The past five days have been good on the water. I haven’t exactly been “tearing them up,” but fish are being caught and good times are being had.
I was recently able to spend the past weekend in Alabama, which means that I’ve been able to visit home waters. The highs were in the upper 80s the whole time, which really blew me away. With temps so high so early, what would the fish be preparing to move in to do the dirty?
Well, they were already doing it. Cruise the banks, and you could see ’em paired up all along the shallows (12″-36″ water). I couldn’t believe it. It was the second week in March and the fish were already on bed. It’s enough to make you wonder if they even had time to fill up before shackin’ up.
Bedding bass can be almost impossible to catch, but with some good sight fishing tactics it’s definitely possible to still catch fish.
Best tactic? Piss ’em off.
Creature flies like woollies and poppers did pretty well making them mad. Crawl a woolly or swim a popper across a bed again, and again, and again. You can seem ’em start to turn cross-eyed they get so mad.
If you’re trying to fish for bedding bass then avoid pairs. If you see more than one bass holding up ,there’s usually a big fish (female) and small fish (male), then just let ’em do their thing. The male will bite if you irritate them enough, but they’ve really only got one thing on their minds.
Bass weren’t the only fish to be had over the past few days.
I was able to get into some monster sunfish on this trip. Several +10″ gills hammered floating beetle flies and poppers. My only regret is that we didn’t have a fish fry.
The one day I didn’t have a camera with me I hooked into two pretty awesome fish. One was a ghost (carp, for layman) that was easily over 36″. I fought him for a good half hour on my fly rod before getting him out of the water. If you aren’t familiar with ghost stalking on a fly rod then I highly suggest it. It will truly test every skill of a fly fisherman.
On that same day I reeled in one of my strangest catches of recently. It was a rock bass, but something about this one was unique. This rock bass was really, and I mean REALLY, purple.
The rock bass formerly known as Prince.
I was blown away. After researching rock bass I found out that they can turn a purple color during the spawning season.
The previous picture gives you a small idea of what I hooked. You can see the belly turns slightly purple, but the fish I hooked had a lot more purple than this guy. Maybe a little more like this:
That’s more accurate.
So, yeah. It has been an interesting few days. Here’s hoping the bite gets even better. I think Nashville is a bit behind Alabama in terms of water temperature too. Hopefully that means that the bass will hang out in the shallows even longer.