Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Hired Gun

Ok not really a hired gun but I like to think of it that way. A guy who owns a farm offered a unique fishing opportunity. He has a small pond and feels it is over run with small bass. He wanted all of the bass and other fish removed except for bluegills. You don't get opportunities like this very often but I was concerned about the outcome of the fish being taken out. Later I was told they would be used for a fish fry. The challenge would be targeting specific fish and seeing how many I could catch in a short amount of time. I'd only have a couple hours to fish and each fish had to be measured and weighed.
I started with my go to bass fly the stealth bomber. The bass in this pond average under 12inches so I went with a size 6 fly. With my first cast I had a small 4inch bass inspect the fly. I figured it would slam it but it came up sniffed the fly then refused. The next 20min were spent figuring the place out. There were so many good looking fishy spots but I couldn't see any activity. I saw swirls and breaks in the surface here and there. Then as I started to really look I could make out fish here and there. As the sun went behind the trees the fish activity picked up. The bomber was actually getting attention. These fish wanted a swimming retrieve instead of quick twitches. If I skid the fly along the surface I would get a hit. Once I caught my first fish I almost instantly released it. I had to remind myself why I was there and what I was doing. I had found an overhanging bush near the bank where fish were stacked up. Most likely feeding on dragon flies and nymphs. I caught several fish from this spot.
A gill hit my popper as soon as it landed then on the way in the gill spit the fly. Right as the bomber landed a bass inhaled it. I'm not sure if the bass was following the gill or if the fly just landed right in front of the fish. It happened so fast I almost didn't react. I think I set the hook more because I was startled. The fish hit a couple feet from shore. When it was all said and done I had 7 bass and 4 bluegills in 2hrs. That wasn't very good in my opinion. Then I thought about having never fished this water and not knowing what to expect. It was a good day and a fun experience. I'm not sure if I will go back. I forgot what happens for fish when they are left in a bucket. The coloring of the bass became mottled and they looked sickly. It bothered me and as fun as it was I wondered if I did the right thing. I should have stuck a knife in their head or bashed them with a rock. That seems so gruesome but it was probably the more humane thing to do. I might be back to this pond when the fish are bigger and the owner wants them all released.


  1. Interesting experience. A bass accidentally got hooked through the top of its head this morning, and it died. I felt absolutely terrible about it. I don't know if I would have fished that guys lake and gave him what I caught.

  2. I also need to thin the pond I fish. I dont like putting fish on a stringer to suffer, although this has resulted in some cool experiences. I used to keep a few bluegill every now and then. With the stringer in the water, 5 pound bass used to routinely try to take hand sized fish off the stringer. I kept the occasional bass too, and once had a three pounder keep blasting a 10 inch bass on my stringer. Such opportunistic feeders.

  3. I'd take the job and do it in a heartbeat. If the fish have got to be kept, put them out of misery. A frying pan can be an honorable end.