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Pesky Bass

Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa

I went out on my normal Saturday morning jaunt in mid October. The mornings are getting crisp and the leaves are turning. But as long as the ice is not on the pond then I am going to be out there sometime during the day. I got to the pond about 7:00 am in the morning, just as it is getting light out.

This was my first trip to this pond this year. The field had been harvested and I could drive across the field. The road along the side the field is just too rough to drive over. This road is a very rough washboard. The owner does not fix it as it keeps folks out of the property all summer. It keeps me out also until the crops are out of the ground.

The pond is rectangular in shape. It is about 200 feet long and 80 feet wide, with the dam at the east end. The north side of the pond slopes down very gently to the edge of the pond. The south side of the pond is right at the edge of the hills that border it. The west end of the pond is very shallow and filled with lily pads. The pond is about 14 feet deep at its deepest point which is about 40 feet out from the dam. The dam end of the pond has about 4 feet of water out for about 12 feet. At the time the pond was built, the cat made this cut along the dam. The water then drops off fairly quickly to about 8 feet and the slopes out to the deepest part.

This pond has bass, crappie and green sunfish in it. The owner does not want any bluegill put into it. I can't get a good reason out of him, but it is his pond and I go with the flow on this.

I got everything into the canoe and got out through the lily pads at the west end of the pond. This seems to be the best spot to put the canoe in. I had a black boa yarn leech on the 3 wt and a Marabou Miss on the 5 wt. My quarry was the crappie in the pond.

There was no wind so I did not put an anchor down. I cast with the Marabou Miss so that it was about a foot outside the lily pads. I let it drop a few seconds and then started a slow retrieve. It had not moved far when it got hit hard. No need to set the hook, but I did, and then fought the fish. It turned out to be a bass about 8" long. I returned this fish with instructions to send his cousins out to eat.

I cast out again and repeated this. Every time I got the fly in the water one of those darn pesky little bass would hit it. I tried the other rod with the leech and the same thing happened. I switched flies and that did not make a difference. I moved east along the north edge of the pond to try other places. Maybe deeper water would help. It did not matter, wherever I tossed a fly, one of those pesky little bass was there. This even happened when I cast to the center of the pond.

I decided that my only chance of getting any other fish would to be to go down near the dam. I could fish the drop off along the dam and maybe have some other fish take the fly. I did try this and managed to get one crappie and two green sunfish for my efforts. I did get several more of those pesky little bass.

I tried flies that had huge bead heads on them. I wanted to see if getting the fly deeper, quicker might help. Those darn little bass just kept hitting the fly. I ran out of time as I had volunteered to help move some folks from a house into an apartment in town. It just proves that you never can know what is going to happen when you head out to a pond. I will return to this pond again sometime, hopefully this fall and try again.

My wife did ask me what was wrong with me when I came home with three fish. I told her that is why it is called fishing and not catching. There must be a way to get past those pesky little bass.

Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick

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