Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Verified...Redear Sunfish!

I mentioned in this post from a week or so ago:
...that I suspected there may be a few Redear Sunfish in a certain nearby pond.  I finally got back to try and catch one of these spooky fish, and DID!  I caught just one...a 9-incher...and they are indeed Redears.  I've only seen maybe 6 nesting only in a certain area. I suspect they may have been stocked from elsewhere...and at this point I'm not even sure if there are any females in the pond or it may not be a reproducing population.  Because of that end, I will keep this pond under my hat.

I've been flyfishing the local public ponds in my city, starting in 2006 (so, 10 years now!).  It was only about 3 years ago that I discovered a series of connected ponds have Pumpkinseed Sunfish in them.  They are beautiful fish not commonly found in the area lakes and reservoirs, so that was a really nice surprise to find a population of them locally.  I always hoped I'd find some Redear Sunfish too....they get big and fight hard, but can be difficult to entice to strike a fly, except when they are nesting.  There are some of these in lakes within an hour or so drive of where I live, but I usually prefer to spend my time fishing rather than driving so I generally fish close to home.  I say all this just as background to help understand why I think finding them in a nearby pond is SO AWESOME! that started off my day on a high note.  Since most of the fish that were on nests scattered when I approached, I put an indicator above a microjig to fish the far side of the weedline to see if I could get a female Redear or one of the males that had just vacated the shallows.  I didn't get anymore Redears, but the indicator dropped down, and set the hook, and a nice fish shot out for the middle of the pond.  I couldn't stop it on that first run!  Strong fish!  Turned out to be a 20" FAT Channel 2nd Channel Cat on a fly within 5 days.

I also caught a couple bass on poppers, and found some pretty nice bluegills.

After leaving this pond, I picked up my buddy Jay, and we fished Saylorville Lake.  Using spinning gear, I caught a White Bass, Jay caught at least 3 more plus a Freshwater Drum.  But most of the time we were flyfishing for carp.  We saw plenty of them, but they pretty much ignored everything we showed them.  I dropped a fly down in front of one that was feeding in some heavy flooded vegetation.  The carp dropped down to the fly, I set the hook, and it took off for open water.  My excitement was became unhooked in about 3 seconds.  Bummer!

And then in the evening, my buddy Chad sends me a message asking where I'm going to fish that evening.  It had been a long day out in the sun already... but its tough to resist a fishing invitation!  So, back out I went.  Chad flyfished poppers for bass, so I flyfished for bluegills with a yellow Boa Yarn Leech.  I did well, and so did Chad.  In addition to bass, he managed a Bluegill on that large popper!  I ended up catching 4 bass along with the bluegills.

It had been a very enjoyable day of fishing!

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