Rick Zieger - January 30, 2012

It is a day off with nice weather. Not hot, but comfortable temperatures in the early morning. Everything had been loaded the night before because I wanted to hit the pond at first light. I had four rods with me. I attached a Goldie Jr, a black furl tailed mohair leech, a white boa yarn leech and an olive hares ear type fly. My target was crappie. Experience has told me that there are many good size crappies in this pond. Hopes were that the crappie would be high in the water column looking for food.

I made the first few casts before I got to the shore, and I did pick up one small gill doing this. I got the canoe into the water and moved out a short distance on the pond. I hit the place I wanted to be and dropped both anchors. There is a break line that runs about six feet off the shore. With the canoe broadside to this I could cast to this break line. The first cast went just over the break line. The fly had just barely moved when it was hit hard. Thought it was a bass but turned out to be a nice crappie. Isn't it great when all the plans you make work out when you get to the pond?

Since crappies are a schooling fish, another cast went to near the same place. The fly got smashed again. This time it was a small bass. Not what was wanted, but fun to catch. Made another cast and brought the fly back deeper than it had come before. No action on this. I tried another cast and kept the fly up higher in the water column. About half way back to the canoe the rod tip dropped, and it was another nice crappie.

I made another cast about three feet out from the break line. I kept the fly up and had another crappie try to annihilate the fly. A pattern is emerging. The fish are high in the water column so the flies need to come back just under the surface. On the next cast I get another bass. This fish is about a foot long. It jumps out of the water and causes a lot of commotion. After that no more fish in this area.

I move about 30 feet and make another cast. As I am bringing the fly back in it gets to place where I can see it and I can see the crappie that is following it. The crappie is slowly moving up on the fly. I am getting ready to catch a crappie that I can see hit the fly. The crappie is just behind the fly and a bass comes out of nowhere and takes it. The crappie is gone.

I get the bass in and turn it loose. I make several more casts and get fish to take the fly. About one third are crappies and the rest are bass. I have the fly come near the canoe again and see another crappie following the fly. It happens again. As the crappie gets close to the fly a bass takes it.

This is the second darn bass to keep me from catching a crappie. Being a curious person I make a shorter cast, and I want to watch the fly come in. After the fly comes about five feet a crappie comes up and slowly gains on it. If a darn bass doesn't come in and take the fly I get a crappie. To darn many bass take the fly.

I try all four flies. The hare's ear does not interest the crappie, but the bass love it. All of the other flies catch fish.

Fish seems to be all over the pond. After getting about half a dozen or so fish at each place it would turn off then it was time to move and do it again. This made enough places to get a lot of fish.

Several more times I got to see those darn bass take a fly before the crappie got to it. I never did figure out a way to keep the bass off the hook.

I covered the pond and decided to head for home. It was a fun morning even with all those darn bass. If the bass had stayed off the hook I think would have caught over a hundred crappies. There were enough fillets to share with several folks, and most of those crappies were in the 12 to 14 inch range. The made some good eating.

Hope you can get out on the water.

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