It’s tough to beat a 70-something degree, barely breezy, bright and sunshiny day at this time of year. The kicker for us was not today, our time on the water, but the entire week leading up to today.
Rain. Virtually non-stop rain, totaling anywhere from 3-5+ inches in the surrounding areas, turned just about every fish-able body of water into a bowl of chocolate milk. Needless to say, we went into this with less-than-stellar expectations with respect to the fishing, but the standard knowledge that when we three fellows are in a boat together our success rate for a good time is rather high.
Pamona, for secret reasons that were not revealed to any of the Kansas Outdoorsman not named “Nick”, was the target for today’s line wetting exercises.
Our plan did not take us far from where we dropped in, where we set to rigging an old rock quarry area. Most of what we fished was 9-9.5′ through here. Within moments, I got smashed and hauled out a 13.75″. Ok, nice. My expectations were exceeded 5 minutes into the day…
Well, maybe not. They were not hot and heavy, as the first fish led us to believe they might be. Double minnow rigs/Caps & Coleman rigs from the bottom up, all through the water column, produced fish, but with little regularity. We found it nearly impossible to pattern anything, even though we marked a lot of fish. Other than the fact that all fish were scattered out in open water, nothing in cover, consistency eluded us as we caught fish anywhere from 4′ down in 8′ of water to 12′ down in 22′ , with water temps varying from 56-61 degrees as well. Just no rhyme or reason to it.
There were certainly a couple of nice “upsides” to the morning, beyond the standard “nice-to-be-on-the-water-with-the-homies”. For one, of the 11 fish we kept (probably 30 total caught) 8 of them were 12-14″ – very nice size, capped off by Adam’s fish of the day at 14″. Knowing what we were up against with the rain-induced-lockjaw, this definitely exceeded our expectations.
Another upside to this gorgeous day on the water came on the way home, where our hunger lured us into a small hole-in-the-wall BBQ joint in Pamona, KS. Leroy’s BBQ helped put a nice touch on a slow, but steady morning of spider rigging on a lake we did not know well. We learned quite a bit about Pamona, got some nice marks on the GPS for next time, and found out about this pepper-jack-smoked-sausage sandwich – several worthy excuses to make the trip back sometime this spring…