Friday, February 6, 2009

Fishing a Warm Water Discharge 02-02-09

On Super Bowl Sunday night, I got an unexpected call from a friend, Mike, who I connected with at the Smallmouth Symposium this past Saturday. Mike had handed me a flyer for a boat that was for sale. It was his 1998 Sea Ark McBass. So, I asked him what he was going to do after he sold his boat and he told me that he already bought another, a 2005 Snyder with a 90/65 Johnson... Cool!

When Mike called on Sunday and asked if I was interested in hitting a local WWD to fish on Monday, I didn't hesitate to take him up on it.

I had to spool up three reels and get some tackle together before the game started. I put a few spinnerbaits, tubes, hair jigs, grubs, and some Winco lures together in a small tackle bag.

It was 24 degrees when I loaded up the gear on Monday morning. The sun was coming up and the weatherman was calling for a nice 39 degrees with an approaching front from the west moving that would bring rain and snow flurries.

When I got to the ramp, I unpacked my gear and noticed that I had forgotten my tackle bag back home! All that time I spent the day before prepping for my first outing of the new year and then this. :? All I had was the three lures I tied on the day before... a hair jig, a tube, and a spinnerbait. Mike had a good laugh and told me that I could use any of his tackle he had along. Phew!

I was dressed rather warm with silks, face mask, and heavy winter clothing. The trip to the discharge was rather chilly, to say the least. We were greeted by [i]70 degree[/i] water temperature and steam rising from the surface. It was toasty and unproductive.

We fished for about an hour before Mike landed his first feisty channel cattie. It was a good eating size, but Mike returns it to the water.

As the morning wore on, the water temperature began to drop and the air temperature rose. The water temp finally settled in at 58 degrees. It was then that I caught my first smallmouth of 2009. She was a beautiful 17.5" smallie that fought like a champ.

Mike landed a flathead in the same area. Both fish were aggressive and gave us good fights. Both were released.

Another thirty minutes passed before I caught a second bass. She hit with a vengeance... THUNK! I was greeted with a leap of greatness. What a fish!! When she turned in the air, we caught a glimpse of her girth... a hawg.

I loosened my drag and started to hand feed line as she pulled and dug for the bottom. She was a fighter and made every attempt to shake that tube stuck in the side of her jaw.

I kept the pressure on her and when she came near the boat, she tried to run under it and hide. I waited her out until I felt that she was good and ready to come to hand.

When I first held her up, I thought she had a chance of being near the 20" mark. When I measured her on Mike's Golden Rule, she came in at 19.75". Mike commented that she was a good 4+ lb'er.

This fish had beautiful coloration and markings. She made my day.


We ended the day with five fish, three catfish and two bass.

When I returned to my truck, I was curious to see what the air temperature was on my truck's temp gauge. It had risen from 24 degrees to 48 degrees in four hours. Not bad for Groundhog Day!

(reprinted from