I usually start out my year on Utah Lake with a trip or two to Lindon. Cleared the ramp a bit before 8. Getting lighter later after last weekend. Purty sunrise, with quite a few clouds. But calm. Air temp 37 and water temp in the harbor 50 at launch. Up to over 52 at 1:30 departure. Main lake was 48 early and dropped to 47.4 out in deeper water. Warmed to almost 50 by midday. Water between 3.5 and 4 feet deep all the way out of the harbor.
Second cast...inside the point on the boat channel...I felt a thump, set the hook and felt some heavy chugs. Yeee hawww. Walleye, thinks I. A funny looking one though. Kinda golden color, with big scales and no teeth. Good tugs anyways.
Found a couple of feisty white bass right on the north point of the channel entrance. Great...got bait. Headed for the bubbleup. I cruised right on by since they had not put out the marker buoys on the pipe yet. But through past experience I found the pipe and started slinging some plastic. Good exercise but no love from any resident fishies. Couldn't find much on sonar either.
Disappointed in the lack of findable fish, I rigged two bait rods and started prospecting for my first kitty fish of the year. Did my usual big S turn thing, working from about 4 feet of depth out to about 6'. It was a long time before the line popped free of the clip on one of the rods. I took the rod out of the holder and felt the line. There was something live on the other end. But when that live thing felt me feeling it...it let go. Sheesh. Touchy.
And so it went. The fish were still cold and not very active. Summer fish gulp the bait, put the line over their shoulders and boogie. The fish today seemed almost dainty. Gum the bait...dance off a few steps...then spit. Can't believe they were all just inexperienced.
I did finally get the hook in one. Felt big. You know the feeling you get when you haul back to set the hook and the rod tip just stays there...and then the line starts to slowly move off the reel? As soon as I decided I had something worthwhile I put the hooked fish rod back in the holder, with a bit less drag, and quickly cranked in the other rod to avoid problems. But when I picked up rod number one, it had no weight left on it. It is rare for me to have a cat come unbuttoned after I set the hook. But that big ol' biggun musta been REAL experienced. He know how to arrange an early release.
After a couple more "pop and drops" the line popped loose from my bigger rod and started moving off with some authority. I reeled in the second rod before setting the hook and then flipped the bail, let the line come tight and banged the hook home. Now that sunofagun started running toward me and I had a lot of slack. I thought it was deja vu all over again and was just starting to practice my vocabulary when I realized what was happening, reeled fast to catch up and was back in the saddle.
The fish fought hard for being in water under 50 degrees. In fact, it did not want to leave the bottom and turned my tube around several times as I rassled with it. I was adding inches to its probable length with every minute it abused me. But, alas, it was a measly 26 inches when I extricated it from the net. I measured and took a picture of it on my bump board, but did not include my contest patch. If I can't get better than that I shouldn't be in the contest.
It was good I landed that cat. Had several more inquiries on the way back in but no more serious lip injuries to catfish. But...I know where they live and I'll be back (Sorry Arnold).
Still calm and nice as I came in after 1 PM. Quite a few bank tanglers but nobody catching anything, according to a couple of folks I talked to. One guy had a small white bass.
As I went out this morning I heard guys using goose calls all over the place. I wondered "What the heck?" Goose hunting is over. Right? Then I noticed all the real geese flying around. Even got a couple to pose for a picture.
Had a couple of beautiful swans fly almost directly over me too...but I did not notice them in time and could not get the camera up for a shot. Purty though.
Great to finally get some tugs. More to come. I hope.