Fish ‘Spirit in the Sky’

Driving to work this past Monday, I was rather astonished to look at the sky and see what was clearly (in my mind at least) a cloud pattern resembling a fish.  Maybe my lack of fishing is making me see things and go fish crazy, but it’s what I see.  In fact, I even think it looks like a Steelhead chasing a school of small fish… making the aerial display even more fascinating due to our current season.  Okay, I’ll stop and let you judge for yourself.

CWF12012014Fish in the sky?, or just a guy with ‘cabin fever’?

I have to be honest and admit my wife says she doesn’t see it at all.  At best, she simply will give me that maybe it “ever so slightly looks like a shark”.  So even without her vote of confidence that this was even fish related, I’m posting this.  I enjoyed seeing it and it was a bit of an awe-inspiring way for me to start my week.

Quiet day on the Vermilion River

It is hard to think of a more scenic place to fish in Northeast Ohio in the fall, than the Vermilion River. While fish cooperate some days and some days they don’t, I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed taking in a nice walk along the river. Being a husband, a father of two youngsters in diapers and a gainful provider, any opportunity to fish is a blessing.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESA view of the picturesque Vermilion River

While the day proved to be more of a nice workout getting in a nice hike and walk, it was very peaceful as I did not encounter another soul.  The bites were few and far between, but I did land a few River Chubs and Rock Bass, species that I don’t really target or encounter all that often.  In the end, at least I had coaxed a few fish into biting.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESIn their own way, they seem kind of beautiful

The most interesting fish related happening, was spotting what surely looked to be Northern Hognose Suckers.  The water was running pretty low and clear and the polarized glasses gave me a rather definitive look at the fish in shallower depths.  A group of three fish had the rather distinct look of this species, a species I have never caught, so I did spend a considerable amount of time drifting baits and flies around them.  I possibly had one bite, or maybe simply bumped into one, but it didn’t stay on.  Not that I need another reason to want to fish this river, but I will add this to the list.  Always neat to target a species that isn’t on the life list.  Guess I need to read up on the species to give myself a better chance for success.

New personal best, Largemouth Bass

Every now and then a fisherman is rewarded for their efforts with a significant catch. This reward that we are constantly in search of, when found, makes up for the countless hours and sometimes awful conditions we endure seeking it. My reward came tonight via a 22″ Largemouth Bass, a bass greater in size than any I have ever encountered.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESMaybe my new Cleveland Metroparks T-Shirt is lucky!?

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESLooking confident and almost ‘smug’, doing cartwheels on the inside

While I don’t target bass a lot, this evening I tied on a spinner specifically going for them.  I had caught several and actually had considered the fishing a success.  Often, in my mind I will say “last cast” when I am done, tonight was wild in that I actually uttered the words “last cast” out loud.  Maybe because I had actually said it, it caused me to pay attention to the cast, more so than any of the night.  It was a long cast, that I attempted to retrieve running parallel to the shoreline, about 5 feet out.  I recalled that the water temperatures were cooling, and slowed my retrieve.  When the spinner was about 12 feet from me, the fish hit with a dull heavy thud.  Other than a huge wave forming, nothing broke the surface, and I had no idea it was a bass.  For a few moments, I thought there was a good chance I inadvertently snagged into a Grass Carp.  It just felt too heavy to be a bass and wasn’t fighting like one.  It didn’t rise at all and wanted to stay down.  As I continued to fight the fish to shore, it eventually made a small jump and I got a clear side view of the fish.  My brain then registered the fact that I was fighting the biggest Largemouth Bass of my life!  I tried my best to remain calm and stay focused, as I got the fish to the water’s edge.  Normally, I would be somewhat cautious lipping a fish knowing there was a spinner with a treble hook present – but for this fish, I didn’t care.  I was prepared to take all three points into my fingers if necessary.  As good fortune would have it, and the unusually huge mouth of the fish, there was plenty of room for the lure and my fingers.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThe trophy bass fell for this Blue Fox, Super Vibrax, size 3, inline spinner

The lure was sitting in the bottom lip of the fish, and was removed quickly.  I did a quick photo on the tape measure, then snatched it up for a quick photo op with me.  As much as I wanted to admire the fish, I knew the right thing was getting it returned to the water.  Apparently, I did a good job being quick about everything as the fish barely was back in the water as it bolted out of my hands and swam away strong.  It was a fantastic fish and seeing it swim away was the perfect ending.  Maybe, we cross paths again!

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