Hunting Fishing

Finally back on the water, he hits the bonanza: fish biting, then beating a storm

Roger George shows off a catch at San Luis Reservoir in this undated photo. He recently got back on the water after a relatively long layoff and describes the gamut of emotions.
Roger George shows off a catch at San Luis Reservoir in this undated photo. He recently got back on the water after a relatively long layoff and describes the gamut of emotions. Special to The Bee

It had been over 10 days since I had gone fishing last and I was feeling very antsy. The glowing fishing reports I got during my downtime didn’t help my demeanor. The darn bug I couldn’t shake had me coughing day and night, too, but I was getting better. Was I ready to hit it yet?

Doing my homework on the possibility of a trip, I could see that there was a window between some nasty storms that just might work for me. However, mixing in a full moon didn’t bode well. I doubled down on my medicine and kicked up my liquids and vitamins to be sure I was ready.

The night before the trip, I get everything ready so I could leave early to try to beat the storm front predicted to hit at noon. I go to bed around 9:30 a.m. and sleep soundly until around 1:15 a.m. when Mia (the pooch!) lets me know she needs to go out. I let her out, but she doesn’t come back! I spend five minutes calling her. Now I’m going around the yard with the flashlight, half-naked and cold, when I finally see she’s got a possum cornered behind the house. Darn dog!

I get back in bed, it’s 1:45! I’m awake now, but I need to sleep. I’m tossing around. I peek at the clock: 2:30. It’s nearly 3 when I move to the living room. I give up and turn on the coffee at 3:30. I hit the road at 3:58. Maybe I could nap later? I’m exhausted.

I get to the lake at 6 and I’m the second boat in line. Maybe I should catch that nap now? No – time to get excited!

I launch. What do I do now? The water has fallen over 10 feet recently and the world has changed. I suddenly think of an area I haven’t fished for six months and head for it. I’m not sure why it seemed right, but why not?

I was working on my second Starbucks coffee, feeling temporarily better as I slowed and began trolling my area with the first plug I saw in my box. Fish began showing up all over on the sonar. I was just wondering if they might bite when my pole began pumping – a good one over 24 inches! I kept up this pace for the next hour with 10 fish. I wasn’t tired now!

Two hours later the rampage is still going on when I get a hard strike and the drag starts going out. The chunky striper fought like it was a 20-pounder, but it was just around 13-14 pounds. Still, a beauty. It swam away. Other anglers weren’t doing very well.

I was running out of gas by noon, and I knew there was a huge front coming just over the hills, so I decided it was time to go. Just as I left the lake the cold wind picked up and the raindrops began. I missed some bad stuff by 15 minutes.

As I limped back home I realized what a great trip it had been. Conditions had been crazy with a full moon, falling water and a big incoming storm, but I had somehow found a great area and just happened to pull out the right lure. Every second had been productive. Then getting out at the right time? A royal flush!

I think I slept over 12 hours when I got home. I guess the “never give up” thing actually works. Just don’t forget the caffeine!

NGU!

Roger George is The Bee’s fishing expert: rogergeorge8000@sbcglobal.net, Rogergeorgeguideservice on Facebook and @StriperWars

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