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My Spot

Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa
Publisher's Note:
Rick's fishing season is over until the ice melts, but we have a nice stash of articles he has written in the past as ideas or events occured to him. We hope this will explain apparent 'out of season' articles.

I headed out to the lake again over my lunch hour. The weather was a little cooler and there were some clouds in the sky. It is still a nice way to spend my lunch hour and may even help my waistline a little. I had thoughts about fishing the little settling pond again. It had rained a little last night and I thought it might make the fish move around a little more.

I had just turned off the highway and onto the country road that goes to the lake when I had a car zip by me in a big hurry. He had to be passing me when we turned off the highway. I decided to slow down and give him a lot of room. When I came over the hill and started down to where I would be fishing there was the car parked right there.

I decided that I would go down and fish the flat near the far jetty and see if anything was happening there. As I started to go by the parked car the driver waved me down. I stopped and he informed me that he had this spot and I was to stay away from it. I just looked at him and went on down the road a hundred feet or so and parked.

I had a slight breeze blowing from right to left quartering over my right shoulder. It was just enough to help my casting distance. Since the water was really pretty flat, I decided that I would start with a popping bug. I think we all like to see fish hit on the surface.

I know there is a mat of weeds that extend out about 30 feet from the corner where this flat starts. I cast very well for me and got the bug to hit just at the edge of the weeds. I let all the rings from the fly landing disappear and then let it sit still even longer. I was just getting ready to move it when there was a swirl and the popping bug disappeared. I hesitated for a second and then set the hook. It was a foot long bass that did not appreciate being hooked. This fish jumped four times before I got him in. The popping bug was in the corner of his mouth and I was able to twist it out without having to handle the fish.

I thought if there was one fish there just might be another one. I need to explain that the area around this flat has been mowed and baled. There are a few small trees in this area and there is a ring of weeds and grasses about three feet wide around the trees and at the edge of the field by the rip rap. I have been known to catch these trees a few times a summer.

As I made my cast I must have let the backcast drop too much and I managed to snag some fluff off of one of the weeds. It did not stop the cast it just got impaled on the hook. The bug whet out and dropped in the water a little farther out than I wanted it to. I was chastising myself for my poor casting, and taking a minute to calm down that little bit I need to after making a bad cast.

The rings were still going out from the bug when there was a little slurp and the bug was taken down. I was surprised but set the hook. Whatever I had tied into had some weight on its shoulders and decided to head for the middle of the lake. I was into the backing on the first run.

I finally got the fish to turn and could gain and lose a little line as the fish swan around out in the lake. I was guessing a carp or a catfish.

I had one of the old geezers drive by and sees me with a fish on. He stopped to see if he would have dinner. I told him it might be dinner before I got the fish in.

After 15 minutes of swimming around in a loop in the lake I finally started to gain some line on the fish. I also started to get some control on which way the fish would swim. I had fly line back on the reel when the fish came up to the surface and I could see that it was a big carp. The fish made another run but did not go as far. I was able to turn the fish a little easier and gain line faster. The old geezer told me that he knew someone who would like to can this fish if I would let him have it.

I finally had the fish up close where it was going back and forth and I let it do this so it would be easier to land. The old geezer came down with a net and I led the fish into the net. This fish turned out to be 26 inches long. One of the biggest carp I have caught, the biggest this year that I can remember.

My guess is that the fluff on the fly looked like a cottonwood seed or something and the fish came up and took it. In any case I carried the net to the car for the old geezer and headed back to the office to make a living. Even though another fisherman had taken MY SPOT, I was able to have fun. Guess I will have to put a sign or something else up to keep people away from it.

Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick

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