Monday, March 29, 2010

Deer Creek Saturday With My Son

I didn't quite do exactly what I had planned this weekend due to a number of reasons but I did make it out fishing and that is what is important.

I started out Saturday morning at the church to give blood with my wife. I did a different type of donation called a double red blood cell donation where they hook you up to a machine and seperate out the red blood cells and send everything back to you including some saline solution to keep you hydrated. I had never had a problem giving blood before but this time I got cold and kind of numb, I guess from the saline solution working its way through my veins.

I was a little dizzy feeling when we got done, but not enough so that it could keep me from the lake. We got back home and I started packing my gear. Leo, my 4 year old son, wanted to go fishing too so we got him ready to go.

I wanted to see Deer Creek's lake level. I wanted to see if the boat ramp was usable yet. We also had luck catching crappie from the dam this time of year last year and some bass from the corner of the dam. There were quite a few saugeye pulled from below the dam last year as well so we had quite a few options.

We got there and the lake was fuller than I have ever seen it. The water was boiling out below the dam. I think the lake will stay pretty full as they usually start filling it up from winter level on April 1st anyway.

We started at the Dam and I cast my new baitcast with a white Berkley Frenzy crankbait for quite a while seeing if I could get my first bass of the year. Leo was jigging a crappie jig under a bobber. Neither of us had any luck so we moved down the dam closer to the locks. I had seen a lot of crappie come out of that spot last year so we gave it a shot. Nothing!

There was a small, I mean small, cove near the North side of the dam that had a small stream of water running into the lake. I walked over there with a bass jig tied to my baitcast. I saw about a 3 pound largemouth suspended near a submerged log. I let some line out of the reel until the rod tip was sticking up in the air and the lure was on the ground. I grabbed some line from between a couple eyes on the pole and pulled the line out to the side. I started swinging the jig back and forth until it got above my target then gently let it glide into the water in front of the bass. With the line tight I lifted the rod tip a little. The bass was not moving but I felt a tick, tick, tick on my line. I thought to myself that my eyes were playing a trick on me. The fish was still suspended, but somehow he was taking my jig. Slowly, due to the confusion I jerked back on the rod and missed the other fish that had been biting my jig.

The large bass swam near shore after I accidentally hit him on the head a couple times with the jig. As he got near I saw that his eyes and mouth were thickly covered by a fungus. He wouldn't have bit even if I would have tried every bait in my box. I don't think his mouth would even open. I am curious if there would be anything I could have done to help him, like scrape the fungus off. He won't make it much longer in that condition. He was just swimming around in the warmer water of the shallow cove enjoying his last days.

We decided to drive below the dam to try the spillway area. As we drove in Leo spotted a playground on the other side of the river. He asked if we could go play. I pulled back on the road and drove across the river to the parking lot on the other side. We got out and Leo ran to the castle with slides. He played for a couple hours while I enjoyed being outside. We were withing sight of everybody fishing the river and I didn't see anybody having any luck. Finally, I convinced Leo that he had played long enough.

I gave him the option to fish some more or go home. He wanted to fish down at the river for saugeye so we grabbed the gear and walked down. His casting with a twister tail and jig head was really good and he has really gotten the concept of reeling slowly this year. If the fish would have been biting he would have caught one. We actually did see 1 saugeye pulled from the river slightly downstream from the bridge on the playground side.

Leo had a blast, he learned how to pop his line to release his lure from a snag. The cast and reel nature of saugeye fishing in the river was fun for him too. As we were getting ready to leave I told him that we needed to get home. He said to me, "One last cast, Dad!" He didn't want to give it up after hours of fishing without a bite. That's a sign of a true fisherman and made me feel really proud.

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