Monday, June 27, 2016

More trials await for bass fishing

By Mac Arnold
RTWO Editor-In-Chief

With the kids safely dispatched to their West Virginia home, it is now time to get serious about baaaaaaaaaaaaass fishing at Rockin' The Wild Outdoors with Mac.

I don't know what it is about the heat and July Fourth, but once those elements come together, I must bass fish. And I must do it intensely.

Which means casts until shoulders ache, and rowing and navigating the canoe until the lower back locks up.

But with the melanoma only three years or so removed, long sunstroke afternoons of being shirtless man in the canoe are definitely out. Covering up to some degree is a must.

There have been a couple of gigs in the backyard pond in June but those have only produced the little guys.

The last outing Thursday, June 23, which at first was quite frustrating, actually offered logistical results. After an initial 12-incher was pulled out, it was all systems fail with the rod rigged up for drop shots and plastics, and that seemed to be the preferred bait. This "monster" was yanked in along with a mound of pond grass, which at first gave off the hint of a jumbo and got me all worked up.

Photo by Mac Arnold
So far only the little guys have gotten hooked, 
but we will definitely do better this summer.
But things eventually went downhill when all casts afterward would barely go 10 feet. At first it seemed like it was that the reel was stripped. The later diagnosis was bad line.

And this Seaguar line was touted highly by the salesman at Cabela's. (I think this has come up before in a past post.)

OK, maybe it was because the line was still on from last summer or because it's just plain lousy line, whatever it was, it's no longer on the reel.

After an initial harrumphing in the kitchen to the wife who was in her own disarray trying to leave for work, I stripped it off and put on 10-pound Trilene test. This is not my preferred line, which is Stren, but it is one I'm familiar with and I at least know will do the job.

While stringing up the reel I realized this was another of my trials on gear. Every so often it's fun to see how some broadhead, bow or ... fishing line works for the novelty of it. Once the newness fades, it's always a return to what is a proven winner.

Here it was no different. And it has been the same way in the deer woods: After trying out one pack of broadheads after another I'm back with the 100-grain Wasp Jak-Hammers.

I'm pretty sure this is what I'm going to stay with for the upcoming deer archery season. Over the last two seasons two deer have been easily recovered -- one dropped immediately on the spot from a high shoulder hit and the other after waiting overnight because the shot was back a ways, but it was found only 50 yards from the stand.

How did I go from bass to deer? Anyway, there will plenty of time on here to delve into fall bow gear and whatnot later as October approaches, so back to baaaaaaaaaaass fishing. Bass fishing.

With the lack of rain we've been having, I'm predicting a much better season this summer, mainly because the fish will be easier to find in the deeper pools from lower water levels.

So the line is on. It's just a matter of getting on the water. Let's hit it.


Upcoming draws also are on my mind: elk and bear. The Michigan DNR will be releasing the results Wednesday (June 29) for both.

Not really expecting much here elk-wise, which for Michigan rolls the same results as for Maine moose: zippo! 

But bear in the Upper Peninsula has come through tag-wise here and there over the last few years and it would be cool to score another one. A tag that is. I still haven't found success even seeing one under the stand let alone bagging one.

So getting another opportunity would be nice. Besides, the U.P. is a great place to view the outdoors and have an adventure. 

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