I'm not the type of gal to admit defeat easily, and I know the fish are still in there, biting happily under the weeds. If I can just push through the frustration of dragging in clumps of vegetation with every cast, I know I can catch a doozie. But wait...what if there is a better way to fish here? What if I commandeer the paddler and try fishing offshore?
I loaded up the little paddleboat one summer afternoon, the first I had free after spending a month on the road for work. Sunny and 75 degrees, with just a few clouds skittering across the deep blue sky, the pond couldn't have looked prettier (minus the green ring of slime around the circumference). Stocked with lures, soft baits, two poles, sunscreen, and an iPod, Pond Scum and I pushed off from the shallow water at the dock and paddled for the heart of the pond.
Since I was fishing alone, with no one to critique my efforts, I chose to cast for panfish instead of search for bass. I found a little crappie jig in my tackle box and, with furrowed brow, set to work. Colorado spoon first, followed by an electric lime Crappie Thunder soft lure, tipped with red sparkle crappie PowerBait. It may sound like the kitchen sink approach to fishing, but I thought it looked pretty appealing. Apparently, so did the fish.
8-7-2, my final tally for the day. As I cast for hours from the little paddler, the fish just kept coming. Bluegill first, aggressively hitting on what felt like every other flip, bending my light pole in a beautiful arc as they dove and fought in the warm water. Crappie came next, silvery and spotted, some small enough the lure filled their maw completely, some large enough to make a nice-sized fillet. I even managed to snag two nice bass, probably due more to the frustration of the spoon than the temptation of the bait. To my mother: yes, I stood in the boat; no, I didn't wear floaties; and yes, I was just fine. Even better was that I finally ditched the my glove, proudly palming my fish and only getting spined once or twice by an uncooperative catch as I gingerly retrieved my hook from their mouths. Pink from the sun and with a permanent smile of joy, I headed to the shore at dusk, fish grime coating my hands and full-hearted from yet another beautiful summer day on the water, more convinced than ever that a boat is in my future.