It’s About the Right Time, Right Place, Right Retrieve
By Ken Schultz
It was about 11:30 when the big bass struck, a time that I’m often off the water in summer. In hot weather I prefer to get an early start (and finish) and avoid the high bright overhead sun and heat. However, I hadn’t put my kayak onto this small and very shallow pond until 10 this morning.
This fish was hooked on a fairly light spinning outfit and immediately headed into the bushes, came out, went under the boat, came out, ran for deep water, came back, and finally succumbed. Over 21 inches long, it was dark and fat-bellied, and somewhere in the 5- to 6-pound range. I didn’t have a scale and my camera was tucked away, so I had to hold the thrashing fish in the water with one hand while rummaging around to set up my camera.
Like all eight of the fish I’d previously landed, the big bass was coaxed out of thick shoreline brush. I’d been teasing them with a clear 2-inch-long Heddon Tiny Torpedo, an oldtime surface plug that had lain unused in my tackle box for several years. But with near-calm conditions today and super-clear water, it seemed like something small but gently noisy, like a topwater plug with a rear propellor, might do the job.
In fact, when the 21-inch bass struck, I was thinking how nice it was for an old-time lure to be effective, since so much emphasis in the bass fishing world today is on new and often high-priced lures.
A few more largemouths struck the Tiny Torpedo before the action slowed and a light breeze made it harder to put the plug exactly where needed. So I switched to
By Ken Schultz
Recently I was exchanging emails with an old friend and mentioned that I was going to be in Florida fishing from a kayak for redfish and seatrout. He commented that it seemed to him like everyone is going fishing in kayaks these days. Saying “everyone” is hyperbole, but fishing from kayaks has really gotten popular.
I can’t claim that I was in the forefront of this growing movement, but I’ve been keen on that watercraft ever since I first sat in one almost two decades ago. And the first kayak I ever got into is one that I bought on the recommendation of an Adirondack guide friend, who said that the size and cockpit of the Loon 138, then a relatively new kayak model from Old Town Canoe Company, made it very good for fishing. He was absolutely right.
I bought one in early March of 1999 and when I put this 13-foot kayak into the water at a local pond, where the ice was still melting, I quickly found
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