I got out on Friday after work and walked down to Little Shades Creek. An appropriate name for a shallow trickle. My people in Southern Virginia would call it a branch. Up in Chicago we might call it a creek. Down here I can’t tell that anyone has much of a use for it, but it does hold small redeye bass and beautifully colored longear sunfish. It’s also directly across the street from my office and a good option for a lunchtime dabble.
I didn’t bring my fishing gear. Just an initial scouting mission. I ran into a large softshell turtle in the shallows, basking in the sun. He wasn’t bothered at all by my presence and made no effort to move even when I stroked his smooth, leathery shell.
The doodlebugs set up a subdivision in the sand next to the bridge piling. They craft little cones that ants and other insects stumble into and have a hard time getting out. The doodlebugs toss sand in the air with their heads to keep their prey slipping back down the sides and into their waiting jaws. For those who haven’t coaxed doodlebugs the method is simple.
Put you face down close to their den and say “Doodlebug, doodlebug come out from your home.”
The vibrations of your voice are enough for them to think something is close by and they begin to throw sand into the air, hoping to win the lunchtime lottery.
On Saturday I moped around the house in the morning. Bacon, fried new potatoes and toast. That’s my South in a nutshell.
I got out in the afternoon to the Sipsey River where comes out at the Smith Lake Dam. They pull from the bottom of the dam and the water is around 48˚ year-round. It’s stocked monthly with rainbow trout. I wanted to find some spotted bass in the mid-water where it warms downstream.
The turbines hadn’t generated in a few days and the water was very low and very cold. I watched trout ignore my lures. When they’re generating this stretch goes up 15 feet quickly. They sound a horn just prior. They’ve built stairs along the river route so that the brash, deaf or unlucky have a chance when the water rises.
Further down river I got into mixed habitat. Still a few trout, but more spotted bass, bluegills, etc.
I tried for a full 30 minutes to pull one of two spots of of this log jam. They just stared me down and giggled. Yeah, right pal. The water is just too clear. From my understanding when the water rises it’s much easier to fish. In the chaos of the deluge they can be fooled.
The most amazing, and un-photograph-able sight was when a half dozen 15 lb. striped bass raised hell upriver, chasing trout, bream and bass alike. I threw the box at ‘em. They just laughed.
On Sunday I went out to visit my friends Curtis & Wanda. They’ve got some acreage with a pond that is as well-manicured as a Rich Woman’s Dog. I’m surprised Bill Dance hasn’t filmed there yet, it’s just that ridiculous.
Kind of silly even to take a pic of a 4.5 lber. It’s just that kind of pond.
More to come as I hit some new water. I’ll either run way north or way south next weekend.
I have closed all comments on this blog. If you want to say hey, tweet me at @heysambennett.