A friend of mine cancelled on me at 2am this morning...so I texted a friend (Michael) I met in spring to see if he want to go carping at the Island.
The Dragon Boat Festival was on this weekend...and the crowd was unbearable. By the time we got to the Island, it was 11:30am. By the time we got fishing at our spot, it was already close to 1am.
The carp were all hiding in wood cover...so we walked around looking for bowfin.
Did we ever find them! Usually, you find the odd one here and there spread out all over the Islands...but today, we found two under two separate wood debris piles that were about 50 feet from each other.
I pitched a worm to the one closer to shore...and it took a few tries before the bowfin too notice. Michael was right beside me as I talked through the whole situation and how I position the bait and how the fish was reacting. Finally, the fish gulped the worm in, I set the hook and hand the rod over to Michael.
Beautiful male still with spawning colours! I'm glad Michael crossed off bowfin on his list with this stunning male. Now he also knows what to look for and how to spot them.
Okay...now to the second fish. Strangely, our first bowfin struggling in the area did not scare this one away. Again, it took a few casts to get the fish to notice. When I thought the bowfin had took the worm (it disappeared from view with the fish head on top of it), I set the hook, but the worm just pulled straight back. The bowfin got a little startled and muddied up the water. It didn't swim away really, but did a 180 turn and settled back in the same position. Since the water was muddied up, I could only see the back of the fish. I pitched the worm and pull it into the muddy area. I couldn't see much, but I thought the line moved a little...so I set the hook...and FISH ON again!!!
Michael let me fight this one LOL. Look at the green on the belly and the fins! I turned the belly toward the camera to show what beautiful colours they have.
Two bowfin in less than 10 minutes!!!
After the bowfin, we walked some more looking for active carp...but found none. Then Michael thought he spotted a bowfin...but instead it was a big brown bullhead. He quickly rig up another worm, pitched it at the bullhead...and GAME ON!!!
This was Michael's biggest brown bullhead!
As we were landing the fish, a bunch of kids came by to look. There were two girls who took my invitation to help them catch a fish...so I found some pumpkinseed sunfish for them and got them catch one each. Happy kids, happy Ken.
A little ways away, Michael spotted a juvenile bowfin about 12" in size. He had it hit, set the hook, fought it, but it came unbottoned when we were lifting it to shore. The fish resettled a little ways away and Michael tossed the same worm at the fish...and it took it again. But like last time, the fish unbottoned on the lift. These fish have bony mouths...so unless you set on the hook real hard...or use a circle hook, it is easy to lose them.
And that was basically it. We found a spot with a handful 20lb+ carp...but they just wouldn't go during the afternoon. By 5pm, we called it a day.
New species and a PB for Michael...now that's a good day! These days, I'm just as happy helping others cross off species and I am working on my own list.