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Fishing with Derek

Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa

A couple of months ago one of my good friends talked to me about taking his grandson out fishing when he came to visit this summer. He had been out one time during each of the two past summers. His grand total for that time was one fish. Les wanted him to have a chance to catch more fish that that. Since they are on my "fish route," they thought I might be able to help him catch a few more fish.

We checked our schedule and Sunday the 15th of July seemed to be the time that worked out. By the time that we did all the other things that needed to be done that day it was about 5:30 pm before I could go over and pick him up. That also meant that the heat of the day would start to disappear.

We headed out to one of my favorite ponds. I was sure that I could find fish in this pond. I have taken several folks to this pond and some of the folks on this board will recognize the pictures. I got the canoe loaded and down to the water. I had a spinning rod for him to use. I felt it would be easier for him to use, and maybe safer for me.

We got in the canoe and started drifting along the face of the dam. Derek could get about 15 to 20 feet of line out on his casts. This was plenty of line to get into the fish if there were any interested.

We had only been fishing for a few minutes when Derek got his first fish. You can see this bass in the photograph. There was no way that I would make him put this fish back into the pond. So we put his fish in the basket and he went back to casting.

We moved around the pond and picked some fish up here and there. The water was filled with filamentous algae. Not the easiest of times to be fishing it, but it helps to know the places where fish tend to hang out. We did get to see several deer come down to the pond to get a drink. Derek also saw several bullfrogs around the edge of the pond.

When we got over by the stumps I knew we could be in for some fun. I had him cast up near the stumps and retrieve the twister tail very slowly. He caught three huge bluegill in this spot. I tried pictures, but messed up something with the camera and they did not turn out.

We worked on down the far bank. We would pick up a fish here and there. We did better when we went farther out and cast towards the center of the pond. There seemed to be individual fish swimming over this whole area looking for food. I was using a red/yellow boa yarn leech. It seemed to be bright enough to show up. I spent more time watching Derek. It was so much fun to see his face split in a grin when he hooked a fish.

The first time I looked at my watch it was 7:30 pm. I thought it was a good idea to head home so that he could get back at a decent hour. He went with me to watch me clean the fish. I tried to get him to hold these two bass for a picture. That was a no go. Hopefully the next time we go out. We have a date for next year.

Here are the two bass he caught and one of the bluegill also. We ended up with 24 fish for the time that we were out. I did throw back about a dozen bass. I am not sure which one of the boys had more fun, but Derek is in second place.

Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick

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