Welcome to Panfish!

Part Seventy-four

Come On Boys, Let's Go Fishin'!

Terry Crosier - aka Tangled Angler

That got them up and moving. Fritz is at the back door, paws on the window, nose pressed against the glass, looking for a squirrel to chase. Teddy is on his back feet, front paws waving in the air. They were ready. I let them out to run so I could gather stuff without getting knocked down or scratched by waving paws.

I had been waiting all day for the rain to let up and it finally had. The old bamboo rod was waiting, I had finally gotten the guide on, not perfect but good enough to at least give it a try.

Now the ritual of getting the boat ready to go. Accompanied by the yelps of the neighbor's dogs all the way down the back yard. Fritz runs over and shows them the underside of his leg, doesn't seem to bother them but I get a kick out of it. Attach the battery, lay the rod carefully in the boat, shoo Teddy out of the boat so I don't have the extra weight to push, I'm in now, calling Fritz away from the squirrels and in the boat and we are off.

Now, what to put on? A #8 chartreuse and black slider looks promising. A quick jaunt to the bluegill hole, past an older gentleman casting his weighted plastic worm into the lily pads from a dock.

Strip out line, get everything in motion, backcast, little haul and shoot. The line lands in a nice neat pile about ten feet in front of me. OK, we ain' in graphite land anymore. Slow down, that's it. Got it. Nice cast to the edge of the dock, let it sit, 3-4 quick short pulls, let it sit. There is a swirl, and a splash and weight on the line. A brief tug of war and a nice hand sized bluegill is ready to be released. Of course the boys also have to greet the newcomer and the quick movement of weight to one side of the boat almost puts me face down in the water. Order is soon restored and I am able to keep this ritual going for 5-6 more times.

I notice a larger swirl to my left near some pads. A quick cast over there, again it sits, the quick short pulls and a nice swirl takes the fly and heads back toward the pads. Three nice jumps, and a try to get deep into the weeds later and I have a nice 3 lb. bass ready to be released with the accompaniment of barks.

I drifted over to the dock next to the gentleman casting the plastic worms. I was fortunate enough to hook 2 more bluegill there. Then with a nice sidearm cast, which even surprised me, I got the little slider up under the dock. It was met with a swirl and fairly nice splash. I had another nice bass on, almost the same size as the other one. He was boated, barked at and released.

I said hello to the fisherman on the dock and struck up a conversation. We discussed the lake conditions, size of the fish, and then he told me he fly fished for tarpon in the Keys a couple of times a year. We talked for about a half hour. I made a few more casts, and headed back.

Terry Crosier

As I was navigating through the lily pads I heard a splash and turned just in time to see Fritz's tan ass and tail disappear underwater. He had just learned that lily pads won't support him. There would be wet dog tonight.

Sometimes everything just comes together. You catch fish, make a friend and have a wet dog in the house. Who could ask for more….. ~ Terry Crosier - aka Tangled Angler

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