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Who likes to get a line wet?

by: cable_guy_67 - Jul 02, 2005

On Father's day I went out and did a little pond fishing. It is a privately owned pond and the owners are more than happy for the help it getting some of the fish out of it. Just goes to show what stopping and talking to people can get you. Now I have a little place about 10 minutes or so from my house that I can stop at whenever I like.

Granted, pond fishing gives a smaller yield (at least until the herd is thinned) but they tend toward violent agression. Show me a fresh water fisherman that doesn't like to catch smallmouth bass and I'll show you a saltwater fisherman. :wink:

Every one of the fish in the picture were caught on either a Jitterbug or Rappalla. There are lots of big (almost raquetball size) bullfrogs so the JitterBug is no suprise. The bass tend to sneak up to the edge of the pond and snatch the frogs right off the edge. It is quite cool to see (provided you like the nature channel) as I have never witnessed that before. The Rappalla was a bit of a suprise the first time I used it. It is colored vaguely like a perch and it has been my Ace in the Hole since starting to fish there. Once I caught the perch (the one in picture is the first I got from there) it made a little more sense.

The smallmouth in the photo range in size from 16" to 13" and about half of them were jumpers. If you have never had the opportunity to do this type of fishing you really should give it a try.

As I said, the owners have begged that I take EVERYTHING I can get a hook into out of the pond. When the numbers get to high they start to effect the size of the bass since they have no problem whatsoever eating their own. They do seem to be holding their own against the panfish which can spell doom for the bass population. I can't bear to take the real little bass out mostly since they get to be a pain to clean. So I quietly slip them back in to catch another day. All told, I landed 25 fish in about four hours. Just enough time to get the four beers I brought with me out of the cooler to make room for the fish. :)

As far as the Bluegill (sort of hidden in the photo) and the Pumpkinseed (just a derived bluegill really) I have never been someplace that there were so many large ones swimming around. The two I kept were about 8" long and yielded 5" fillets. My wife ate those and was very suprised at the taste. Very light and not as meaty as the bass. Truth be told though, I usually leave those guys for the raccoons. If you don't know why, you never had to fillet 30 of them because you were stupid enough to bring them home and show your dad. Mine was very firm in his "you take it you clean it" outlook. A well learned lesson as a child!

Just my Fish Story from NEPA (north east Pennsylvania) from a 4 hour Sunday of fishing. Hope you enjoyed it. I know I enjoyed the research side of it! The dinner part was very good too. Everything above ended up as a meal for my family and our neighbors so it is about time to get back out there and see how things are up at the pond.

For anyone concerned:
PA limits on state waters range from 15" to 18" depending on the area and time of year. The June catch and release is to allow the females to lay. These don't apply to private waters. PA has been making a serious effort to increase it's bass sizes and it is working. The thing is, all these are based on studies by the fish and game dept and really don't apply to small waters. So essentially that is what I am a part of for the land owner. It is our sincere hope that in the next few years we (there are about 8 of us) can raise the size in this ~2 acre pond ranging in depth from 8" to 12'. I can't wait to hear about the first 24" fish taken from our little pond. It is our first goal. Currently, the largest taken was an 18" fish by the owner's son. I came close on this trip but 2" is a lot with a fish.

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