Friday, November 5, 2010

Fishing at the Prison

Looks fishy...right? Small pond in the Severn River's headwaters
Fall is upon us. The change of the leaves has been less than spectacular due to the June - September drought. Final preparations are being made at the farm for the beginning of goose season (now 15 days away). Plans are being made for family pictures to be inserted in Christmas cards. Thanksgiving plans are finalized (well, mostly). The leaves need to be raked. It's autumn. Wish I could actually get outside.....

Our family's schedule has been tossed for a loop because Hank has come down with a pretty magnificent stomach flu. We are now more than 24 hours past the last of the Toddler Barfs, but he's not real happy. And sometimes, as I've mentioned before , you just have to take advantage of any scrap of free time you can get. So, I ran over to a pond I've been meaning to fish for 5 years. In fact, I've been driving past it to work nearly every day for 5 years. I haven't fished it for one major reason - it is 100% covered by lily pads and other vegetation from about May 1 to October 1, every year. Hmmm...the water's awful fertile..... and nobody ever seems to fish there....

Well, this spot happens to be downstream of the local prison's wastewater filter. Yum. And that is another minor reason I haven't fished it! But as my long-time readers may recall, I ain't afraid to fish at a prison. Plus, it's on County property, and there are no "NO" signs (trespassing, fishing, or even the ubiquitous "no parking both ways as far as the eye can see" sign employed as a catch-all throughout Maryland..bastards). So that's kind of public. Let's go fishing!

The habitat, from a structural standpoint, was of much higher quality than the spots I tried in the Gunpowder River recently. There are a variety of floating and emergent aquatic vegetation stands, beaver-killed stumps, and tons of logs. Good stuff. From a water quality standpoint, it doesn't seem much nastier than the Gunpowder, which is sad. It was a little cloudy, but certainly seemed like reasonable fish habitat nonetheless - click on the picture above!

Unfortunately, this 20 minute adventure was a total bust. I didn't see a single baitfish. Didn't see any gamefish of any variety, and I nearly lost a bunch of tackle in the dying vegetation and exposed stumps. I have a feeling that if I would have spent an hour or two there, and if I was more focused on technique than the very real risk of a quickly-elevating confrontation with the prison warden, state police, or local cops, I might have caught a big fish or two.

I'll save it for next time. I found a nearby fully legal parking spot that will allow me to fish down in the weeds without a giant bullseye (my truck) sitting up on the hill, alerting the entire world to my presence. I'll catch a big fish there. Just you wait.

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