A SUMMER SATURDAY MORNING
My eyes open and realize itís Saturday morning and Iím in my camper. As I lay there I can hear the rest of my family breathing rhythmically as they continue to sleep. My internal fishing clock has awakened me once again at approximately 7am. I peek out the window at the creek. The sun is shining, but the camper is still shadedÖ it looks like a beautiful day ahead. I slowly get out of bed and start my day. I figure that I have a good two hours before the rest of the gang starts to stir. Even the dog sleeps in on the weekends.
I slip on a pair of shorts, a T-shirt, and some socks. On my way out the door, I grab my fishing vest thatís hanging on a hook, and my hat. Some mornings I will also take the coffee maker outside, but not today. My cup of coffee can wait, I just want to get to the creek and see if I can find the carp.
I go to the cooler and get the dough bait that I made the night before. As I look at the bag, it is just so hard to believe that you can catch a fish on this pink concoction. I put on my wading shoes, because the grass is still wet from the dew, grab my fishing rod, camera and chair, and head off upstream to my spot. My spot is easy to find, because I leave my rod holder there all summer. Itís a four foot forked tree branch stuck in the ground about ten feet from the creek.
I get into stealth mode as I near my spot. Once Iím there, I lean my rod against the branch and start to scout out the carp in the creek. They are usually pretty easy to spot with their cloudy mud trails floating behind them in the water. Sometimes theyíre right in front of my spot in only about 2 feet of water. The creek, at itís deepest here, is only four feet. Finally I see a telltale cloud and then the brown shape of a feeding carp. Usually when there is one, there are more in the area. I bait the hook and toss in my line. Depending on the depth of the water and the speed of the current, sometimes I close the bail and sometimes I donít. I prefer to leave the bail open so the carp feel no resistance.
I take my digital camera with me so that while I am waiting for a carp I can walk around and take some pictures. Next to catching fish, I love photography, especially taking close ups of small things such as bugs or flowers. To look at a real small flower is one thing, but to take a macro shot of one and then look at it on the computer screen is a whole new experience.
If I get tired of taking pictures or run out of things to take pictures of, this is when I get my ultralight rod and tie on a panther martin spinner and fish for trout. Iím not much for sitting around waiting for a carp bite, it feels like waiting for a pot of water to boil. Iíll take my ultralight upstream a ways and fish for trout or an occasional smallmouth bass.
Then the moment comes that I have been waiting onÖ my line starts to move as a carp has found the doughball and starts testing it. The next thing I know, my baitcaster is smokiní and I pick it up and click it in. The fish continues to make the drag sing, but I manage to bring it back in. Itís always a great adrenaline rush once I know that I have a good hookset, but the best adrenaline rush is the first time that the fish breaks water.
The last few minutes of the fight, I usually get into the water and try to bring the carp in close enough to grab a hold of. Sometimes when they see me, they become super-fish and go off again on a little temper tantrum trying to get away. If
this happens, I will bring it in a little slower the second time around, in hopes of tiring it out. I could catch 10 good sized carp in a day, and each time be just as excited as the first!
Once I have the carp on shore, I measure it, take some pictures and release it. If itís earlier, Iíll rebait my hook and try again, but if itís almost 9am, I head back to camp to clean up and start breakfast. Once breakfast is done and the dishes are cleaned, I can fish again. This time though, I may fly fish for trout, or maybe Iíll tie on a Panther Martin, or a crawdad, or chase a few more carp. Ehh, it all depends on my mood. Man I love the weekends in the summer!
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