Belle Isle Lunch Excursion 8-24-2010

24 08 2010

Met up with a buddy of mine from KBF, Chuck, and decided to head out to Belle Isle to do some lunch time fishing. There is a large, clear, lake that’s at the western most section of the island.

I think Chuck stated it’s an old rock quarry, so the lake is very deep. The drop offs from the banks are severe, which made finding places to stand and fish a little difficult. There are several laydowns around the lake as well as a boardwalk/walking path on one side. I took only 2 rods and 2 baits: the SPRO Bronzeye in the new color and a 4″ watermelon Yum Dinger rigged wacky. I find a bank that I can scale down that has a laydown near, so I carefully make my way down the side and get to casting.

The first laydown is large and covers a LOT of area, and runs perpendicular to the bank. There is also about 8 feet of thick vegetation growing out from the bank, so if I manage to hook into a fish, I’ll have to navigate it around/in/out of the laydown and then pull it through the salad. I begin casting the frog first and after around 10 or so casts, I switch over to the Dinger. A few casts working the bait back to me with no bites, I decide on my next cast to dead stick it and see what happens. I cast my bait out short of most of the laydown, let out line so it’ll get to the bottom and wait. After about 30 seconds of waiting, I notice my line moving. I felt no tap but the line is definitely moving so I set the hook. FISH ON!!! I didn’t have the laydown to content with, but had to pull the fish through the salad. It came up with a bunch of vegetation, but I landed a ~12″ largemouth. I catch and release (and manage to get my work clothes dirty) and move on to the next spot.

I move to the western most point on the lake and there is a series of laydowns that look promising (I see a few bobbers in the limbs). Again, I begin with the frog but get no action. I throw the Dinger around several of the laydowns with no action. I decide to make one last cast and then move on. This time I decide to cast 20 yards beyond the laydown and let the stickbait sink and soak. After about 5 or 10 seconds of resting on the bottom, I get the familiar tap-tap on the line so I set the hook. FISH ON!!!! Unfortunately this time I have to contend with several laydowns and the fish makes a bee line for them. I’m able to maneuver it in and out of a few of the laydowns but it eventually gets wrapped around a trunk and breaks me off. This was a sizable fish so I’m a little disappointed, but it was expected given my position and the number of laydowns. I am impressed by the Yo-Zuri Hybrid 6 lb test I used as a leader. It withstood most of that battle, fighting around several laydowns before finally giving in at my snell knot. I decide to move on, but not before tying on a new finesse hook.

I climb down the bank near the pier at the eastern most point of the lake and begin casting my Dinger again. After about 5 minutes of numerous casts, I finally get another tap-tap and I set the hook and land a ~14″ LMB. Time is running short and I needed to head back to work, however, I wanted to cast a few times into the James since it’s running so low. I head over to the rocks and start making casts.

While walking the rocks, I spot a nice eddy that has the distinguishable silhouette and tail of a black bass. I immediately hit the ground hoping the fish didn’t see me. I yell over to Chuck that I see a bass. From my knees, I cast my Dinger into the eddy and within 5 seconds I get a tap-tap and I set the hook. FISH ON!!!! I yell over to Chuck, “I GOT HIM!”. I rise to my feet and get into my fighting stance, this fish has some size, probably a 16″-er!!! Unfortunately, he takes one leap and my hook is thrown. I get a look at him as he took a leap and it was definitely a largemouth. I turn around to complain to Chuck about losing the fish.

After my complaining I turn back to the eddy to see if the LMB is still there and notice 2 large gars have made their way into this tiny eddy, both about 2 foot long. I can’t believe this tiny eddy had a LMB and now 2 gars in there. I know there’s no way I’ll catch one of them, but I decide to cast my Dinger at them and see what they’ll do. Unexpectedly, one of the gars turns to my stickbait and takes a bite. I attempt to set the hook but there’s no way that hook is going to penetrate the rock hard mouth of the gar. It opens its mouth and scoots off. Funny…

I head back to work after a much needed break from coding an Android application. The Belle Island lake is awesome, I just need to figure out how to get my kayak there…

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