Friday, May 14, 2010

Skunked? I'll let you decide.

After putting in a couple extra hours at work today, I decided to head out to McMaster Lake at Snakeden Hollow for a change of fishing scenery.  I didn't realize how far away it was, but an hour later I got to the lake to find about a half dozen boats out on the water and another guy walking the banks.  The lake is pretty wide open, not alot of trees so there was alot of wind, kind of throwing my hopes of fly fishing out the window.

I started throwing a 3" Powerbait Ripple Shad, bringing it back very slowly.  After a few minutes of no hits, I switched up to a 7" Blue Fleck Powerworm and tossed it near some weeds along the bank.  I worked along one bank and walked over to the other side of the boat ramp and worked down the other ramp so I could stop fighting the wind.  I switched to a chartreuse Gulp Nightcrawler and worked back along the bank.  I had a couple tiny bites but nothing I could set the hook on.  I really wasn't feeling this lake with all the wind and unfamiliarity so I decided to head back to my familiar water of Charter Oak North back in Peoria.

Charter Oak is down a little trail and has trees all around and wasn't nearly as windy so I was able to get some practice in with the fly rod.  I tied on the same fly as the other night and got to whipping it around.  I focused on keeping my wrist still and am to the point where I can consistently get the fly out about 10 yards, which is pretty exciting.  After a couple dozen casts with no bites, I switched up to the baitcaster with the Gulp crawler still on it.  No bites.  Back to the Powerworm... No bites.  I was getting very frustrated at this point.

I decided to try something new so I tied on a big black/orange jig and tipped it with half a plastic Gander Mountain crawdad in almost the same black/orange.  I tossed it out a few times, bouncing it along the bottom back to me.  Moved along the bank, throwing in all directions and bouncing it off the bottom.  No bites.  But, when I brought it in the last time, something splashed at it and scared the hell out of me about 6 inches from shore.  It was a big ol' bullfrog.  So I did what any frustrated grown man who had failed at fishing all day would do:  I played with the frog.  Every time I would get the jig within about 6 inches of him, he'd pounce on it and kick it. So, I got the idea to take a video for you guys.  Unfortunately, I can't figure out how to get it on here.  While taking the video, he decided to actually bite the jig, which gave me my first and only catch of the day:

But don't worry, he was ok, I let him go and he went back to sitting grumpily in his patch of the weeds:

So I'll leave it up to you guys, does that count or did I officially get skunked?  Either way, Mr. Bullfrog salvaged my day from being a frustrating waste to being able to mess around like a little kid again.  Speaking of, I'll hopefully be taking my future niece out fishing soon, be on the lookout for a report and pics.


troutrageous1 said...

I say you didn't get skunked. Sure it wasn't a fish, but as long as he bit the fly and you didn't snag him, counts in my book.

Anonymous said...

Something pulling on the end of your line is better than nothing at all, even if it was kind of by accident. No harm done it sounds like!

Bigerrfish said...

That's Awesome!! Reminds me of catching lizards with a fly rod.. watch for that little post when/if the fishing gets crappy.. Hey good luck with the fly fishing.. let me know if you have a question.. Bass fishing can be the easiest way to learn.. for sure!

AYearOnTheFly said...

Like mel, something on the end of the line is beter than nothing.
Also you might want to check out NE Iowa for trout. I grew up north of moline and there are good trout streams north of Clinton Iowa. A little bit of a drive but good day trip... Good fly fishing there on spring streams.

Basspastor said...

That counts as a skunk in my book. Turtles, musktats, and birds don't count either.

Mark said...

Alright, so it's probably technically a skunking but I'm over it, the next trip produced actual fish.

Thanks for the encouragement everyone, hopefully there are much more bass in my future and not as many frogs.

AYOTF- Thanks for the tip about IA. I'm planning on hitting up the Coleta Trout ponds with my Dad on Father's day but I'll have to plan a trip across the border later in the summer. I wonder what temporary licenses cost?