Ralph and I fished today with one of Ralph’s business associates, Doc. Doc has never really fished, so I helped him with the basics, which was literally beginning with how to cast a spinning rod. I got him started and within the 4th or 5th cast I hear a splash, and he has landed his first fish on artificial bait, a trout. Nice!
The weather today was absolutely phenomenal, with zero wind and a high temp of 72F. The water is right around 60F. Pretty incredible for mid December…
We had a great day with 100+ trout between the three of us. There were a lot of smaller fish caught today, with around 20 being in the range of 16-17 inches. It was encouraging to see many real small trout – this year’s year-class. It will be great for next years catching.
The trout bite today was what we call a “mush bite”. It’s not the familiar *tick* but rather more of a gentle pick-up or just “something feels weird”. You really need to be dialed in to your equipment to catch a lot on days like today. If you are fishing with poor technique you would not catch many fish at all today, at least where we were. What do I mean by that? First of all, equipment. The reel doesn’t matter so much, but the rod does. We use high end blanks with M/L flex and extra-fast tip on our custom rods. The tip is really what is important to feel the slight bite. Lastly, braid helps a lot, but when the water gets very clear, as it always does in winter in the Wando, you will want to go with mono or fluoro line or long leader. As for technique, you have to stay connected to your lure. No big bow in your line, and minimal slack during the retrieve.
There is a technique to doing it right, and we have coached many people on how to do it properly. Most don’t do it right – and thus probably miss a lot of fish. Trout will breathe the lure in, then spit it out. If you have ever brought in a Trout Trick with the tail curled around the hook, you missed a fish. And, to make things more interesting, often the bigger the trout, the softer the bite. Why does Ralph catch the bigger fish consistently when you are fishing the same setup and same spot? It’s feel and technique. Plain and simple.
We did have a couple reds mixed in here and there, that were tagged and released. By now, most of the reds are hanging on deep structure or schooled up on the flats, thus explaining the lesser numbers of reds for us today.
Last weekend I installed a new toy on Ralph’s boat: A Humminbird Helix 7 with side imaging. Holy wow, that thing is crazy cool. I encouraged him to go with a Humminbird since I have had so much luck finding fish schooled up using mine. The side imaging is amazing. It will be a blast using this for scouting, and we already have “learned some things”. I’m pumped up to try a new pattern – I’ll keep it at that…. hopefully I will be able to write a post about that in the near future 🙂 At first, I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea to give Ralph this kind of power. It’s not really fair to the fish…But, he’s kind of a stick in the mud and I think it will take some persuading to learn this ol dog a new trick…I’ll get him there sooner or later.
Lures that worked well for us today were Trout Tricks in Shrimp Po’Boy and Green Lantern. Also, the MinnowZ in Rootbeer/Chartreuse and StreakZ 3.75 in Ralph’s Shad. All of these offerings are available on our online store, FYI.
Doc did really well today – he caught his share and we couldn’t help but really just enjoy being on the water today. If you were lucky enough to be fishing today…. you’re lucky enough!
Thanks and see you on the waters!