No Pictures of Tiny Fish – Canal Bank Adventure – March 5th 2024 – (secret tip)

Five Minutes On The Water seems to be all I can take most times I get to go at all.  I’m dealing with a lot, and any substantial time off usually has to be planned.  If do have a whole afternoon to just go get the water and I invite you, then you better go.   With all the family and business demands on my time I can’t just change it up for you… unless you just don’t want to go.  Then just say so.  I’ll quit asking.

Anyway, in order to get a sanity break I keep a fishing rod and a small amount of tackle in my primary vehicles.  (Truck & Jeep)  This way I can stop off at a nearby canal bank for a few minutes when I am out running errands.  Yesterday afternoon (closer to evening) I still had a little daylight and jumped in the truck to go hit the canal bank.  No long trips or anything.  Just an old tried and true area nearby where I can usually catch a dink or two.  It was about par.  The first place I stopped had lots of fresh foot prints.  Somebody had definitely fished it earlier that day.  I still stuck a couple small mouth bass.  One was pretty quick.  Maybe a dozen casts in on a shad pattern crank bait.  It was my big fish of the day.  It was actually a little bigger than the usual 8-10 inch smallie I tend to catch in that area.  It was easily 12 inches, but I don’t think it was 13.  The next fish made up for it.  I was dredging a deeper pocket below a current restriction with the same crank bait when I snagged another smallie.  It might have been 6 inches.  I guess that brings my average back down to normal…

Just for the heck of it I tried a popper, before moving on to my next spot.  As I was turning away to look towards my next cast, I heard a swirl that might have been a missed strike or a tiny fish whose eyes were to big for its size.  I was a little surprised.  I don’t usually see much topwater action until April.  Well except for bed fish.

I tried the same crank bait, some topwater, and a different crankbait along with one of my favorite rubber worms in three other spots and headed home with no more action.  Okay, maybe I spent an hour and a half on the canal trying to unwind from the daily grind, but it really did feel like just Five Minutes On The Water.

You know…  I didn’t even try a Curly Buzz Frog.  I don’t think I even have one in the truck.  I have caught some decent fish beyond the prime topwater times in spring and fall on it.  I’m going to have to rectify that.  I didn’t try a Club-O either, but it tends to be a hotter bait in the canals after it warms up a bit.  Maybe I should have.  I had some in the truck, and I have caught fish… (ready for the secret tip?)  waking one on the surface like a frog.

Secret Tip:  Waking a stick worm (like the Club-O) on the surface is a bit of a trick.  You can do it with any stick worm of course.  They tend to be fairly heavy salted baits, but if you are using a decent diameter line, and have good control you can do it.  There are a couple big keys.  Don’t let it sink.  Raise your rod tip, and engage the spool as the bait hits the water.  If you get it perfect your bait will fall and start forward in one clean smooth easy motion.  With the rod held high you can make a simple straight retrieve.  You have to get the speed right, but once you do its not as fast as you might think even though its a heavy bait with less surface area than a bait intended to be retrieved on the surface.

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