We opted to try a new place to fish this weekend rather than go to my favorite spot, Spednic Lake. It would be nice to keep a couple of fish for suppers. Steve decided on Grand Falls flowage in Baileyville (Woodland). He fished there once in a tournament with Dad many years ago. It was new to me.
The boat landing is great. It’s clean and well maintained. The ramp runs into deep water so the boat is easy to unload. I was able to walk the dock while holding the rope rather than walking into the water as I’ve done at other ramps we’ve used this year. There’s plenty of room to turn a truck and trailer around, and enough room to park several vehicles and trailers. The porta potty was as remarkable as one can be; clean and tidy. That’s important when you’re in a populated area, have been drinking water to stay hydrated on a hot day, and confined to a boat.
Not knowing the flowage makes moving around a challenge. We know there are a lot of deadheads from the days of moving logs to the mill. Those that stick out of the water aren’t a problem. It’s the ones you don’t see hanging out under the surface waiting to ding the prop or maybe even taken out the lower unit that post the problem. We were in no rush. It was cooler on the water than here at home thanks to a nice breeze. A boat full of happy, waving passengers flew past us. “They know a hell of a lot more about this place than we do,” Steve commented.
We didn’t have to go far from the landing to find a spot that looked like a great place to fish. I switched from my trusty Rapala X-raps lure to a yellow, weedless frog. Weedless is the way to go when you want to cast into or past the weeds and fish through. I was impressed with the frog. It “crawled” across the lily pads and through the grass, easily. It did get hung up a couple of times but a strong tug pulled it out.
My first couple of casts provided nothing but a chance to get used to this heavy lure. I’m accustomed to treble hooks. The two big hooks come up over the back of the frog would take some getting used to. I thought I set the hook on the first strike but didn’t. I pulled it out of the fish’s mouth. This was going to take patience and a bit of control on my part. I’d have to resist the urge to jerk quickly.
A few casts later I felt another strike, waited, watched the second strike, waited, wiggled the frog, and was rewarded. I set the hook and reeled in a respectable pickerel. “This one’s for you,” I said, swinging the tip of my pole to Steve. Both hooks were embedded far back in the fish’s upper lip. Pickerel have teeth. As far as I’m concerned, they might as well be piranhas. I don’t stick my thumb in their mouths. After watching Steve, and as long as my hand fits around the fish well enough to hold it securely, I’m sure I can remove the lure and let it go on my own.
It got quiet for a while. We moved around deadheads, cast into the weeds, followed drop off, tossed lures under leaning trees, and cast into deep water. Steve fished the bottom, I stayed on the surface, and nothing happened. I switched back to the X-rap, made a few casts and hooked a ten or eleven inch bass. Steve caught one at the same time, about the same size. We let them go; you can’t keep smallies on the flowage. That was it for me. Steve caught one more bass, another small one.