I have had the sense all year that fishing was better than ever, but it was hard to confirm. After 18 straight days of rain, we have had to deal with 10-20 knots of wind nearly every night. The guides were telling me that they have never seen so many fish on the western shore as this year. Guys in their 40's were telling me that this was as good as they have ever experienced. Hell, even Capt. Karl posted a few videos, on his personal Facebook page, of several "over 35" fish he landed while just messing around with light tackle. I did have a few good nights by my standards, but nothing like that. He told me he has run into several trophy sized schools slamming baitfish on the surface and picking up 40 inch fish on plugs.
Well that all changed the last 2 nights. I can now say with certainty that fishing is very very good right now. Monday night was a near perfect topwater night. It was chilly enough that I wore my cool weather gear, an old pair of UA sweats and a sweet pullover my daughter Liz gave me for my b-day. It was breezy when I left the dock, but as the sun began to set, it became dead calm. Low tide was 6:30 and I was surprised when the boat began to swing not long after 7. With the tide shift came the slams. It was non stop action until I pulled anchor after 9. The biggest was a 26 that tail slapped literally 10 feet from the boat. Dabs was returning from fishing an area near the radio towers and had a similar experience with over 30's in ten feet of water, October fishing in June...SWEET.
I texted Katie and Danny that it would be worth their while to join me last night, so as we headed out into a mirror image of the night before. I was a bit concerned that things would not be active until closer to 8 as a result of the later low tide (now 7:30), but we were not disappointed. We had barely set anchor and the action began. Again, it was non stop until the DNR boarded us as the sun set (A story for another chapter). We did not break the 22 barrier, but lots of spectacular blow ups. Lost our last red and white Popa Dogg, but the "greenback" color filled in beautifully. For now, I am sticking with my theory about the red looking like flared gills. "Best night ever" as Danny likes to say and I concur.
|Biggest of the night at 22 inches on a Popa
|26 from Monday on Popa
|Crushing it with a Zara Spook