While floating down the Red Cedar River today in western WI, I noticed a bat tied up in some thick, fluorocarbon fishing line. As you may be aware of, fluorocarbon can really be a mess when tangled together (trust me, I’ve had a bird’s nest on a baitcast with fluoro, it’s a nightmare). This bat was in despair as it flaps above the water trying to escape. It’s about 6-7″, which was the perfect size for any big bass or pikes if these predator were around this commotion. Thankfully, the bat was rescued, dried, and released into the woods, but I was disappointed at the excessive amount of lines across the edges of the woods. Obviously, these lines were cut or snapped by some kayak anglers who didn’t bother to paddle to the tree and retrieve as much line as possible to eliminate any hazard like what the bat witnessed. I understand that if the lines were too high to reach and they intentionally snap the line; but, when the line is retrievable but ignored, that destroys the purpose of fishing and intentionally harming other creatures due to selfishness. The line was removed and stored for later disposal.
Frogging is a topwater skill that may be extremely difficult for others, yet satisfying once the bass is hooked. As a frog user, I know the frustration of setting the hook a tad too late or too early. Throughout the years while frogging on shore and kayak, I’ve learned that there are multiple ways to use a frog whether it is twitching with pauses, popping with pauses, continuous twitching, or walking the frog. The habitat definitely matters to the bass; in thick-covered mats, I usually continuously pop the frog to create that irresistible sound for the bass. Also, as a tip recommended by a friend of mine, I trim off 1/2″ off the tail of the frog as well. You may realize that many bass strike the tail and not the frog itself. The tail is an attractant to many frogs and trimming the tail closer to the hook will definitely improve the hook ratio. Although I still do miss some bass (huge ones also) on frog, I never give up on using them. I always have a pole rigged with a frog for the opportunity to cast into the mats and pull out a hog.
Whether on shore, wading in creeks or rivers, or on a kayak, fly fishing is the ultimate test of using a rod. After you are able to manually cast, set the hook, and maintain consistent drag on a fly rod, using other rods, such as spincast, baitcast, or spinning, will be much easier. This weekend, I entered the lakes and river with a fly rod, eliminating the use of a non-fly rod. The species that a fly rod is able to catch surpasses that of other non-fly rod, as the lures used can vary from small flies to dragonfly-sized popper. From bluegills to trout to bass to whitefish, topwater fly fishing has introduced me to a whole new level of fishing and contagious action.
Great scenery, calm water, and nature’s whisper: just some of the many pros of kayak fishing through a creek. Besides these amazing factors of creek fishing, creeks are home to some of WI’s most ferocious predators such as bass, pikes, muskies, otter, snapping turtles, and eagles. The plethora of smaller prey fish makes creek home to many great animals, which is perfect for scenery as well as fishing.
STUCK? No problem! One of the many reasons why I love kayak fishing is being able to squeeze through shallow creeks to get to the fishes. Although there is definitely more work put into transporting, the cool, running water by your legs makes you feel like you are part of the habitat for that brief moment. Creeks are definitely my preferred fishing areas where it is only accessible to wading anglers as well as kayaks who put the effort into transporting. Inhabited by dozens of small species of fish, creeks are great areas for large predatory fish to sit and wait for the perfect moment to attack the smaller prey. WI is home to many elongated creeks that runs through small towns and roadways. Although the rides down creeks streams may be long, the scenery and fishery is worth every minute of your time.
Four hours kayak fishing Friday, ten hours fishing Saturday, and three hours fishing Sunday. It has been a great start to bass fishing this year. From the adrenaline-pumping, shallow rapids in the river to the calm, deep waters of the lake, fishing for both smallmouth bass and largemouth bass has been great. The different habitat that these two kinds of bass inhabit in is truly amazing. One reason why I enjoy kayak fishing for bass is because of the freedom the angler experiences by being able to freely fish in creeks, rivers, lakes, and thick-covered lily pads or marshes without the worry of getting anything stuck in the motor or slamming against rocks. Although I got totally baked by the sun, fishing for three days have been great. Hopefully all you anglers had a great time on bass opening as well!
The best part I love about trout fishing is you know exactly where they are once the flies are out. While I was out today, trouts were feeding throughout the pond on flies hovering above the water. The best part was not fishing for them, but watching them jump full-body out of the water to catch the flies. Sometimes one at a time, or sometimes multiple trouts are soaring through the air. They would literally jump right by the dock next to you, just to catch a two-centimeter fly. These fish definitely take advantage of both air and water to catch their next meal. Times like this makes me miss topwater fishing, but bass season is right around the corner, and I’ll have myself some topwater action.