduce a kid to fishing. He may become a fishing partner for life.