Never Get Going When The Going Gets Good!
I have seen it time and time again; an angler packs up and leaves a spot when the bite is on. But why?
Why do we leave when the bite is on, give up on a prime piece of real estate and go home or go elsewhere on the river? The school is alive; three fish then four and five. Then a short break in the action and were gone. I’ve done it before but I will not do it again! Recently out on a trip with my long time fishing partner Todd Penney, we battled wind and dirty water to hook up with a dozen trout. After a long walk up the river for several miles there were no hits, no nibbles and no trout to be seen. We relocated to a rocky bank side walking down river to reach deep slow moving water. Still no action. Copious casts and nada, zippo, zilch. The fish were fussy and getting the best of us.
Todd suggested we try one more location which meant we had to walk again, this time two more miles upriver. My legs were tired and I was fatigued but I wanted a fish, one fish, any size or color will do. I was desperate and agreed. While walking up the river we talked about what we thought was happening with the trout. Was it the time of day, was it the dirty water conditions or were the fish just plain not feeding? Left baffled and a little dejected, we reached our destination point, an island in the river with tall pine’s that break the river into two channels. At the time, this location had a large ice shelf which divided the river into a side channel that flowed in right where we stood. In past years, we have had many great days here, but with no fish landed I was not convinced today was our day.
A change in lures was in order, I had fished the same lure for an hour and it needed a rest back in my tackle box. I opted for a Blue Fox Minnow Spinner in order to keep the minnow bait from bottom snagging. This lure can work in one inch of water or you can slow down the retrieve and make it work at the bottom. This was the right choice for the structure of the river that day. I launched the minnow spinner far beyond the shallow current that was coming in from that side channel. I did not want to spook a potential taker. As I reeled in I made sure to catch the current of that side channel and let the lure drift with the current. Once my lure was past the shallow shelf and into deeper water, my first taker was hooked in. I was elated and reeled him in so I would not loose the fish. Finally my first fish of the day was out of the way. A quick photo and away he went. What was then about to happen blew both of our minds.
Todd was using a Rapala and he was next to hook a trout, a beautiful rainbow. My following cast employing the same retrieve method, another brown trout was hooked. By the time I could get my fish in, Todd had released his. Todd watched as I landed my fish and released him. The school of trout were just getting fired up; one fish after the other was caught. I landed eight fish a Todd about the same. It was late in the day and the sun was setting. I was tired and wanted to leave the river. Todd wanted to change hooks and stay for another half an hour. I agreed and also switched lures; a Berkley Frenzy Firestick Shallow was tied on and fired out. A few twitches and a Bang, another fish.
We both caught eight to ten fish a piece in that hole I was about to leave. Five fish after I wanted to leave this prime hole. You just never know what the trout are going to do. Keep fishing even when you think that you have caught all of the fish in your location. Switch hooks and use another color, or a different size of lure. Try a spinner instead of a spoon. A twitchbait instead of a crankbait! Never give up on that spot until you are one hundred percent sure that the bite is off. Never get going when the going gets good!