Day two found me on the lake just at sunup. With this fantastic sunrise came the promise of another beautiful morning. It would be hard to pay attention to fishing with so many colors to observe in the sky, reflected on the water.
Being the smart-thinking fisherman, I decided to start off where I left off the day before when the bite had shut down. Further thinking that if the trout were really hungry first thing in the morning, it matters not whether you throw a Blue Moon or a Glow Chartreuse plastic bait at them. Putting my favorite bait aside, I slipped on one of the glow baits donated by the kind gentleman from the day before. Hey, I’m always open to trying new things and learning new tricks!
The boat configuration was different this morning, though. There were only half as many, and they were not near the middle of the lake. Instead, they were all trolling very near “my honey hole”, which disturbed me. Did you know that fishermen keep binoculars in their boats so they can see who’s catching what and with what bait? I kid you not!
My inquiring mind began to wonder how many of those guys were spying on me yesterday morning and were today trying to beat me to my spot, except that they weren’t quite sure where it was. (That’s my alter fishing ego being paranoid, okay?)
Not to be outdone, I stopped short of my hot spot and dropped the trolling motor. All the while watching them, I pretended to be tending to my tackle. Hmmm. They were searching and had not found them yet. All I had to do was be patient and wait for them to move on–away from my spot.
They did so in relatively short time, while I snapped a few pics of the sunrise for you all. Trolling slowly toward the spot, I cast with my back toward the other boats, so they would not see me catch anything. Approaching the watermark from the day before, WHAM! The bite was ON!
It is nearly impossible to pull a trout in quietly. Try as you may to reel them in subsurface, the trout insist on rising to the top, shaking their heads, and making their presence and unhappiness known.
The so-called watermark, was actually a crab-trap buoy. Dropping anchor would have made life easier, but it’s also a dead giveaway that one is fishing a productive spot, especially when there is no wind. Therefore, using that 82-pound thrust troller enabled me to hold an optimal position relative to the buoy.
Three men, in a small boat just about 30 yards to the west watched with keen interest as I slung in trout after trout, dropping them on the floor, not wasting time putting them in the cooler while the bite was so fast. Even though they politely kept their distance, they watched intently.
After I had nearly a dozen trout and two reds in the boat, two men in a small boat began trolling toward my area from the east. They had been watching me from afar, fishing with rattle corks. When they got close enough to see that I was not using a cork, they actually stopped and re-rigged their tackle to fish tight-line on the bottom, like I was.
I hoped they knew that there really were enough fish for everyone in this lake, and that they need not crowd anyone. As I watched them, acting like they had never noticed my catching spree, they trolled closer and closer to the imaginary edge of what’s considered acceptable.
Hoping they were seasoned fishermen, I continued to cast into my hot spot giving them a visual of how far they could come without disturbing me. It’s fishermen language. Even though unspoken, it still speaks very loudly. They cast here and there, acting like they didn’t have a care in the world. They trolled closer and closer, and before I could say STOP, they had trolled right over the fish, dispersing the school and shutting down the bite.
The really tormenting part is that they did not catch one fish in so doing. So of what benefit was that? Next time, I might have to muster up the courage to say something like, “Excuse me, gentlemen, feel free to cast just beyond my reach and see what you find.” Maybe they were clueless. Maybe they were rookies.
Even though it’s 2009, is it possible that some fishermen still don’t believe a woman should be on the lake fishing? If so, would they go so far as to do something like troll over a productive area on purpose? I prefer to think not, but I think I’m safe in saying they certainly would not take any tips from her.
Shaking my head in disbelief and disgust, I let them have the spot–now void of fish. I trolled back east to my honey hole from the morning before, which was occupied by a few more men-laden boats. Respecting their space, I waited and watched from a distance. Zero. They caught nothing. So, I trolled on a little further to the east, waiting them out.
It was only about 8:30 a.m. when one by one, they left—one, two, three boats raced back to the landing. No sooner had the last boat left, than I cast my old faithful out there, and ZING! One, two, three more trout in just about that many casts.
I’d like to think I’ve learned a thing or two about fishing. I’d like to think I know what I’m doing. I’d like to think I’m smarter than a fish. I’d like to think that I could always catch like I did this weekend. Truth is, it doesn’t work that way. I’ll never outsmart a fish, or know it all, or always know exactly where to go and what to throw.
But I do know one thing, I sure love the trying and the learning.
Baby, it’s cold outside! When the rain stops, I’m going fishing!