04-05-2020 - New Hope Creek @ Stagecoach Road waterfowl impoundment. Misadventures in fishing.
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Thread: 04-05-2020 - New Hope Creek @ Stagecoach Road waterfowl impoundment. Misadventures in fishing.

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  1. #1
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    Default 04-05-2020 - New Hope Creek @ Stagecoach Road waterfowl impoundment. Misadventures in fishing.

    04-05-2020
    New Hope Creek at the Stagecoach Road waterfowl impoundment

    --

    The day began on a strong note and appeared to be poised to become a wonderful day of fishing. I woke up early (even before my alarm went off) and felt pretty good, so I got an earlier start than expected. I didn't have a bunch of errands to run, or any site scouting to do, so I knew I could go somewhere and spend the bulk of the day fishing and really work the spot hard. Sadly, the Fish God (C'thulu??) did not deign to smile upon me. Nay. Instead the Fish God picked me up, threw me down on the ground, stomped on me, ground me under his heel, turned me upside down, set me on fire, and cursed my name and the name of my line unto the 7th generation. Stupid Fish God. Grrr...

    Anyway... like I was saying. I started the day expecting big things. I had stayed up late last night studying Google Earth pictures of the Stagecoach Road waterfowl impoundment, and looking at historical pictures from when the water was lower, so I could get a better understanding of the layout and structure there. (Thanks to @SurfRider for that tip!) I learned that I had misunderstood where the main channel of the creek flows as it leaves the spillway, which re-shaped my ideas about where some bass might hold in there. In response that that new knowledge, I decided to switch to fishing from the other side of the creek, to get better access to the deeper part. Not that any of the water out there is exactly what anybody would call "deep" as best as I can tell. At least not at the current water levels.

    So I get there nice and early (by my standards. Which meant slightly after 1:00 pm) and headed down the bank across from the spillway and down to about halfway between the spillway and the bridge where Stagecoach crosses over the creek. Started working the points around either end of that little sandbar that sits out there, as well as the main channel of the creek, casting upstream and bring the bait downstream. I mostly try to fish so that my lure is moving in the direction of the current, or perpendicular to it, or at least at a slight angle. I mostly try not to have my lure swimming right directly into the current. I don't know how much different it actually makes, but I've heard it said that doing that gives a more natural presentation, since most naturally occurring bass-food items would be moving with the current, and not against it. If anybody who fishes creeks a lot cares to chime in on this point, it would be appreciated.

    So I spent hours out there working that area. Crankbaits, lipless crankbaits, Rebel hardbody crawdad baits, spoons, worms of all shapes and colors. Beetle Spins. Fast retrieves, slow retrieves; I even broke out a Jitterbug and tried for some topwater action. NOTHING happening. I briefly moved down closer to the bride and tried working around the bridge pilings a bit, but it was too crowded down there. So I moved back to my original spot. From there I moved back and forth maybe 15 or 20 yards in either direction, but pretty much concentrated on one general area.

    I saw plenty of baitfish in the area, which you might expect would suggest some bigger fish lurking in deeper water, or near some cover, waiting to pounce. But they weren't pouncing on anything I was throwing.

    But what made the whole thing so galling was that I got hung and broke my line, losing a lure in the process, not once... not twice... not three times.. not four times... but five times. I've never lost five lures in the same day before. Of course, in the past I think I would have packed up after losing two in the same day, figuring the Fish God was sending me a message. Today I decided to spite the Fish God and he had the last laugh. Stupid Fish God. Grrr...

    And did I mention that I slipped in the mud on the bank and fell on my arse a couple of times. Yeah. I'm telling you, calling today a "misadventure" is giving it too much credit.

    The final tally for the day: no fish, and I'm down a Rat-L-Trap, a Rebel crawdad, a gold colored Johnson Silver Minnow spoon, a black Beetle Spin, and just for irony... a red/white Beetle Spin. I broke so many lines today that I actually ran out of new snap-swivels to tie onto my line. I don't think that's ever happened before.

    So how do you respond to something like that? Well, if you're me, you flip the Fish God the middle finger, leave the fishing hole, drive to Walmart, buy more snap swivels, replace the lost lures, and go home and draw a hot bath, crawl in, and soak your aching muscles. Then you lick your wounds, rest and recover, and prepare to go to battle another day.
    Last edited by mindcrime; 04-05-2020 at 10:57 PM. Reason: typos
    Abert43, and SurfRider like this.


  2. #2
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    Also, I don't know what the heck is out in the middle of that channel that keeps grabbing lures, but next time I go out there, I'm taking a grappling hook and some paracord or something, and I'm going to dredge whatever it is out of there. Except with my luck, it'll be too heavy to pull out, and the net result of the attempt will be to lose a grappling hook.
    SurfRider likes this.


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    I usually fish for an hour or so. If there is no bite I will leave. Remember fish is not always feeding. they have to eat everyday as we did. so you have to be there when they are hungry. Anyway, love your story.
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    I must say you are tenacious. Days like that happen. I’m sure you were able to see some wildlife and enjoy some sunshine. Those things are also parts of fishing. So it wasn’t a total loss.
    ~JOE~
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    Ad maiorem Dei gloriam


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    Quote Originally Posted by Joetrain View Post
    I must say you are tenacious. Days like that happen. I’m sure you were able to see some wildlife and enjoy some sunshine. Those things are also parts of fishing. So it wasn’t a total loss.
    ~JOE~
    Exactly. I play up the negative stuff for the "story" to make it slightly amusing for people, but I actually had a fine time.I was outside, the weather was beautiful, the scenery was great... it's a fine way to spend a few hours on a Sunday after a long week. Fish or no fish, I just enjoy being out there.

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    Look at it this way you are paying your dues and generating good fishing karma that will pay off later. I appreciate your reports, they are entertaining. I wish more folks would share. When thing are tough just remember that it only takes one cast to make a great day. I'ts happened to me more than once.
    SurfRider likes this.

    Tight lines,
    Andrew

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bleedingblue View Post
    Look at it this way you are paying your dues and generating good fishing karma that will pay off later. I appreciate your reports, they are entertaining. I wish more folks would share. When thing are tough just remember that it only takes one cast to make a great day. I'ts happened to me more than once.
    Thanks. I try to make the reports a little entertaining, especially when there's no fish to talk about.

    Beyond that, I try not to get too worried about stuff. When I was in my twenties, I got mad easily. At 46,and after a heart attack, I've learned to chill a lot more. I fish, and if I do good, that's great. If not, that's still pretty good, ya know?

    Also, I'm still just starting to fish again after almost 20 years, so I gotta shake off some rust. And I'm new to fishing this area specifically even though I've lived here 20 years. I've almost never really fished creeks and other running water. I really did stick to pretty much just farm ponds in the past.

    Even worse, I can't even use a moderate amount of the stuff in my tackle box for one reason or another, due to the 20 year haitus. A lot of the plastic baits I had are dried up / dry-rooted, and need to be replaced. Likewise, all my spinnerbaits have the skirts falling off since the little rubber retaining rings have all dry-rotted and gotten brittle and loose. And the line on the reel I was using yesterday is probably 25 years old, and is weak enough that I broke a section just cinching up a knot at one point. And this is braid that was originally probably 40 lb test or better. That will all be fixed soon though. I have new braid to put on, I'm just waiting to re-spool everything until the pack of fluorocarbon I ordered comes in, so I can tie on leaders. I bought a bunch of new plastic baits over the weekend, and I have replacement spinner bait skirts ordered. I figure within the next week or two I'll at least have the tackle situation sorted out. I might even buy myself a new rod and reel as a "welcome back to fishing" present to myself.
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    I am curious, based on some of your comments... are you tying braid directly to your lures, and you mentioned snap swivels... if I may make a suggestion or two... it may not matter as much as I think it does, and others may disagree with me, but for smaller bodies of water, clearer conditions, or heavily fished areas (heck, for me, pretty much everywhere) I believe the visibility of terminal hardware can make a difference. I would suggest (if you're not already) using a flouro or mono leader rather than tying the braid directly to the lure (google how-to on a double Uni aka uni-to-uni knot), and I personally am not a fan of snap swivels - I feel like it's too much hardware visible for finicky fish. Once you get used to tying, an improved clinch knot (aka 'fisherman's knot') is a pretty quick tie when you need to change baits.

    And I enjoy your reports as well.
    mindcrime likes this.

    - Sam
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    Quote Originally Posted by SurfRider View Post
    I am curious, based on some of your comments... are you tying braid directly to your lures, and you mentioned snap swivels... if I may make a suggestion or two... it may not matter as much as I think it does, and others may disagree with me, but for smaller bodies of water, clearer conditions, or heavily fished areas (heck, for me, pretty much everywhere) I believe the visibility of terminal hardware can make a difference. I would suggest (if you're not already) using a flouro or mono leader rather than tying the braid directly to the lure (google how-to on a double Uni aka uni-to-uni knot), and I personally am not a fan of snap swivels - I feel like it's too much hardware visible for finicky fish. Once you get used to tying, an improved clinch knot (aka 'fisherman's knot') is a pretty quick tie when you need to change baits.

    And I enjoy your reports as well.
    Interesting that you would bring that up. So.... most of my life, I've fished in farm ponds that were really turbid and/or had lots of lily pad cover and what-not. In those conditions, I don't think terminal hardware has much effect. But I could easily be wrong. Me and my friends back home spent hours and hours debating this point and nobody ever changed anyone else's mind.

    Regarding braid: I will say that my subjective feeling is that when I switched to braid, way back in 1994 or whatever, I got fewer hits. That's anecdotal, but it sure seemed that way. But I kept using braid because I love having line that is strong enough to where I can yank a hung lure free without snapping the line.

    Now that I'm fishing again... This last week I've been mostly using a black snap swivel tied to the braid, and fishing in pretty turbid water. But here's the thing: when I was fishing in the 1990's, fluorocarbon either didn't exist yet, or wasn't anywhere near as well known and available as it is now, as far as I can tell. I don't ever even remember hearing the term back then. In those days, it was all mono, braid, or if you wanted to be real fancy, copolymer line.

    Soooooo... a couple of days ago I ordered myself a few spools of high-viz braid AND a spool of fluorocarbon. And guess what came in the mail today? My spool of fluorocarbon. So yeah, I'll definitely be tying on a leader of that stuff to help with the "line visibility" issue. And I like the idea of the high-viz braid so I can more easily keep track of what the line is doing. The grey/neutral colored braid gets lost to my vision pretty easily. It probably doesn't help that I'm now closer to 50 than I am to 20.

    Whether or not I'll keep using snap swivels, I don't know. I am not convinced that they actually spook fish, at least when fishing heavily stained / turbid water. If I'm fishing in crystal clear water (not something I've had the opportunity to do very often in my life) then yeah, I'd probably go with an even lighter leader and no extra hardware.

    I also believe that with certain lures you get a better action with a swivel in there. Since I'm big on switching baits frequently, and since I can't lug 12 rods and reels around with me very conveniently on foot, I think the convenience factor of being able to switch lures in a few seconds will keep me using snaps, at least in the dingier water. But I may experiment with it both ways and see if I can convince myself definitively one way or the other. But right now, I'm thinking the fluorocarbon leader is going to make more of a difference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mindcrime View Post
    Interesting that you would bring that up. So.... most of my life, I've fished in farm ponds that were really turbid and/or had lots of lily pad cover and what-not. In those conditions, I don't think terminal hardware has much effect. But I could easily be wrong. Me and my friends back home spent hours and hours debating this point and nobody ever changed anyone else's mind.

    Regarding braid: I will say that my subjective feeling is that when I switched to braid, way back in 1994 or whatever, I got fewer hits. That's anecdotal, but it sure seemed that way. But I kept using braid because I love having line that is strong enough to where I can yank a hung lure free without snapping the line.

    Now that I'm fishing again... This last week I've been mostly using a black snap swivel tied to the braid, and fishing in pretty turbid water. But here's the thing: when I was fishing in the 1990's, fluorocarbon either didn't exist yet, or wasn't anywhere near as well known and available as it is now, as far as I can tell. I don't ever even remember hearing the term back then. In those days, it was all mono, braid, or if you wanted to be real fancy, copolymer line.

    Soooooo... a couple of days ago I ordered myself a few spools of high-viz braid AND a spool of fluorocarbon. And guess what came in the mail today? My spool of fluorocarbon. So yeah, I'll definitely be tying on a leader of that stuff to help with the "line visibility" issue. And I like the idea of the high-viz braid so I can more easily keep track of what the line is doing. The grey/neutral colored braid gets lost to my vision pretty easily. It probably doesn't help that I'm now closer to 50 than I am to 20.

    Whether or not I'll keep using snap swivels, I don't know. I am not convinced that they actually spook fish, at least when fishing heavily stained / turbid water. If I'm fishing in crystal clear water (not something I've had the opportunity to do very often in my life) then yeah, I'd probably go with an even lighter leader and no extra hardware.

    I also believe that with certain lures you get a better action with a swivel in there. Since I'm big on switching baits frequently, and since I can't lug 12 rods and reels around with me very conveniently on foot, I think the convenience factor of being able to switch lures in a few seconds will keep me using snaps, at least in the dingier water. But I may experiment with it both ways and see if I can convince myself definitively one way or the other. But right now, I'm thinking the fluorocarbon leader is going to make more of a difference.
    Valid points. It could just be a confidence thing with me, which changes the way I fish. Keep at it!
    mindcrime likes this.

    - Sam
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bleedingblue View Post
    Look at it this way you are paying your dues and generating good fishing karma that will pay off later. I appreciate your reports, they are entertaining. I wish more folks would share. When thing are tough just remember that it only takes one cast to make a great day. I'ts happened to me more than once.
    Agreed on all counts. And I have been witness to some of Andrew's tide-turning moments!
    - Sam
    "Things are only impossible until they're not!"

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    Here ya go @SurfRider, here's a thought... some people advocate for adding a "splash of red" to your lure somehow. Maybe using red hooks, or by using some red finger nail polish, etc. On that note, I just found out that they sell red snap swivels.



    Maybe a way to get the best of both worlds? Make switching lures super fast, and maybe even improve your odds of a hit. I dunno. But I ordered a pack of these just to see what would happen.
    SurfRider likes this.


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    Hey, I hope it works! I have used red hooks on occasion with my Carolina rigs, and some topwater plugs with red heads, but I guess I just developed an aversion to snap swivels and perhaps I'm unnecessarily biased. I hope you catch them all!
    mindcrime likes this.

    - Sam
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