Spring has taken its sweet time coming to the northeast. Between cold, rain and most recently tornadoes, there has been little time to fish.
After a full day of playing catch up on yard work and chores, I had roughly 2 hours to fish. Traveling to a decent trout stream would take about half of that window. Yet 10 minutes away is a relatively shallow pond loaded with hungry bass that see little pressure. Decision made.
And it was the right one. I quickly loaded the kayak on to the rack and within minutes was on the water. Only one other kayak angler in sight, and he was at the opposite side. Almost no wind, water like glass and the sun starting to set behind the trees. Perfect.
I pulled an unlikely candidate from the box – a nondescript white balsa popper. It wasn’t a high confidence fly. I’ve been far more successful here with streamers. I tied it on planning to switch it out shortly.
I was wrong. For the next two hours I consistently caught 1-2 lb. largemouth bass (and lost a few 3-4 lb. bass) on the same popper.
Slowly paddling 20 feet from the bank, I plucked bass from small coves 4-6 feet in width, often canopied by brush just one to two feet above the water. They ran, tugged, jumped and shook, ultimately posing for a quick photo or an equally fast release.
I used a sidearm cast – not my most graceful, but I have low expectations for popper presentations anyway.
By the end of the night I landed about a dozen, and a handful of panfish as well. Kudos to the white balsa popper.
I loaded the kayak and took one last look at the pond, happy to live in a country that allows this type of access for all Americans, and grateful to the men and women who served to keep it this way.
Have a safe and enjoyable Memorial Weekend!