Fishing FAIL

Posted by MNAngler On September - 16 - 2010

Date: 9/12/2010
Time: 11:00am-noon
Body of water: Lake Demontreville
Location: Lake Elmo, MN
Weather Conditions: few clouds, light wind

I went fishing this last weekend and have been debating with myself whether or not to write a post about it because 1) I wasn’t out for very long, b) I got skunked, and 3) I’m embarrassed about something that happened. But the point of this blog is to journal my adventures so that you can learn from my mistakes. So I told myself to “suck it up, Buttercup.”

Now that the days have started to cool down here in Minnesota, I knew my float-tubing days were numbered. I also wanted to get back to that one lake where I was stuck on shore and couldn’t cast to a mass of lily pads. Not knowing if the water would already be too cold, I packed up my float tube, but had contingencies of fishing from shore again if need be.

When I got to the lake, I walked to the boat launch dock and stuck my hand in the water for about 30 seconds. I think the family there waiting for their boat to get in the water must have thought I was trying to see I could catch any fish with my bare hands. It was chilly, but I couldn’t really tell if I could stand it for too long. So I went back to my car, but on my swim shoes and swim trunks and went back to the shore to test the waters with the part of my body that would be subjected to any pain I might endure. I walked out to my knees and stood for a bit. It didn’t feel too bad, so I decided to give it a go. I got my float tube pumped up, got my gear together, and let out the obligatory gasp when my butt hit the water.

I got to the lily pad patch and tossed a chartreuse scum frog deep in the patch. Nothing would hit, but I thought I saw some lily pads moving around by themselves. There was no wind at the time, so I suspected they were fish, but they weren’t interested in my frog. I did have one small fish follow til it got about 5 feet from me. It looked like a little bass.

I noticed as I working the pads that I was only in about 2-3 feet of water and wasn’t sure if the water had gotten cool enough for the bass to come in yet, so I worked my way out of the pads. I put on my green watermelon jig and pig that I’ve had success with and started bouncing the bottom in the middle of the bay. It was only about 5 ft deep.

I worked my way across the bay and found an empty boat lift with a canopy. With only a few clouds in the sky, I thought there might be some bass hiding in the shadows. I cast into it and got a bite. I set the hook, but there was nothing on the line. I had respooled my reel after my Gunflint Trail trip and tied on a fluorocarbon leader. But the uni-knot between the braid and fluorocarbon came loose. FISHING FAIL. I examined the end and the braid uni was still intact, but there was only a small curl of fluorocarbon left on the line. I want to say my knot tying skills failed me (I’ve only recently started tying uni-knots), but given the curl left at the end of my line, I wondered if the fluorocarbon had a weak spot.

Having not anticipated this turn of events, I didn’t have a knife with me, so I knew the next lure I put on would be my last for the day. I resisted my magic lure and opted for a horny toad. I didn’t get a bite the rest of the time I was on the water.

While I didn’t catch anything, I am glad I at least found fish. It was a good lesson and good experience on the water in a float tube. When I got home, I promptly retied a new leader with another double uni-knot, but this time I tied the end to a cabinet knob and yanked on it like I was setting the hook on a monster fish. It held. So hopefully I’m good for my next outing.


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