Without giving away too many secrets, early season is always good for shallow water (less than 15 feet) fishing for lake trout, salmon, steel head and brown trout. The water temperatures away from shore are undesirable for most fish, so they seek out the warmer waters near shore. Also, the bait fish hang out closer to shore, so it gives the big sport fish a two-fold reason to be there.
Yesterday morning, I was trolling in the shallows before the birds welcomed the sun over the horizon. See my video of the foggy moon and birds chirping here: Moon through trees with birds chirping.
It was a nice, cool morning – full moon setting, sunrising, calm and peaceful. A great day and a great way to spend the day.
Maybe I had too much coffee, but just when nature was calling (isn’t that the way it always goes?) my port side planer board started to get pulled back violently. There was no question about it, I had to literally “drop what I was doing” (err… holding) and grab my Ugly Stick that was bending from the pull of a large fish.
After tightening my drag, (I always troll with a loose drag) I realized this fish was pulling too hard to horse him in against the 2.5 mph trolling speed. With this boat, my 19 foot Harbercraft, I troll with 2 motors – one a bow mounted, gps controlled Rhodan that I use for speed control and steering and a stern mounted, 6 hp four stroke for more thrust, and to keep my batteries charged.
In order to reduce the water drag on the spoon-hooked fish, I slowed both motors to a crawl. As I fought the unknown species at the end of my line, 132 feet behind the boat in 9 feet of water, I was thankful for the technology steering the boat leaving me with one less thing to manage. Again, wishing not to give away my location, I would/could have run the boat ashore, if not for the gps control while I concentrated my focus on Mr. FISH.
After several “peels on line” and the clock ticking away (there was a family appointment thing that I agreed to) I finally got Mr. FISH close enough to entertain the thought of netting him. When I saw his size, just below the surface, only 2 feet from the boat, I could see there was only one barb just barely holding on the edge of his jaw. With the net in my left hand, and the 7 foot rod in the other, I almost got him close enough to slip the net under him, but he took off. Pulling drag and going under the boat, he was threatening to wrap around the motor, but I got him to the side again, close enough to net (if I had a fishing partner, but did I mention I was alone?), then he pulled away again.
“This boy has got to be played out by now,” I thought to myself, and he was coming close again… just 1 more foot… and maybe I pulled too hard for that last foot, I don’t know, but he flipped his tail and was free! Lost him! A Brown Trout.
I just smiled and thanked him for a good fight – he made my day. I’d get up ANY day at 4 am for a fight like that.
By the way, I caught a 19 inch small mouth bass that was a lot of fun too. Let’s go fishing some more!