I drove the carpool last night to West Des Moines (2-year temporary home of U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist gymnast Gabby Douglas) for some Iowa Youth Chorus singers, and had some time to fish while they rehearsed. I visited a public pond I had first fished earlier this Spring, but had not visited at all this Summer.
I had the entire pond to myself for almost the entire evening. Despite the abundant signage declaring the pond CATCH AND RELEASE ONLY, the only other angler I saw stopped by briefly to harvest some bluegills that I assume he intended to take catfishing elsewhere. Must be the only place around that has bluegills. Not.
I had a good time. I was hoping to see some Grass Carp. There were possible Grassies in the area. What I DID see was a couple of Common Carp. At one point I had cast into an area where I thought there might be a Carp/Grass Carp. Thought I might have gotten a strike. I set the hook and spooked a big fish, as a small branch flew out of the water with my hook stuck to it. Poop.
Other than that, I just caught 3 Largemouth Bass to about 13", at least a dozen Bluegills, and 7 Hybrid Sunfish. Those Hybrid Sunfish are so colorful...I love catching them! So I took a few pics.
This was the first one of the evening, it had some interesting vertical markings..."tiger stripes":
The Hybrid Sunfish in this next picture had a lot of iridescent blue markings...it was absolutely beautiful. The picture just can't adequately capture the colors:
As it got dark, fish were popping some large Hexagenia limbata mayfly adults off the surface of the water. I had one nicer fish on that may have been either a bass or a really nice crappie. It shook free, unfortunately.
This last Hybrid Sunfish had some really colorful pinkish-orange edges to its fins. They don't show up well in the picture, but I tried. I had to use a flash because it was pretty dark out by this time.
Several different fly patterns caught fish. The best 3 patterns were a foam topwater pattern, an unweighted black Woolly Bugger, and a beadhead Woolly Bugger. Bringing the fly up and tickling the surface with it during a slow retrieve elicited the best/most strikes.
I look forward to fishing this pond again...hopefully I can get some clear shots at definite Grass Carp at some point.