Fishing Log: Fifth Fishing Trip, May 4, 2016

By | May 5, 2016
Fishing Log: Fifth Fishing Trip, May 4, 2016
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Skunk Or Dink? You Decide!

Where: Hawkins Pond, Center Harbor, NH

DSC02932

  • Acres: 91
  • Depth: Average: 11′; Maximum: 33′

In my previous fishing blog log I wondered where I should go next. After careful analysis and your suggestions (THANKS FOR PLAYING!), I decided to try Hawkins Pond.

As stated earlier, Hawkins Pond is only 15% the size of my home water, Webster Lake. So I thought maybe this place would be warmer than 53 degrees, and the bass might be starting to get moving!

  • Conditions
  • DSC02925Temperature (Air): Cool  44 degrees to 53 degrees
  • Sky: Overcast
  • Precipitation: 0%
  • Wind: WNW / SW / S / SSE @ 2 to 4 mph (Beaufort Wind Scale)
  • Visibility: 10.0 miles
  • Water Color: Clear
  • Water Temperature: Unknown

Results: Caught 1!

IMG_0517

This guy wasn’t afraid to bite a bait as big as he was!

Still no bass! But I did catch a fish right at the very start. Within minutes of casting, I had “caught” the interest of a perch. Not a big perch, but obviously a scrapper looking to get bigger! After all, he was trying to eat a lure nearly as large as he was!

I later had a much larger perch grab onto the same lure, but was able to release it feet from my Hobie Float Tube. No stress, no mess!

And that was the end of the action!

Techniques

The Usual Suspects!

In addition to the lipless crank bait that caught that monster perch in the photo above, I tried dragging the “pig & jig” across the bottom, hoping to locate some deeper water bass.

That did not happen.

So, after more than an hour of trying with my 2 “standards,” I made some adjustments.

Plastic “Worm”

I rigged up a plastic worm, or, to be accurate, a plastic crawfish. Not completely different from the “Pig ‘n Jig,” but somewhat smaller and just a crawfish. Fished very similarly to the “Pig ‘n Jig,” I still hoped that by reducing the size, I might entice some lethargic fish into biting.

That did not happen.

But it’s still something I’m glad I tried! And if you want to learn more about fishing plastic “worms” (in many shapes), be sure and check out the videos I posted here.

Crankbait

crankbaitsI wondered if the bass were out “deep.” I put that in quotes because Hawkins deepest point is only 33 feet. But I wanted to try and cover the entire water column, so I put on a lipped crankbait. These lures have a long lip on the front, and the longer the lip, the deeper they dive. You can get them right down to the bottom, and if that’s where the bass are, then you can catch some nice ones!

I managed to drag up some weeds in some places, but as far as catching a bass: That did not happen.

Terminator Spinnerbait

One of the items on my Christmas wish list was a terminator spinnerbait, and Brenda, My Internet bride, bought one for me!

I have never used these lures before, so I tied it on and cast it out. I tried a variety of retrieves, including fast, stop and go (letting the whole lure sink, then jerking it back into life), and everything in between.

I ran it deep and I ran it shallow, hoping to entice a bass to snap at it.

That did not happen.

Verdict

DSC02924

The BassHole powered Hobie Float Cat 75! Note fins on pontoon on left.

I fished in every part of the water column I could reach. I fished near the shore. I fished near the center. I covered as much water as was practical in my BassHole powered craft, and I fished in all my favorite locations, where in the past I’ve had my best success.

This time, that did not happen.

Was it a skunk? Maybe. After all, I didn’t catch any bass. But I like to think that dink perch saved me from a total skunk.

Was it a waste? Absolutely not! I was glad to get back into the water, and this was my first attempt at launching my Hobie at Hawkins. This is a fine place to fish for me, and is restricted to cartop type crafts, small boats, etc. So it’s generally peaceful.

Additionally, with my stiff left knee and general lack of flexibility, putting on my fins and then stepping into the opening of my Hobie is always a bit of a challenge. But this time I realized:

  • I could get in and THEN put on the fins, putting my feet up onto the pontoons to snap the fins’ straps.
  • I can leave one of the straps snapped, and put my foot through it, then tighten the back strap, saving me half my effort and struggles!

Sweet Sights!

baby ducklingsWhile fishing along the bank, I spotted a momma duck with 4 darling ducklings swimming along the shoreline. She climbed up onto a tree limb that had fallen (years ago) into the water, and the ducklings climbed up behind her. Then she launched back into the water, and the ducklings plopped in after her. They swam just a few feet, and suddenly about a dozen more little ducklings came racing out from under cover, jumped into the water, swam to the log, climbed up, and then RAN across the top of the water until they were swimming with the rest of the brood. It was just the cutest thing ever!

No idea if that’s some type of survival technique for the ducks, or if the additional brood were simply late for their appointment.

But THAT did happen!

What do you count as a positive experience when you aren’t catching fish?

Tight lines!

Roger, The Smiling BassHole

 

14 thoughts on “Fishing Log: Fifth Fishing Trip, May 4, 2016

  1. Joana

    Roger, As always a great adventure story! I bet being able to capture the ‘Sweet Sights’ with the ducks was as rewarding as catching a fish 🙂 Because what really matters is the process, and fun we have on the different steps of our journey!

    Positive experiences are all around us, just sometimes we are ‘too busy’ to see them. Recently I ‘just discovered’ the beautiful birds singing at my back garden. And the truth is they were always there, i just never listened.
    But to me positive experiences are being connected with myself, meaning doing what I love: hiking in nature, surfing, cycling, sailing, or simply spending time with inspiring people.

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Joana,

      Thanks for the positive remarks!

      Seeing the ducks was a real treat. Maybe as good as catching a small bass? But I certainly did enjoy the sight. I was most entertaining. They were certainly an act I do not see frequently.

      I agree, it’s the process that counts. That’s one reason I started the fishing log. To be certain I can go back and remember parts of that journey.

      And when the journey includes some bass, so much the better. But until then, baby ducks will give me a bit of a thrill.

      Enjoy your own positive experiences, listening to the birds, hiking, surfing, cycling, and sailing. And be sure and treasure spending time with inspiring people!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  2. rik

    Hi Roger,
    nice story. I am not really a fisherman, but have done it, up in northern Manitoba, ice fishing as well.
    Although, I like eating fresh fish, but not going out and catching them.
    Thanks for your story

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Thanks Rik.

      I like catching fish, but not eating them! I always just let them go. So much easier!

      I did go ice fishing once; once was enough for me! No casting! I love to throw the lure to a target, and (hopefully) hit the spot!

      Thanks so much for your comment!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  3. Derek

    Great read Roger!

    Hopefully the next time you go there you have better luck than you did this time. But hey, at least you caught something.

    Keep up the great writing and keep catching those bass!

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Thanks Derek!

      I’ve had some awesome days at Hawkins Pond. Especially late in the summer. Lots of action on topwater baits, which is a very exciting way to fish. Throw them into the weeds, let them sit, twitch, and BLAM! A bass attacks!

      Some big ones, too!

      I think the water is still pretty cold, so the fishing hasn’t really begun.

      Thanks for your wishes! May they become fishes!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  4. Tim

    Hi Roger,

    That was a great read and very well-written! It reminded me of Walden, by Henry David Thoreau because of the pond and your poetic description of your day with nature. It’s great that you saw the bright side of being out there and enjoying nature even if you didn’t catch the sought-after Bass. I guess, like so many outdoor activities, it’s often just an excuse to be out there and enjoy nature rather than having to achieve the goal.

    I loved the cute story about the ducklings. It’s the little moments like that in life that are so beautiful.

    Let the adventures and nice stories flow!

    Tim

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Thanks Tim.

      Well, I’m humbled. Just to be mentioned in the same lines as Henry David Thoreau is quite an honor. I certainly make no claim to his writing skill, but am thrilled my words made a connection to Walden for you!

      My brother has a bass pond up behind his property that I used to fly fish in when I visited my home state of Vermont. THAT was amazing! Beautiful surroundings, calm, and small enough for me to go anywhere in my float tube (I didn’t try to fly with my Hobie!). The first time we went up there, I caught a bass on every cast. My brother went back down to his house and told my wife, “Roger’s never coming back.”

      My favorite catch there was me throwing a fly over a log. Immediately, a 3 lb. bass snapped it up. I wondered, “How can I possibly get that fish over that log without losing it?” And, obligingly, the bass jumped out of the water and over the log! So I hauled her in! That was long before digital cameras, but still clear in my memory.

      Yes, the ducklings were adorable. And it certainly added beauty to my day.

      Thanks for commenting!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  5. Marc Parsons

    lol… That’s 1 greedy little Perch Roger!

    Sorry to hear that you didn’t catch any bass at Hawkins Pond, but hey… I’ll take a day on the water without fish anytime over staying on land…

    That kind of calmness is the best thing to clear your mind. And when stunning sights like the mommy duck and ducklings happens, it makes it that much more worthwhile.

    I must say that I love the idea of cartop type crafts only at Hawkins Pond. It must eliminate a lot of the noise pollution making for a truly relaxing day on the water.

    Looking forward to reading about your next adventure.

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Thanks Marc!

      Yes, that perch was a scrapper! No fear!

      I thought Hawkins might have warmed up more than the other lakes around here, but maybe not. It’s a bit further north, so despite being smaller, maybe less sun?

      The ducks were a real treat! I was happy with the first lot, but when those others rushed out of the brush and spilled onto the water, it was most amusing.

      The cartop crafts only does keep the engine noise, and waves from boats, down. So it can be most peaceful. Though there is often some construction going on, so you do hear all that. And there’s one man who has a glider plane. It’s actually pretty fun to watch him slowly inch across the sky, but boy is it loud!

      Still, I do love the pond. And know there will be great fishing there ahead.

      Thanks for your comment!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  6. Tove

    Hi, Roger.
    I loved reading about your fishing adventure. It’s so inspiring when you don’t get frustrated from not getting so much fish, but instead, see the beauty in nature. I’m talking about the duck family. Such a beautiful image. I like to read about interesting stories, like yours. But it’s also important with illustrating images. Thanks for a nice ride.
    Tove

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Thanks Tove!

      I do try to stay positive, and remember, “It’s called fishing, not catching.

      During my research, I read blogs and articles by Pro Bass Fishermen who point out that they have tough days too. And that their attitude is they have 8 hours to find the bass, THEN to catch some. And if they get 5 bass in one eight hour day (that’s the limit), they’ve done their job. I’m certainly no pro! So I’m grateful for any action.

      Plus I realize there’s a lot more to enjoy on my trips than just the fishing itself.

      Glad you enjoyed the post!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  7. Allison

    Looks like you had fun fishing! I love how you capture the trip with photos and specific details of where you went. You’re quite the fisherman and a great reviewer. It’s really great to see someone doing what they love and writing about it with such passion. I think it’s a dream for many really and how great that you’re doing it? Your site is really great. I love all of the fantastic photos you have here. It really sets the scene for fishing and your readers are given the chance to feel like they are really included and there with you. What are your next fishing adventures? I bet you’ve got quite a bit planned. Can’t wait to hear more. Keep doing what you’re doing and having fun : )

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Thanks Allison!

      I do have fun fishing. And I love writing! I don’t know why it took me so long to decide to combine these two things and have fun both ways!

      All the details about the trips are so I can remember where I went when and what happened. So in future years I can start to see trends and know what makes the most sense.

      The reviews help me with my own research. I really want to get something I can hook a trolling motor to, so I’m researching kayaks and inflatable pontoon boats. I liked SeaEagle crafts so much that I put their link on my page!

      I’m taking a bit of time off to catch up on my writing, and to let the lakes warm up a bit. I plan to be out by the end of next week, and when I do, I’ll be sure and post a “blog log”!

      Thanks for the kind words.

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply

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