I went fishing for the first time this year last Friday morning. I just went for a couple of hours, since I had various other things to get done, but it felt great to get out.
First, just to get this bit of suspense out of the way, yes, I caught fish. One bluegill and one smallmouth, both too small to be proud of, but fun to catch anyway.
This was also the first time I’d ever tried creek-wading to fish. I probably loaded myself up more than most anglers do for wading, because I wasn’t sure if I was going to stick with just using a few different lures for bass. I wanted to make sure I could switch to any other technique I felt like trying.
I think my preparations paid off. I put an assortment of tackle into a small tackle box, and put the tackle box into a vinyl satchel to carry. The satchel was also (barely) big enough for the plastic jar of worms I dug up in the morning but never used. I packed a few Ziploc bags for my wallet, phone, and camera, because I intended to get wet. I wore my fishing vest and old trousers, and liberally soaked myself in Off! before heading out because I found a lot of ticks the last time I was in that area.
The water varied between ankle deep and almost waist deep along the edge of the creek. The water felt good; it was peaceful; and I think I even saw an otter in the distance at one point, though it might have been a beaver, which I know were nearby because I saw the chewed-up vegetation.
I caught the smallmouth right at the edge of some ripples, and he jumped as I reeled him in. He was very pretty and bronze.
I didn't wade very far. Probably not more than an eighth of a mile.
I think the smallmouths are targeted pretty hard by local anglers. I’m wondering what kind of success I’d have looking for catfish there? I never hear anyone talking about catfish there, but I don’t think many people look for them. I really want to go back and spend a while fishing some slow-current spots for bullheads and channel catfish; I think they’re there.