Thursday, April 21, 2011

Fish have a memory....or do they?

This isn't a new post. In fact, this fishing trip happened over 2.5 years ago...but for some reason, I just got around to posting it.

It was a boring day at work, late August of 2009. Alyse wasn't working yet and Griffin was "relatively" easy to keep up with, being only a few months old. So, nothing better on a hot August day than frog fishing. I don't have to talk about my love for frog fishing any more than I already have.....

So, we headed to Humphrey lake. The summer pool at Humphrey lake is very small. I estimate that summer pool is about 4 feet lower than winter pool. With the addition of moss/grass (to be referred to from now on as "Somp" courtesy of Aubree), fish become grouped into tight clusters, mostly under the somp. This makes them easy pickins' for froggin'.

I usually swap between Spro, Snag Proof, and a hand full of solid belly frogs. I use the Snag Proof and Spro on thick matted vegetation because you can make them give the action you want. However, the Spro doesn't compress as easy, which requires a bit more finesse. However, they last longer than the Snag Proofs, which tear up very easy because they do compress. On this day, I stuck to the Snag Proofs. In these pictures, you can see two different color combinations. One is a black with freckles. The other is Shamu:

I also like Tweety:
Weird combinations, I know! But they flat catch fish!

I use the solid plastics for dispersed grass, utilizing their own kicking motion. I use the Ribbit bullfrog a good bit, as opposed to the Yums. I LIKE the Yums because they are cheap and are the perfect size, but if they are left in the heat, the legs loose their paddling ability. Conversely, the two toned Bullfrogs delaminate because of the two different pours associated with making two colors. I KNOW this, because I have similar problems with my baits.

I started out fishing the banks, casting to any spot of somp bigger than 6 inches in diameter. Fish, if they were under the somp, would instinctively NAIL the frog. I picked up a few fish by bank beating:

Nothing big, but it makes life fun. On this last picture, I was talking on the phone with the frog dangling just inches off the bank when this fish knocked it. I didn't even have to reel, I just swung it over. There is NOTHING like the thrill of a savage frog bite!

Of course, the greatest disappointment is missing fish on the frog. When something it weather, appetite, whatever....the fish will still hit it, but "slap" at it. Sometimes just swirling on the frog, other times knocking it clear out of the water.

I was on the far side of the lake, casting to the same group of stick ups, surrounded by somp, and the same fish kept hitting....and missing. I could tell it was a good fish, which just made it worse! 2,3, even 4 casts in a row, the fish would hit it and not hook up. I noticed that the hits were coming right when I was jerking the bait off of a pause. So, I cast it out, jerked it a few times, then "dead sticked" the frog....AKA, let it sit.

The fish crushed it. I mean, just obliterated it! So fast, I couldn't tell how big it was. Being on an Ultra heavy rod with braided line, I couldn't tell by the fight how big it was that way, either. As you can see from the pictures above, the water is covered with somp, so I didn't get a good look until I beached the fish.

It was so big, Aubree was terrified of it! My wife can attest that I jumped around like a little girl when I saw this fish! I screamed and screamed like I was a 12 year old at a Justin Beiber concert!

After a plethora of pictures, I released her back in the wild. With the spirit of adventure, suddenly Aubree wanted to go with me.

however, at this point I had fished all the areas I could get to by foot. So I loaded her in the little flat bottom boat and paddled us out. It had been about 15 minutes since I had released the beast, I didn't think anything I could do could own up to that...especially in such a small lake.

On the first cast....

That's right. Not only was it the same size...the same bait....the same place....It was the SAME FISH! How does a fish THAT old get THAT dumb? I guess it isn't true what they say. Apparently they don't learn!