When Publix built their store on the corner of Jeff and HW53, they setup a land trust complete with two fairy large ponds. I had heard they were stocked and upon inspection last year, saw that indeed there were small bass and other pan fish. Since bass only grow a pound a year, I didn't want to wait for 2-3 years to catch fish of decent size. So, I did what most fishermen do....I brought home some good fish from both Wheeler and Guntersville and stocked it myself. I didn't expect that to pay dividends....maybe even ever. At least not for me. But maybe the gene pool would get deeper. Maybe someone would catch the biggest bass of their life. After all, not every body has access to a boat or can afford to fish.
Well, I had been over there a few times. After all, it's only about 10 minutes from my house and about 2 minutes from my parents. First few times I went over there with the kids, no luck. Well, that kind of defeats the purpose, doesn't it. I am trying to get my kids some successful trips so they can learn. Other than a few good photos, the first trips were kinda boring.:
A few weeks back, my mom wanted to go fishing and she wanted us to come. So, we met her over there. I asked my friend TJ if he wanted to come, and he agreed. we showed up and went to it. But, no bites. I was throwing everything I had at them without luck.
TJ, however, finally found some fish on the deep section of the lake on a lizard. Nothing big, but at least we had something to show the kids.
A little aside here, but this year, as you either know from reading, or can witness by the LACK of posts so far this year, has been tough. It could be bad luck, could be that I don't pick the good days, but PERSONALLY, I think it's because I am geting to confident (head strong) in my methods....namely, power fishing. Until a month ago, I didn't even have a spinning rod. I never throw plastics. So, starting at the Logan-Martin tourny last month, I decided that I would make a serious effort this year to re-learn finesse fishing...which is what I grew up doing.
So, on Saturday, I had some spare time in the afternoon. I picked up my spinning reel, a packet of Yum Dingers and a packet of Spot Remover Pro shakey heads, and took Griffin up to Publix. My current finesse combo is a Bass Pro Extreme Series Spinning reel and a Gander Mtn. Spinning Rod strung with Seguar Red Label in 8 pound.
Just so you can see what I am using..haha!
Well, call me superstitious...call me whatever...but when I take the kids, I literally pray that I can catch something for the kids. After all, you need success to get them hooked! As we pulled up, the parking lot was full. After all, it was a beautiful day. Luckily, every one was fishing right next to the parking lot, so I put him on my shoulders and started walking.
With big bushed lining the banks, you have to find openings...which are far and few in between. But, at the first corner of the square lake, I started casting. After a few minutes, I was lifting the tip and heartedly shaking...and the line got heavy. Then it started moving..RIGHT AT ME! I tok up slack as fast as I could, but I couldn't keep up. The fish jumped right in front of us and threw the hook! It was a little bank runner, but no matter. I had one bite and I missed him! According the the luck I have had this year, that would probably be the only bite I got all day! But, I kept at it. A few casts later, felt one nibble on it. So, I swung on hi, and hooked up. After a few jumps, I could tell I had him hooked good, so I handed it over to Griffin and let him reel it in!
He was a lot more excited than he looks in this picture. I promise! we had one of those afternoons....one that I hadn't had in a long time. The kind where you actually caught a lot of fish! Now, none of them were very big, but he didn't care....so neither did I!
A funny thing did happen, though. I busted a sandle as far from the car as you can get and had to call my dad to bring me some shoes! Also, on the way out, we passed several people fishing. We exchanged pleasantries, but I found out through conversation that NONE of them knew there were bass in the pond! Hmm.....guess I shouldn't be writing any of this, huh?
Fast Forward to yesterday. I worked all afternoon as hard and fast as I could go. About 4:30, I decided to take Aubree with me. If I had the luck I had the day before, maybe Aubree could finally catch a fish all on her own. First thing I noticed was the amount of people fishing. Sure, it was probably the same as yesterday, but they were all spread out now! So, we decided to walk around to the far side of the lake....quite the haul! So, picked up the shakey head rod and her pink reel on a full size rod and went at it. Didn't take long to find that they were biting just as good, if not better, than the day before. I had to keep on Aubree to keep casting...and slowing down...but, she would listen and she was rewarded!
Caught it on a Yum lizard. I was catching more and more dinks, but I didn't mind. Better than catching nothing. One one particular cast, I felt one pick it up, so I slammed it. now, because I had been accustomed to the dink...and I was trying to re-learn setting the hook, I had been letting the fish have it. Most of the time, jerking them clear out of the water. But this guy just sat on it. Then he surged. And it stripped line. I pulled back, and he pulled harder. I thought it was a cat fish. Had to be. Cause, if it wasn't...it was a 5 pounder. And there was no way that I had stumbled upon one of those that I had put in here. Then it tail walked...and every head on that end of the lake turned towards us. The secret was out and in grand fashion. I worked him and he worked me. After several minutes, I lipped him. *DISCLAIMER* I don't normally embelish on fish...but there pictures don't do it justice. Don't know if it's because Aubree took them or what...but this fish was every bit of 4.5.
By the time I retied my shakey head, every bass fisher on the two ponds was within 20 yards of me...HAHA!
Thinking it was 1 in a million, I was ABOUT to call it a day...but the sun was still high. I made another cast and ANOTHER one inhaled it. Another few minutes later and I had another 3+ fish on the bank! UNBELIEVABLE! Few minutes later, I had another hook set and broke it off. It was another big fish, for sure. Aubree caught another few fish and we called it a day. That is as perfect as it gets! Best part is, we didn't pay $4 a gallon for gas!