I haven't fished since last Sunday. With less than a week to go in the pickerel derby, I decided to go back to my hot spot and see if the fish were still biting after all the rain this week.
The water level was about a foot higher than when I had gone there the previous week. The water was reasonably clear, but not crystal clear like last week. When I waded to the end of the "shallows" the water was now up to mid-thigh rather than at knee depth. That reduced my margin of error for a misstep.
I started at about 11:00 am. During the first 10 casts, I hooked 4 or 5 fish. I only got one to the net, though. On the others, I fought the fish for several runs, then it opened its mouth and let go of the minnow. The minnow was intact and still on the hook. Over the first hour, I hooked 10 fish and landed 5. The second hour was a bit slower, but I did get my largest fish of the winter -- 22-1/4".
Today I had few medium sized fish. I had several very small ones, including about a 12" hammer handle.
I also had three that were 21" or above (a composite limit in one day -- not bad), plus one over 20".
After 90 minutes, it seemed that I had hit all of the spots within casting range using a 1/8-oz jighead -- I was not getting any more bites in that zone. I had avoided using anything heavier than that because the bottom is covered with slime. I decided to try a 1/4-oz jighead to extend my casting range by another 5 yds. I retrieved a bit faster to keep the jighead off the bottom and picked up 3 or 4 more fish in 20 minutes, including the big one of the day.
In just under 2 hours, I hooked about 14 pickerel and landed 9 of them. I also caught one white perch. My feet were freezing by that time, plus the cold water was on the verge of cramping my thighs. I called it a day shortly before 1:00.
John Veil Scout 162 Sportfish, Native Watercraft Manta 14, and Malibu Mini-X