Friday, May 23, 2014

Blue Ridge Beaver Pond Wakeup

As we prepped for another 500 mile trip to North Carolina, my wife offered a carrot, "I booked us a campsite in Virginia; it has fishing."  That's all I needed to hear.

Spring-fed creeks (though shallow) and a big beaver pond awaited.  I took Hank down to scope it out in the evening and saw fish feeding on the surface.  Good deal.

Got up the next morning before dawn and it was....26 degrees.  What?

The pond was frozen.  Everything was frozen.  I had a long sleeve shirt and a fleece vest...and jeans.  Seriously. So I went back to sleep.  Woke up with the sun around 6:50 and sucked it up...out into the woods.  There was ice around the pond edge but I thought I might be able to pick up a few hungry fish that hadn't filled themselves the evening before.   Several big bluegills responded.  After I caught the first one right at dawn, the battery in both my camera and my cell phone died.

By necessity then, I began lighting up the fish as I followed the sun's path across the pond.  90 minutes of fishing ended with 12 bluegills and 10 largemouth.  No giant fish, in fact none over about 13 inches.  But what a great morning.  I was going to push my luck (hungry wife and son possibly waking up in the cabin), but I tripped on a stump left by a beaver and ripped both knees out of my jeans and of course then fell on my face into some Chinese multiflora rose.  Fishing trip done!

It was awesome to get out, and I can't wait to warmer weather.

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