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Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 5201
Location: Avon, CT

PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:18 am    Post subject: Spring Pond 06/15 Reply with quote

What a difference a week and a half makes! The last time I fished Spring Pond, the water was clear and the bites were easy. As Inspector Clouseau once said, "Not anymore."

When I launched in my kayak at 12:10 pm, I noticed that the water is now very murky. The recent warm weather has definitely promoted the growth of algae in the pond. The murk has a pale, green tinge to it. Eutrophication has begun! The surface water temperature was 80 degrees. There was a slight, but steady breeze from the south.

As I fished my way north from the south bay, I didn't get any bites on a wacky-rigged five-inch Senko, not even a nibble. It wasn't until I got to the surface weeds surrounding the north island that I felt a gentle tick on my line and set the hook. It didn't feel very big. I thought it might be a dink largemouth bass, but it wasn't:

I have to admit, I really like catching black crappie with a Senko; they're typically a decent size. Strangely, it wasn't holding tight to shore or any laydown that I could see. It was simply down in the weeds.

As I continued around the island, another fish picked up the Senko about 30 feet ahead of my kayak. It immediately made a run straight toward the kayak. I burned in line with my reel and finally caught up to the fish as it swam past me. Right when I anticipated putting pressure on the line and turning it, it bit me clean off! I can only guess that it was a toothy chain pickerel, because it bit right through my 10 pound test fluoro before I really got any tension on it.

I continued up to the spawning flats in the northwest corner of the pond, but the wind had risen out of the south, so I couldn't really locate the surface weeds that mark the edges of the flat. I randomly tossed the Senko into the shallows, but soon switched to a Zoom Horny Toad to cover more water. I never got even a swirl on the Horny Toad.

As I approached the north shore, I tossed the Senko toward where I figured the outside weedline would be. When I twitched the Senko off of the bottom, my line tightened and began moving off to the east. I loosened my drag and the fish kept pulling. And pulling. And pulling. It dawned on me that I might have snagged a carp, because it felt like I had hooked a train. I was in danger of being spooled, so I put my hand on the spool to slow it down and paddled toward it, It finally turned, but took off, again, toward the south, swimming along the bottom and wrapping my line around seemingly every weed in the pond. Amazingly, the 10 pound test fluoro cut right through most of it, but weeds were hanging from the line like laundry. I tried to resist the urge to reel while the fish was taking drag, but it never stopped taking drag, so I really had no choice.

During the next half hour, I took a few awkward videos as I tried to gently pull the carp off of the bottom. I could tell that it weighed in excess of 20 pounds, so I had to be gentle. The bend in my rod was epic. When I finally got the carp swimming near the surface, I saw that I had foul-hooked it on the front of its dorsal fin. That's why I couldn't control it; I couldn't turn it because it wasn't hooked in the mouth and I couldn't slow it because it wasn't hooked in the tail.

After about 35 minutes, I thought about trying to land it in the shallows or on shore, but decided to boat it in the kayak, even though I didn't have a net. I pulled it up next to the kayak and, as I considered whether to lip or gill it, the line snapped. NOOOOOO! Much swearing ensued. In hindsight, trying to hold a 20-plus pound carp on the surface with 10 pound test fluoro hooked to the front of its dorsal fin was a mistake. ARRRGH!

After that battle, my hands were shaking and I was totally demoralized, so I paddled slowly back against the rising wind to the South Bay. I only take two setups with me in my kayak; one spooled with fluoro and one spooled with braid. My fluoro setup got trashed by that carp. Look at what it did to the line:

It looked like a strand of wire that had been uncoiled from a cable. I moped my way off of the water before 2:00 pm.

I suspect that the largemouth bass are in a post-spawn funk. It's only a matter of time before the weeds fill in at the surface and they begin to get more active. I'll give it a little bit of time before I head back, again, to see whether it's Froggin' Time!
Don't forget to wear sunscreen and don't litter!
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