I didn't get out fishing until pretty late last night. Left the house at 8:45pm! Since it was fast getting dark, I just visited a nearby public pond. It was mostly overcast and had lightly rained earlier in the evening. Almost no wind when I arrived at the pond, but then the wind kicked up to about 10mph, and then slowly settled down again as darkness deepened. Air temp was low 90's...pretty hot for so late in the evening, especially since that followed and afternoon of clouds and rain.
When I arrived at the waters edge, it was obvious the City had been here recently to chemically kill the aquatic weeds that had been growing thickly along the entire shoreline. The weeds hadn't been completely knocked back yet, but were mostly dead/dying. I think this is fascinating, because it changes the dynamics of the pond. What are the Grass Carp going to eat now? Hopefully...one of my flies!! :)
I briefly tried a Bass Gurgler, had one strike. It was getting dark, FAST. No time to waste.
I walked around the pond to where I would have the wind at my back, and tossed some bread in to the water. Yep. I will "chum" for Grass Carp and Catfish. Hasn't really worked for the Grass Carp yet, but it has worked for catfish at least 1/2 the time. I tied a white woolly bugger on my line. I'm tossing an artificial, so I'm still "fooling" the fish rather than feeding them. Its no different really than tossing a baitfish imitation near a school of baitfish that are being worked by gamefish, or tossing a dry fly during a "hatch". I am, however, artificially creating a situation that (hopefully) brings the fish to me. Doesn't always work, but it improves my chances. Even when it draws in bigger fish, they don't always go for my artificial fly pattern. At least when the bigger fish show up, its exciting to watch.
It had gotten so dark I couldn't see my line well. So, I was fishing by "feel" at this point. And believe me, you will FEEL a catfish! I was slowly retrieving. It tightened my line, I set the hook, and it jumped CLEAR out of the water! Nice fish, back-and-forth give-and-take battle for awhile, then it just wanted to stay deep. Finally got it back up to the surface of the pond and in to shore. 24" Channel Catfish, estimated weight 6.3 pounds.
Chucked out the last pieces of my remaining two slices of bread. A couple big fish were still around out farther from shore, but I wasn't able to entice them into striking. Probably those DARN Grass Carp!
I did catch a couple small bluegills, and also a 10.5" Bullhead....only the second one I've ever caught on a fly rod.
Lots of fish activity on the surface, I'm sure I could have caught a lot more fish on a topwater pattern. But sticking with the white Woolly Bugger had paid its dividend for the evening.