I got a haircut this morning. At my age I’m just thankful I have enough hair to warrant such activity!
I’m still old school and actually go to a real old time barber shop. No “hair stylist” for me. I tried that one time and it just wasn’t comfortable having my hair cut next to ladies who were getting perms and having their hair styled into all kinds of contortions. I’ve had the same hair style for almost 70 years. No reason to change now.
While I was in the shop my barber, Jerry, was telling me about his latest fishing outing last week and some remarkable fish he hooked. All in a narrow pond that most of us would easily pass by while traveling to the “big water” with miles of shoreline and “huge potential”.
I know I’ve jumped on this subject before, but here I am again extolling the virtues (and potential) of small local lakes, farm ponds, creeks and, in Southern Indiana, old strip mine pits. Often the smaller the better.
Seems Jerry was bank fishing a narrow pit with lots of fallen trees in the water. Plenty of stick-ups and hang-ups for those who were less adroit casters than my barber friend.
In a very short period of time Jerry hooked into two 5 lb.+ largemouth’s while spotting his spinner bait between rotting tree branches. Best of all, he got some fantastic “tail walks” out of those fish who, more likely than not, hadn’t seen a spinner bait (or any bait for that matter) for a long, long time.
As he related his story you could see his eyes light up and his animation increase. Now that’s great most for the time, but while he has a pair of scissors in one hand and a razor in the other trying to give me an acceptable shear it’s a bit unnerving. But what can you do? After all, fishing and hunting are what we do, right?
Ultimately he lost both fish when they threw the bait, but in my mind that’s not so bad. He got a spectacular show and would have released both fish anyway. But his point was well taken: Most of us, yours truly included, will drive miles and miles to get to the big lake, the “big water” where we test our angling skills in numerous spots, all the while burning gas and beating ourselves up scurrying from one spot to the next.
And just how many little lakes, creeks, and ponds do we pass on the way that may hold a potential trophy fish? Hey, I’m as guilty as the next guy when it comes to this. And try as hard as I might, I invariably keep doing it.
Flashback. Just a few weeks ago my buddy came into the store with a picture of what had to have been an 8 lb.+ largemouth. He told me how he had caught (and released) this trophy when he stopped by a small pond that had been created by excavations for a new Wal-Mart a few years ago. The pond had drainage into and out of it and evidentially a great stock of baitfish. But it was S-M-A-L-L and no one (except my buddy) would ever think about dropping a line into such a small body of water. You can bet he’s glad he did!
This weekend the thermometer dropped to 7 degrees. That’s cold in my book. And a great reason to take a stab at the smaller, drive-right-up-to-the-water lakes I’m talking about. If you get too cold no problem. Just put your gear down and warm up in the car. No boat to mess with, no hassles, no resetting. Nope, just warm up and get back to the shore and you’re fishing again. Great strategy for Fall. And potentially a great strategy for some nice fish!
My haircut turned out OK although it looks best if I tilt my head to the right so the bare spots don’t show as much. But that’s a small price to pay for some great fishing advice. And a recommitment to really, really try to fish the small, easily overlooked ponds that invariably hold nice, hungry fish!
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