So, I figgered I would do some trick or treating all by my ownself. Put on my float tube fisherman costume and headed for Willard...north marina. And boy was I all by my ownself. Only car in the lot when I launched at 8 and still the only car there at noon departure. I guess I gotta change deodorant or something.
Air temp a chilly 32 and water just over 51. Warmed to about 52 for both air and water by noon. Yee haww. Heat wave.
Clear and calm. But you woulda thunk it was raining. The surface of the water...inside and outside the harbor...was covered with rings and splashes of shadlets. And the terns and gulls were dining royally...above water. I suppose all the fishies were dining well below water too. Wherever I went today my sonar screen was full of shad.
Game plan for the day was to downsize baits and lures and fish low and slow...or vertical. My fishing logs over the years show that this is the best approach once the fall temps take a dive. So only one of my five rigs was a medium rod. The others were all medium light or light. I hoped to find a crappie, perch, walleye or wiper...but my lack of pride left it open for catfish to play if they wanted.
My medium stick was rigged with a flig. (Rhymes, huh?) Dragged around a fligged minnow on that rod while going through a procession of small plastics and baitbug jigs. Also had a slip bobber rig.
Eagle beach bay was overrun with gulls...swimming, flying and chasing the numerous surface showing shad. Should call it seagull beach instead of Eagle Beach. And my sonar showed over half the 11-12 foot water column thick with shad almost everywhere. It began to look like there were not likely to be many hungry fish.
No hits for about an hour...either on jigs or fligs. Finally, after the sun peeked over the mountain my flig and minnow setup went bendo and I brought in my first Halloween cookie from Willard. That was it for a while. But I did get a couple of non-catlike whacks on plastics...no hookups. And later I had a nice crappie on a slip bobber rig...but it gave me back my jig while still well out of landing net range.
I was enjoying the solitude. No boats at all on the lake. Just little old me and my trick or treat tube. Then I downsized my flig to one of the new mini models I just made. Bingo. Game on. For the rest of the morning I had pretty steady action. The little flig was the same fire tiger color as the larger one but the kitties seemed to like it better. That was okay by me.
I had little difficulty collecting a limit of nice Halloween cookies by about 10 am. Some were chunky cookies...up to 24". I kept fishing different areas and different depths...hoping to find something without whiskers. No treats. Just tricks. I released another half dozen or so nice sized kitties before kicking back in about noon.
Couldn't believe it. Still no other vehicles in the parking lot. As I pulled my tube up on the ramp and detached my fish basket I noticed there were about a dozen "upchucked" shadlets floating around inside. Apparently the kitties ate too much of their "Halloween candy" and got sick. Serves 'em right. Couldn't help notice that the barfed shad were about the same size as the small minnows with which I was tipping my fligs. Hmmmm?
Lovely day. And once again the everlovin' kitties came to play. They filled my trick or treat bag with some lovely treats.