Sunday, September 25, 2011

Actually caught some fish at Busse

Busse in the rain

It was (last) Sunday, it was raining, and I was cooking: beans, chickpea curry, baking bread. That's what I usually do after fishing; make the food I'm going to eat the rest of the week. Otherwise I just end up eating Jimmy John's or Flaco's Tacos everyday. Which isn't so bad. But I like cooking!

I had cooked everything on my agenda. I looked out the window to see the light rain. I remembered the most successful day I'd ever had fishing- in terms of catching bass- was at Busse on a similar day. The phrase "It doesn't rain on fish, just fishermen" popped into my head. 

My understanding wife said I should go, so I did!

In a matter of short minutes, I was standing on the rocks at Busse, the rain jacket my father in  law gave me shielding me from the rain, casting a black spinnerbait. I saw two other fishermen: one was using lures, the other one had nightcrawlers under a bobber and was standing there watching under an umbrella. The latter angler was in the spot I wanted to be in!

Oh well. I fished on the rocks anyway. I lost the spinner, so I tied on another one. I moved down the coast, eventually working the shoreline close to my ideal spot. Not a hit, didn't see any baitfish, nothing.

I've probably fished Busse more than any body of water, and it has skunked me more times than I'd like to share. But I've also had some really good days there; one night I caught the biggest bass I'd ever caught, in shallow water, on a very similar black spinnerbait.

I kept moving down the coast, hoping to entice some fish to bite. Wearing my new boots, I felt confident in my hiking ability- I continued down the coast, stepping in the water to avoid trees, ducking under foliage. I came to a spot that has always produced at least one bass for me. It's hidden and out of the way, and I don't think many people fish it. There is a log in the water on a rocky shoreline that quickly slopes down to deep water. There are plenty of little bluegills there. Is that a textbook bass location?

First cast, I retrieve parallel to the log, slowly, and get stuck on some weeds. I let the lure drop a little, trying to unhook it, and then SPLASH! A nice sized LMB bursts out of the water, throwing the hook. My spinnerbait falls back on the shore with its characteristic jangling sound.

Lil' 'gill
Turns out that was the only bass I would catch there. I used the spinnerbait for a while to no avail. I tried my black fury that had worked so well recently, but nothing. I saw a white grub on a tiny jighead high in the trees, as if somebody tried to cast and got hung up. I tied on a similar, but smaller grub.

A few minutes later I felt a tap, and I pulled out a bluegill! At this point I'd been casting for an hour or two- hard to tell- and I was incredibly thankful to see this little guy. It was a dinky dink- I probably should get chastised for even posting a picture of such a tiny fish... But I caught it, fair and square.

I returned it to the water, and tried unsuccessfully to pull out some more for the next half hour. Tied on the black spinnerbait again, to no avail.

I decided to call it a day- the rain wasn't uncomfortable, if anything I liked the constant sound of raindrops and the lack of crowds. The temperature was nice and comfortable, I was perfectly temperate inside the rain jacket. Walking back toward my car, I noticed the guy was gone from "my" spot. What the heck, I thought, and I walked over there and stood in the spot.

I cast toward the dam, the spinner landing not even 6 inches from the rocks. Worried about hanging up on the veritable lure-graveyard under the surface, I quickly tugged on my rod to get the spinner up. It wouldn't come up, because it was hooked to a fish!

There were splashes, but I couldn't see what I had hooked... I reeled in quickly, the fish passively coming toward me like a largemouth-bass-colored pile of weeds. I got it out of the water, and ecstatically took a picture of the two of us together.

My sunday trophy!
Full disclosure, I know it's a small fish. Not really something worth bragging about, let alone posting about. But it was a great outing, especially at a place that has been so difficult in the past.

I hopped in the car and headed home, ready to do some more cooking.

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