TS deftly inserted himself between the groups while I set my tip up farther out from the crowd. After rigging the tip up with the usual 4'' shiner for pike, I drilled a series of holes and immediately found an active school of panfish. While I was working the school, TS was working his new neighbours Lee and Derrick, picking their brains for further info on the lake as they were locals and had already iced a half dozen decent pike and a few good perch.
I'd been trying a variety of jigs, small spoons and rubber in an attempt to tempt when the bells on my tip up indicated some heavier action 100' feet away. For the first time in it's history, my tip up actually tipped over and if not for it's design, would have been dragged completely down the hole. By the time I reached the hole, only an inch of the cork handle was above water and the submerged reel's drag could still be heard screaming in protest to the powerful hit. After a brief fight we were all surprised by the size of the pike that nearly took my rig: a scrappy 24". Not a monster by any means but a good early start to the day.
Meanwhile, Tackle Shop's new friend Derrick has iced another small pike and Lee, to my surprise has landed a 12"smallmouth bass! While all that excitement was happening, I'd broken out my secret weapon; a live maggot on a Northland's Hexi Fly jig. With this combo I quickly worked my way through the schools of small bluegill, pumpkinseed and perch in each hole, searching for the elusive schools of crappie that I never would find on this day.
|Northland's Hexi Fly jig|
By mid afternoon Derrick packed up his fish, said his goodbye's and had his holes immediately taken over by TS. And so it seems we all shifted a little towards the left, as I'd worked my way through several schools of tiny fish and was now in the general area of TS and Lee. I'd already caught a personal best 4 species for the day and was working to increase that number when Lee dove for his rod, just a few feet away from my tip up, and landed a beautiful pound and a half largemouth!
|The "Bass Man" Lee|
|Twins...perhaps, but mine was definitely eating better!|