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  • Sharing the wealth - By SlabsRus

    Yesterday was yet another great day in the life of this fisherman. To begin with, I had the pleasure of meeting a couple anglers for the first time. John showed up at Trestle Park to meet me and we shared some great conversation. After we had chatted for about twenty minutes or so, Ann arrived. John came over to the park just so that we could meet in person after having conversed on line for some time. Ann, who I had read some of my stories on line, showed up to join me for some bluegill fishing. The three of us gabbed for a bit and then it was time for Ann and I to hit the water.

    Ann had brought a kayak to use, but when I asked her about possibly going a mile or so off shore, and her response was a not so confident, " I think I could do that", I thought there might be a better way to get her on some fish. When ever I am going to meet someone to go fishing from a kayak, and I am not sure of their experience, I always make sure to take my second kayak seat with me, and I am glad I did it yesterday. I immediately offered for her to join me in my kayak so that she wouldn't have to try to fish and control her own kayak, as I could tell she was not yet an avid kayak angler. Well she accepted my offer, we loaded our gear, and off we went.

    With the wind out of the south at five to seven miles per hour, it was at our back the entire way out to one of my favorite bluegill hangouts in East Bay. The sky was mostly cloudy, and though it was quite warm and humid on shore, the breeze made it very comfortable off shore as we arrived at the bluegill honey hole.
    Before we left shore Ann had mentioned that she had brought an assortment of live bait, leeches, worms, etc., and while that was all ok with me, I informed her that I am strictly an artificial bait user, so she left all the live bait in her vehicle. I set her up with a pink micro jig, and immediately colored it black with my sharpie marker. I had run out of my purple jigs, and knew that black would work, but what I didn't know was that the black marker on a pink jig made for a very nice purple color. We both baited our jigs with a Berkley Gulp Alive minnow and started casting toward the deep water edge of some weeds.

    It was only a matter of a cast or two before we had both hooked, and landed, a couple decent bluegills. As we worked our way along the weeds, one fish after another took our bait,and though they were nice fish at six to six and a half inches, they were not the ones we were looking for. Since Ann was wanting to take some fish home for a dinner, and my personal size limit for keeping bluegills is a minimum of seven and a half inches, preferably eight inches, I figured I would let my tiny jig sink to see if the larger fish were holding near the bottom.

    Well it didn't take long to realize that was the right presentation to try as I immediately caught a nice bluegill that was just under eight inches. That first good panfish had taken my bait as soon as it was with about a foot of the bottom, and though it was of keeper size, I informed Ann of my tradition of always releasing the first keeper of the day, and then I carefully let the beautiful fish go back into East Bay to swim another day. I told Ann to start letting her micro jig go to the bottom, and that was all it took. It was game on.

    For the following 3 hours we were on bluegills, and a good percentage of them were over eight inches, with several being in the nine to ten inch range. As long as our jigs made it to the bottom without being eaten by smaller fish on the way down, we would hook a good keeper. It was actually a bit of a frenzy for a while as I wasn't even able to let my lure dangle over the side while try to put a good one on the stringer without a five or six incher getting hooked. It was quickly becoming a great afternoon of fishing as the stringer started to fill.

    We had already placed about a dozen good fish on the stringer when Ann set the hook on a dandy. When she reeled it in, and got it to the side of the kayak to land it, I could see it was by far the best bluegill of the day, and would be a hard one to beat. With a bit of a bulge starting to form on its forehead, and Ann barely being able to get her hand around it, that blue gill was definitely a bull in the making. It went on the stringer with the rest of our catch, and did hold out to be the largest of the day.

    We fished a total of about four hours, with non-stop action, other than a couple brief periods when the wind picked up and the fish shut down. At around 5:45 pm, the wind had started to blow and wasn't letting up. Waves of a foot or more were starting to come over the bow, and the side, of my kayak, and since we had a good stringer of fish, I decided it was time to call it quits and get off the lake before we ended up going for an unplanned swim.

    Once we made it back to Trestle Park, I put Anns new filet knife to the test, and I must say, it worked quite well. It only took about a half hour to filet the twenty one nice bluegills we had kept, giving Ann a nice bag of filets to take home, and me another great experience on beautiful Houghton Lake.



    Comments 11 Comments
    1. "G"'s Avatar
      "G" -
      Good report
    1. skeetbum's Avatar
      skeetbum -
      Some good gill fishing and a good dinner.
    1. hugastump's Avatar
      hugastump -
      I got to get up there and fish Houghton Lake ! I have never been on it , driven by it , but everybody I talk too just calls it a " Fish Factory"
    1. DaveB40's Avatar
      DaveB40 -
      Great story, especially since it involved fishing from a 'yak!
      I do love your tradition of releasing the first keeper. Gives
      meaning to conservation. May have to give that a try.
      Thanx for posting & Tight Lines - Dave
    1. scrat's Avatar
      scrat -
      Wow! Nice bluegills. Thanks for sharing the report and pictures.
    1. Billbob's Avatar
      Billbob -
      good read
    1. brucec's Avatar
      brucec -
      Good day.
    1. elkhunter's Avatar
      elkhunter -
      Looks like a good time.
    1. Ketchn's Avatar
      Ketchn -
      nice read and some nice bream as well
    1. Dave and Lynn's Avatar
      Dave and Lynn -
      Nice gills.
    1. Anchor Man's Avatar
      Anchor Man -
      Nice mess.
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