July 28, 2005

Outdoor Corner

by Chris Feeney

I love to fish. Trust me, if I had to stand next to a rain puddle to get my casts in, Iíd do it. Fortunately, I donít have to do that, as my in-laws have blessed me with what often seems like boundless fishing opportunities at their farm. I am so fortunate to have some of the best fishing around, right at my fingertips.

Of course the old saying goes, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. That definitely can be said about angling. While I know that I have access to more than a dozen of the top bass fisheries in the state, that doesnít stop me from casting a wishful eye at those picturesque ponds that dot our locality.

I never want to take for granted what I have, but I just canít help that desire to try out new fishing spots. Like I said, I know the fishing surely canít be any better, and I already have a 9+ pound bass mounted on my living room wall. I chalk it up to just wanting to see new scenery. That and the adventurous side of the unknown are likely what has me drooling as I pass those cattail lined banks or the island retreats.

I need to thank one of my neighbors for a recent fix in my new-spot habit. He and his daughter allowed my wife and I to tag along to an excellent ďpondĒ out east of town. We were a little navigationally challenged finding the location, but once we arrived it was smooth sailing for our two ships.

It marked the first time I had my little boat in the water, but it was sure worth the wait. I suspect we landed 20 to 30 bass, all healthy and fun fighters. It could have been a total disaster however if I hadnít noticed that the boat plug had broken. The weld on the little arm one turns to lock the plug into place, had broken and caused the arm to fall off. With a little imperfect engineering, the plug was repaired as good as new and we were in the water.

The pond was rather shallow and had lots of moss and several sunken trees to add to the cover. It definitely was a different environment. That made it a challenge, as I was unable to fish my normal holdover lures, such as my favorite, the Mannís Baby -1 shallow diving crankbait.

I switched to a weedless plastic work rig and it paid immediate dividends.

My wife was having even more success with a top-water bait. I call it a scum-frog but they have lots of different names for the plastic lure that floats on top of surface moss. The fish must have loved it, as my partner was catching fish left and right.

The one bad thing about it was we never moved the boat once we dropped anchor that first time. Here we were in this great new lake and we fished one little spot for two hours. I take it back, the other negative was, the fishing was so good that we stayed well past dark so I got to bed awfully late. Okay, I have one more complaint Ė my thumb still hurts, as I rubbed off nearly every speck of skin thanks to all those fish I had to lip and de-hook. I better quit whining or I may talk myself out of going the next time.

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