So, yeah....brrrrrr! I don't think I'll be going flyfishing in the next couple weeks, so its a good time to summarize this past year's open-water efforts. I feel it was a pretty good fishing year. I fished some new-to-me lakes and streams again this year, but as usual MOST of my fishing was at various local public ponds.
I didn't keep an electronic fishing log this year, so I don't have all the facts, totals, and statistics that I have been able to share in each of the previous 10 years.
Here's what I do know, however:
-I set 18" bass as an arbitrary minimum size to track. I landed 11 Largemouth Bass over 18" on flies. This was 1 more than last year. 2 qualified as Master Angler size of 20" minimum. Of these big bass, 5 were caught on a little microjig! Most of the other ones were caught on topwater.
-I landed 1 Smallmouth Bass over 18". First ever that big on a fly rod for me, even though my all-tackle best is 20". The battle was VERY impressive!
-I landed two Master Angler-sized Redear Sunfish. Minimum size on those is 11". Biggest one was almost right at 12", but I couldn't lay the fish flat enough in my kayak to get a better measurement, so I just called it 11.75". Digital scale said 1.45 lbs. Beautiful fish!
-I caught one Master Angler-sized crappie at 14.5". It would be just an average nice fish from some of our bigger lakes/reservoirs, but its a heckuva nice crappie from our public ponds!
-I caught several 9"+ Master Angler-sized Pumpkinseed Sunfish. Biggest measured 9.5".
-Caught at least 16 species on flies this year, all in Iowa. Not quite as many as in some years, but not too shabby.
-Caught Flyrod Personal Bests for 4 species....Smallmouth Bass, Redear Sunfish, Black Crappie, and Pumpkinseed Sunfish.
-Hooked at least 3 (if not more) Grass Carp on flies this year. Didn't manage to land ANY of them.
Again, I didn't keep an electronic Fishing Log, so unlike past years I don't know what my fish total for the year was, or how many days I fished. I enjoyed it all the same, and I'm pleased with the results.
Hope you've enjoyed your fishing in 2016 as well. :)