Archive for December, 2011

A Day Off!

I’ve been having the itch to hit the water real bad lately. You know what I’m talking about. When all you can think about is hooking into a fish and forgetting everything else but trying to get it in the boat. Fortunately, my boss let me know we would be taking the day off today, and I instantly started getting the boat ready. I decided to head up to Lake Hennessy, just north of Napa, between St. Helena and Lake Berryessa. The lake has a 10hp and under limitation, so I would be using only my trolling motor today.

I put the boat in the water around 12pm and set off exploring. It was the first time I put my boat in the water at Hennessy, as I was unclear on the restrictions. I drive by the lake every day on my way to work at a winery on Pritchard Hill. The day started off slow, mostly with me running around on the trolling motor trying to mark bait and fish, and having relatively little success. The lake is fairly shallow, with it being hard to find water deeper then 30 feet. I committed to throwing an 8″ Huddleston around for an hour, as it’s a well stocked trout reservoir.  My first fish (1-1.5lbs) came on a shakeyhead off some tules in 6 feet of water… quite the opposite of the deeper water and ledges where I was assuming the fish would be.

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I spent another couple hours fishing a little shallower, throwing some more plastics, a vision 110 jerkbait, and eventually moving out to deeper water again  trying a DD22. I decided to head towards what would be the middle of the section of the lake I was in, as I worked my way back to the ramp. I kept my eyes on the graph with my spooning rod in hand, waiting to mark something. After about five minutes of zig-zagging my way back I saw one real solid arch on the graph, stopped the boat and sent my spoon down. I jigged my spoon up once… twice… three times… SLAM. If you’ve ever hooked into a fish on a spoon before you know the feeling. The rod almost flies out of hands as you yank your rod up into what feels like a brick wall.

This fish was hot. My spinning rod was doubled and I could feel head shake after head shake. I thought it was going to end up being a big rainbow. Instead it ended up being a nice largemouth just over 7lbs at 7-01. It was a great fight and I was stoked to actually single out one fish off the graph and get it in the boat, when often times you can be marking many fish and never get a bite, which is what happened to us at regionals.

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I continued zig-zagging towards the ramp after I released the fish. Again, I marked a singular fish on the graph, and on the fifth jig hooked into another fish on the spoon. This one came up a lot easier, but was just as surprising when I saw what it was.

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I had to head in with the sun setting and my battery getting low. It was a great day on a new body of water. I filmed earlier in the day, but nothing eventful happened and I ran out of batteries. I promise to have some new footage up soon!