It's only been a couple of weekends that I've missed, but it seems like a year due to how busy I've been. This time of year, I run my tractor trailer hauling loads exclusively for FedEx, so you can imagine how busy I stay between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Since I am the owner and operator and self-employed, there aren't any sick days. The old trucker's saying is, "If the wheels ain't turnin', I'm not earnin" and if I'm not earnin', the bill collectors start callin'. So, while I've been missing the fishing, I've not been able to take time off, even though it's no fun driving five hundred miles a day and being under the weather. I really needed this fishing outing. I needed to hear the braid on the rods standing up behind me singing in the breeze. I enjoyed opening the door to my Jeep and smelling the mingling of the anise and garlic scented plastics, the hot coffee, and the waders I'd left in the back seat on my last outing. Many would say it stinks. I felt right at home.
I wasn't 100%, and I was plenty tired after paddling the little but I did and loading the kayak when I was done. I caught some fish, though, and that made it all the better.
So enough bull, on to the fishing report.
Conditions, courtesy of iWeather. It was a really nice day to fish.
It felt great as I paddled out onto the river today, even though I didn't go a full 50 yards from the launch. I caught all my fish today on my trusty Zoom Magnum Trick Worm in green pumpkin, rigged on a 1/8 ounce Owner CPS Shaky head.
I caught a few largemouth around 15 inches. I only took a picture of the first one, and the last one came unpinned boat side, but he put up a good fight.
I caught this really pretty Spot, too. He hit the worm HARD, and I thought I had a much larger fish.
All the fish were really aggressive today. They weren't at all subtle about their bites and they fought hard. I wasn't expecting that after the cold we've had, but I didn't complain. When I launched, there was a boat with what I assume was a father and son watching my rig my kayak. When I drug the boat to the water, I heard them making comments like, "Does he think he's going to catch fish with that?" and "That big guy is going to get in that little boat?" They also saw I had some soft plastics tied on and they commented to each other about how that if I was serious; I'd be using the crank baits that they were using. When I paddled away, the younger one hollered over to me, sarcastically sounding, "Good luck. We've been here all day and we haven't got a bite."
After I caught the second fish, I heard a ker-plunk about a rod's length to my left. Want to guess what that was? Yep, it was big, overpriced crank bait with hooks all over it. Those two had trolled up RIGHT behind me and was casting right in on top of me. When I turned around, the older one asked, "What did you catch those on?"
I told him, "Awww, not a serious lure. Just a worm." Then I paddled to where they had been fishing and caught a few more fish. That was therapeutic, too. Inconsiderate jerks. Not too long after that, I reached the time I had agreed to get off the water to be home before dark, so I beached and loaded up.
And here I am back at the Jeep after my therapeutic return to my beloved plastic craft and gear. I'm unkept, unshaven, and weak from getting over being sick...yet perfectly content and happy to be out on the water. It didn't matter that it was a short trip with less than half a dozen fish.
About the Author: When not on the road driving his semi or taking care of his small ranch in Northeast Oklahoma; Nate Free is on his kayak fishing. Nate grew up paddling canoes and fishing for Catfish and Crappie. In 2006 feeling burned out with the ranch life and horses Nate turned to fishing.
Originally looking for a small solo canoe, Nate discovered sit on top kayaks and hasn’t looked back. Since 2006 Nate doesn’t go kayaking unless he fishes and never fishes without his kayak.