Do you love big bluegill?
Was able to get out today and do some exploring. I mainly was wanting to check water conditions for the river and ponds at my local park. Mainly the river but after I got to the pond and realized the water was low the river was completely off my mind. I was also out looking for some early garter snakes coming out to enjoy the sun. There were a lot of people there including maintenance workers, which was not good. I've fished the ponds for about 3 years, not very much but last summer when I realized the amount of fish in the pond I started fishing it more often, along with other locals I would run into now and then. I told a friend about the pond and he started fishing it religiously since it is near both of our houses. Well apparently the city did not like that because by the time summer was over there were no fishing signs planted in every corner. So now I have to keep a low profile when I fish it. When I got there I scanned the water in a small cove like area that normally holds some big bluegill. I seen what looked like fish...or leaves...on the surface but I really couldn't tell. I went around the corner and found a nice rock to sit on to rig my rod up while I tried to decide what to use...well all I brought was my jig box so my choices were quite limited. I started off with a black jig and tied on some 5x fly tippet material, once I made myself apparent to the leaves/fish they made it apparent that they were fish. They slowly disappeared like submarines, I made a few casts and manage to scare almost all of them. My jig got hung on a branch so I just let it sit there and hang. I had a few small what looked to be either perch or crappie take swings at it but nothing solid. I could tell most of them were smaller fish but there were a few larger ones that stayed on the edge of the small school. I decided to let them be, I walked to the other side where a small creek comes into the pond, always holds fish but I only casted out once or twice mainly because there were a lot of people on that side. I came back around and my fish were back, I made a few more casts and only managed to scare them off again. I continued to blindly cast hoping that a few would find my jig in the murky water with no luck. I thought I saw a fish next to a lily pad and so I figured I would try for it. I switched to a size 18 hook and a small piece of artificial maggot (Lucky I had dropped that in my jig box) with a bobber. Casting a 1/32 jig is not easy with some 12lb line and a medium action rod. (Only setup I had with me.) Anyway, on my first cast I slowly retrieved it, I noticed what looked like a bronze flash underwater, then looked back at my bobber to see it taking off. I set the hook and it was on. This fish managed to get tangled on every lily pad stem he could find but I eventually got him in...he was very scrappy.
Right there I was happy, one fish does it for me! Nothing big but feisty, a quick picture and release made my day.
So I continued on, I found a rather large garter who wanted nothing to do with me and after wresting in bushes trying to get him he found a way around me. This park has two ponds, one large one where the water is collected then pumped up to the head of this "creek" which is more like a trickle of water they pump to keep the water circulating, and a smaller pond that the creek goes into and out of then back into the big pond. Anyway, I headed up to the smaller pond and right off the bat I see a nice bluegill enjoying the sun. I just sat and watched him as I put my rod back together, some people walked by and I looked back and he was gone. Then out of the corner of my eye I notice a big fish swimming my way...Now this pond is so small that during the summer you can pretty much see every fish depending on the algae, and from fishing it last summer I know there was about 3-4 bass, about 10 panfish and one unknown salmonid species. (Me and my friend transplanted a few panfish from the big pond to the little one.) But this whole entire area floods badly each winter and the river, and both ponds become one giant pool of muddy water for a few months. Well as the fish swam around more I realized it was not a bass but a carp. I would guess 5-8lbs. Pretty dang big for the size of the pond.
The picture is not the best but you can see the fish in the middle, and it gives you a good idea of how big this pond is.
I just sat and admired him swimming around, haven't really seen many of these before. As I was admiring him and walking around looking for more fish I noticed the bluegill swimming along and I figured I would make a cast to him. I put it about 2 inches infront of him and he darted for it, not what I was expecting considering the other fish were very spooky. He inhaled my jig and it was fish on, although the first one was scrappy this guy really put up a fight!
After that I went back to admiring the carp...I had tied on my 5x tippet material which I had originally thought was like 2lb test (Turned out to be like 4) thinking there is no way it would hold against that carp but as he came closer I couldn't resist the urge to cast to him. He didn't dart as much as the bluegill did but circled the area the jig had landed like he was looking for it. So I let out another cast...this time he rushed over to it...well about this time I was thinking "oh crap what have I done!" and I wanted to get my jig out of there because I didn't want to break off and lose my jig. Well when I reeled up all the sudden I felt a stop and the carp flipped out....The fight only lasted about 3 seconds (thankfully) and when I reeled up this is what I saw....
After that I decided to head back home, I spotted a nice bass on my way out but decided not to chase. Hopefully if the weather continues to be nice they will all be plenty hungry. Next time I am going to go full out and bring my fly rod and try to catch that carp! He's stuck in there so if it takes all summer I will get it! All in all it was a great day to relax and get some sun in...hoping it is a sign of what is to come. My other main fishing pond had some bluegill and bass active as well so I'm praying crappie will be next. I got a new pack that is totally killer, I found out that if you have a pack that holds a rifle it also works really well for holding fishing rods too!
So yea that was my day...sorry for such a long read I just wanted to share.
Tight lines everyone!
Sounds like a fun place to be on a sunny day, nice write up.
Definitely is, thanks Johnny. If only I could get rid of those pesky no fishing signs. :P