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Monday Success

Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa

I came up to the lake on Memorial Day. We had a heavy rain Saturday, with lightening and I did not go out. By the time the rained stopped I knew that the ground would still be muddy and that it would be hard to get into any ponds.

I knew the crappie would be in on the lake as we have been hitting them fairly hard the last few weeks. I got to the lake at 5:30 in the morning. One other fisherman was casting for bass. I walked out on the jetty and cast the first rod that I picked up from the two I had with me. I had a perch-a-bou fly (see Ricks favorite crappie flies in the panfish archives) on the tippet and the crappie hit it just after it went into the water. It was one of the cookie cutter crappie in this lake, but they are still fun to catch.

The fly was so popular with the fish that I caught a fish on the next 26 casts. I would have had more, but the next fish was barely lip hooked and got off when I tried to swing it out of the water. All in all you can make a fortune in any professional sport with that high of a percentage of success.

I caught several more in a row after that one flipped off. It was just cast and set the hook. There has to be an incredible number of fish in this lake. I had a good number of fish when a family with a couple of small kids showed up at the jetty. I decided that it was time to move and go along the road to fish the rip-rap. That is easier than trying to keep track of where the kids are all the time.

The fish were hitting the same way along the road. This is the same place that Joe Hyde did his triple digit day a few weeks ago. I picked up a few nice sized gills as I went along this rip-rap. Most of the crappie I was catching were within about three feet of the shore. There was a fish about every foot or so along the shore and getting a fly near them resulted in a strike.

I had my fish basket as full as I wanted to have as I knew they had to be filleted. That is one thing that I always remember to think about, but don't always pay attention to. I was just getting ready to leave when one of the old geezers showed up.

He told me that he had a couple of folks that would like to have fish fries and he had said that he would try to get the fish to do it. I started tossing the fish I caught into his bucket. I had put several in his bucket when he decided that he had enough to clean.

He called me this week and said that he had 95 fish in his bucket. I filleted 148 of them when I got home. I took fish to several families on Tuesday night. This is the time of the year that I want to make sure that the fillets are cold before I go out to deliver them. That way I don't have to worry about them going bad in the heat.

This was a fun morning to just catch fish. I left the pond and was headed home at 7:45 am. I had the fish done by 10:30 and in the refrigerator to cool off.

Hope you can get out on the water and have a great day like this. ~ Rick

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