Myself, Ryan, and Brian with my 18" Largemouth
Ryan (age 7 or so here) fishes the Pond
Though we've been separated for long droughts at a time, all of us have managed to keep in contact with one another and stay close friends. And for the first time in many years, all of us boys are once again in our home town for the time being. What else would we do in our spare time this summer but fish? Unfortunately the pond we grew up loving had a major die off event a year or two ago, likely due to eutrophication. Small fish seem to be present in the pond, but I'll come back to that at the end of this post. Because of the loss of fish at the pond, we've spent most of our summer pond hopping around the area. One of the first nights that we went fishing this summer brought Ryan and I to this beautiful spot. The water here is deep, clear, and loaded with aquatic vegetation, making it an ideal haunt for bass and northern pike. We only managed to catch a few decent pike on this evening, but it was enjoyable nonetheless.
Northern Pike caught on a Rapala Shad Rap
One pond has been particularly productive. Its deep, clear, and has lots of aquatic vegetation and baitfish. Early on in the summer, the topwater bite around sunset was particularly spectacular. We had many nights of landing twenty or more bass each at this pond, including some hawgs. Arbogast Jitterbugs, Heddon Zara Spooks, and various buzzbaits were particularly effective. We've also had lots of success on a single bladed, black Strike King Night Spinnerbait. These spinnerbaits are large (9/16 oz) and make a lot of vibration, so a long, stout rod is a must. We've had the most success by slow rolling these large spinnerbaits in deep water just after dark.
Another interesting side note regarding fishing this summer has been a lure company that I've long heard bass fishermen rave about, but have never tried myself. The manufacturer in question is Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits and their best selling soft plastic, the senko. The senko is essentially a straight plastic worm that lacks a twisty tail or have much action at all. However, the bait does fall horizontally in the water with a slight wiggle that seems to get the attention of nearby bass. You can fish it weighted or unweighted and rig it however you want. I prefer to rig it wacky with a weedless hook and fish it really slow. The proof is in the pudding when it comes to this lure, and I've caught some of my biggest bass this summer on the Yamamoto senko.
Small Largemouth with a mouth full of Senko
4 pound Largemouth caught on my first cast on this evening
Big Largemouth caught in deep water on a Senko
And finally to close, what's happened with the pond down the street? After the total collapse of the fish population there a few years ago, some fish have hung on and begun to make a comeback. The pond is loaded with lily pads and the water is murky, but there's still some decent fish there. We've caught some decent fish in the 14-15" range throughout the summer, but nothing to write home about. That was until one particular evening when Ryan caught this absolute pig on a Rebel Pop-R.
Ryan's 3+ pound largemouth from The Pond
For us, its exciting to see that this place we spent so much of our summer months as kids fishing is making a comeback. I hope to take my own kids to this place some day so that they can enjoy the great fishing just down the street that I did. That's all for now. Until next time, remember, a bad day fishing beats a good day working!