Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Back At It - First Fishing Day of 2010

Largemouth Bass - Northeastern Maryland, May 2010
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So between the weather, garden set-up, parenthood, and our various goings-on, it's been hard to find time to get afield over the last 3 weeks (April 15 is a fairly symbolic "spring date" in the Mid-Atlantic because turkey, trout, and striped bass all come into season around that date).
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So I started putting time aside for myself, on my daily calendar (even the weekends) to get afield, whether before work, after dinner, or whatever. I got out a few days ago, just for 90 minutes, to try out my new plan. It went perfectly. It was one of those events that reaffirms that maybe there is some order in the world.
Easy big fella - it's back to the river for you!
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I showed up at a "semi-public" access point near the Delaware/Maryland border, and got the access I needed. The rivers here are still quite fresh in May and early June, and many areas that will soon hold spot, croaker, and blue crabs are currently filled with largemouth bass and bluegills. I had been doing some reading about fishing tactics for rainy days, and tried to apply what I'd learned. Apparently it worked - the last picture in this post shows the result of my first cast, which was a presentation of a horribly ugly gold and fluorescent orange lure (two colors I never use). The big winner for the day, however, was a Bass Pro Shop ("XTS") 1.5" Speed Minnow (a near copy of the Yo-Zuri Pin Minnow) in - get this - black, silver, and blue. I used a similar one (in chartreuse and silver - my colors!) last summer with great success on large sunfish, as well as bass in the 10" - 14" range. The lure floats, twitches, and rattles, what else can I say!
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I caught a number of very large sunfish like this bluegill - they look like some kind of dinosaur!
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This bluegill - featuring some unusual coloration - was also pretty gigantic
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Overall, I caught 8 largemouth bass (2 legal) and about 14 panfish (many over a half-pound) in about 90 minutes. It was great to get on with my day and reflect on some really fun fishing - and know that with a little more free time and a cooler, there would have been bluegill nuggets for everyone! The issue of the site's dubious "public access" (one of my occasional ranting topics) will have to wait for awhile. The last time you may have seen that diatribe quickly evaporate may have been on Tugboatdude's blog last year, when he struck out on an overfished "free" public lake, and then had some great fishing the same day at a nearby "public" site that requires a $10 access fee and $12/hour jonboat rentals.
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Nope. I enjoyed my outing too much to be swayed into the whole "is it a public resource or not?" debate. How about this, instead: I'll just keep thinking about this really fun 90 minutes of fishing....and look forward to the next really fun 90 minutes of fishing?

My first cast of 2010, fish of 2010, and bass of 2010. Lucky strike!

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