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Float Tubing Fanatic
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was back to the AEP ponds with the float tube on Monday and Tuesday, camping overnight. On Monday, I backpacked it to this one pond and got about 15 dinks, biggest being 13 inches. Nothing notable fish wise. Most interesting part was while fishing, I noticed some movement out of the corner of my eye. I look over and about ten feet away this fawn, still with its spots, swims right past me. It continued for another sixty feet or so to the end of the pond (it was a long narrow high walled pond) and calmly disappeared into the woods. The whole time, the fawn didn't care one bit about me. It looked too young to be weaned yet but I could be wrong or maybe it was going to meet with its mother.

I continued along the trail to a different pond I'd looked at on Google maps and this is when the fishing got interesting. About 20 minutes in, I run a sunfish colored crankbait past some logs and it comes to dead stop and I think I have a snag when a large fish leaps out of the water and spits it back at me. It would have almost certainly beat my PB of 19 inches. Thankfully, I made up for it about half an hour later.

I'm casting a 5 inch senko towards the bank, still among a stand of dead trees, when I feel a tap. I set a the hook and my rod just stops. It suddenly takes out line and I know I'm not snagged (I hate when I fight some weeds or a branch). This fish gives me everything it has, bending my UL in half as I try to back pedal into deeper water to get it out of the trees. It dives down and just sets there. I worry that it was off and that now I really was snagged. I pinch the line to the rod and have to literally pull him up. Suddenly, the resistance is nearly gone as he runs right at me. I reel furiously and spin the float tube around to get the rod pointed the right way again. After another run, I finally spot a flash of white from an absolute monster. I get into position, bring the fish to the side of the float tube and lip it with an iron grip. A new PB, by a wide margin. It was longer than the tape measure on the apron of my tube (18 inches), but I'd guess 22 or 23 inches, definitely over 5 lbs, very possible over 6 lbs, with an outside chance at 7 lbs. I don't have much experience at guessing the weights of big fish.

I only caught another 5 or 6 fish that day (the wind nearly killed me) and I hiked back 45 minutes to the car and then camp. Next day, I headed right back to the same pond. Really tough going early on, only 4 dinks for probably the first 6 hours, with one enormous explosion on a Lucky Craft Sammy, the biggest topwater hit I've ever had but I never saw scale nor tail of the fish. Of course the wind picked up again and I was constantly paddling for the next 8 or 9 hours. I finally found a pattern for the bass - scum. I had probably 15-20 hits on a scum frog but only caught 2 of them. I'm sure a dozen of those fish had the frog in their mouth but I just couldn't get the hook set. Later, I had another big fish on a 4'' senko and I fought him for a minute or two but as I tried to lip him, he spit it out. It was probably 17 or 18 inches. I was a bit bummed but after the fish the previous day, I didn't mind as much as I normally would have. For Tuesday, I ended with 15 or so fish, the biggest about 12 inches. I even caught a pair of 10 inch crappie, which I did not expect.

Below are pictures of my big fish. The first two fish, I did not catch during this trip. They're previous pics that I'm posting just for size reference. The first is 15 inches and the second was 18 inches, still a really big fish for me. Obviously, my float tube apron and the length of my arm are still the same, so that can give a better idea of my PB fish that's in the last two pics. I wish I had better measurements to give you. I was going to measure him with some extra fishing line I had but I already had it out of the water long enough. After this, I think might need to get a digital scale.

 

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Float Tubing Fanatic
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241 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
The beavers don't exactly mess with me but occasionally, neither of us realize the other is there and our paths cross. Believe me, as exciting as a big bass is, nothing gets the heart pumping like a beaver slapping the water ten feet away!

And yes JignPig, she certainly was fat. Makes me wonder how big she would have been about six weeks ago.
 
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