Friday, September 16, 2011

Back to School Bluegills

...Well, sort of.  My kids actually started the new school year 1 month ago already.  How time flies!  With school comes the "after-school" extracurricular activites.

My wife, who has a much more interesting job than I, is working in Belgium (Europe) this week.  So, all chauffer duties are my lot.  I don't mind, especially if I get a chance to squeeze in some fishing while waiting for these activities to finish for the night.

As it turns out, there IS a public pond in the town (another suburb of Des Moines) I had to take my son to last night.  I haven't fished this pond since early Spring.  This pond has a few bass, but generally I catch mostly bluegills, with a chance at a hybrid sunfish or crappie.

One thing I noticed right away was that there was about 15'-20' of algae clogging the shoreline on my side of the pond.  The second thing I noticed was that the water clarity was about 6".  The third thing I noticed was that there was no visible fish activity on the surface at all.  This was going to be tough fishing.

I had a beadchain-eye nymph on already, so I made some casts with it.  It was very difficult to fish deep and slow along the outer edge of the algae mats without actually getting my line or fly caught up in the algae.  I thought maybe one fish that took a swipe at the fly might have been a nice little crappie, but I'll never know for sure, as it didn't stay hooked long enough.

I switched to a Springbrook Wunder microjig set about 2' below an indicator.  I really didn't know how deep the water was where I was fishing, or if there were weeds or submerged algae or whatever beneath the surface.  I did pick up 4 bluegills this way, and most were fairly nice-sized bluegills for this pond.

In fact, one fought so well that I wasn't able to force it to the surface before it got into the algae.  I was lifting pretty hard, too!  Turned out be be a 8.5" Bluegill, which is very good for this pond.

I had gotten a few hits at the indicator I was using, so I took the indicator and microjig off my line and put a Chernobyl Ant/Hopper on.  I got a few big hits with it, but only landed 2 more bluegills.

I moved to another side of the pond, and it was also crowded with mats of algae.  I switched to a dragonfly nymph with beadchain eyes and cast that for several minutes, but had no more hits/hookups.

It was time to go back and pick up my son.  This pond usually fishes very well right before ice-up and just after ice-out.  So, as the water cools down during the Fall here, this pond will be worth fishing again.  Hopefully next time there will be less algae mats to deal with!

1 comment: