A short fishing trip this week reminded me of how quickly conditions can change while you’re on the water. Anglers must adapt or they’re just exercising their arm. Let me set this scenario up for you…
The current was slow as I motored down the river. That wouldn’t be good for my first stop so I continued on. Passing a creek on my way I noticed the flow increased substantially.
The waters picked up an additional four knots when I arrived at my second spot, the mouth of a large creek. I wasted an hour trying to fish a Shaky Head in the eddies. The jig would touch the bottom twice and then the current would sweep it out of the zone. My tactics were overdue for a change.
A quarter ounce Road Runner with a willow blade was the right choice for these swift waters. Casting slightly upstream was the trick and quickly boated a fat, Spotted Bass. After missing a fish a few casts later; I noticed that the water was slowing a great deal. Alabama Power had just closed one of the flood gates and conditions changed again.
Using the trolling motor to keep from spooking fish I set up a drift for the opposite point. A cast so that the slower current would carry my lure to the swifter water was my intention. My rod doubled over as a ‘wiper crushed the Road Runner. (‘wiper: a hybrid fish, part Striper, part White Bass.) The next cast produced another ‘wiper of about three pounds.
I could hear another boat heading my direction as the third fish smacked the lure. Holding the rod down in the water as they passed; I used the trolling-motor to keep the boat between them and my ‘wiper.
I chuckled to myself as I released my fish because they didn’t see what I was doing. It was then that I realized the current had stopped. Alabama Power had closed the last gate and I didn’t have a party for those anglers to crash. Another 20-minutes of fishing, confirmed the bite was over.
The late afternoon light bathed the gold colored Water Maples and Sweet Gum trees as I made my way upriver. As the shadows grew longer, the air began to cool.
My thoughts wandered as I buttoned my jacket against the chill. How many times did the conditions change during a three-hour fishing trip?