Plans are equal parts preparation and hope. When the planets align, and the fishing gods are smiling, a singular day of angling awaits. So it was yesterday. I arrived at G.T.’s just after dawn, the forecast calling for a quick warmup into the nineties; unseasonal for mid-June. We were bound for that Conservation Dept. lake we had discovered on our last target shooting outing. The one with that beautiful emerald green color, where we watched bass and bluegill cruising the shore, standing there without our rods.
On the way, we took the time to stop at Ihop; easier to concentrate on the fishing with a full stomach and a good load of caffeine on board. For basic yet tasty breakfast fare, it’s hard to beat Ihop.
Like many state forest lakes, getting there involves gravel roads and low water stream crossings. The payoff is seclusion and solitude. The temperature was hovering at a pleasant 70 degrees when we arrived. A gentle wind roughened the lake’s surface, and soon we had the kayak unloaded, ready to launch. Somewhere a bullfrog protested our presence. Carefully stepping into the kayak, I settled comfortably in the seat, and pushed off, the paddle finding purchase in the lake’s mud bottom. The sensation of gliding was akin to flying, especially if I concentrated on the sky’s reflection in the water.
First, let me say that if you are seeking a fishing kayak, it would be difficult to improve upon the Malibu Pro Explorer. A little heavy at about 65 lbs but oh so stable in the water. Easy to maneuver with a very comfortable padded seat. Rigging my 12′ Iwana with an equal length of 4.5 level line and five feet of 5X tippet and a small green popper, I began to fish the shoreline from the kayak. Immediately small bluegill began their beserker attack. Then (here’s the proverbial fish story) a bass of at least three pounds pounced. I could see the entire fish in the clear water near shore. It dove, wrapped the line around some underwater debris, and…well, you can guess the rest. I went on to catch some nice green sunfish but no more bass.
After a leisurely circuit of the entire lake, the temperature quickly increasing, I reluctantly ended this day of angling. Needless to say, G.T. and I will be returning to plumb the mysteries of this lake.