Sunday, April 7, 2013

4/6/2013 Kayak Creek Fishing

Saturday Amanda and I decided to take the kayaks and fish a creek for the first time. For the most part we have been chasing crappie and bass on the lakes in fear of having to drag the kayaks in 50 degree water in the creeks. However with air temperature in the 70’s we decided to give it a shot. We got the kayaks in the water at noon, and that was quite a process. We had to drag them down a 100 foot bridge embankment to get to the water. We loaded them down before dragging them down the hill…..wont ever do that again. Anyway, we got in the water around noon and casually paddled upstream. Water temperatures were 49-51 degrees and water clarity was about 3-4 foot. About a half hour into the paddle we ran into our first riffle.

It wasn’t too bad, we beached the kayaks and proceeded to get out ,side saddle, and drag them along the edge of the bank. We both managed to stay dry at this point. About 5 minutes later we ran into a series of riffles, probably 100 yards long. This set of riffles was deeper and Amanda managed to make it through them just by paddling, however I did not. As I was taking the first rapid I noticed that I was headed toward a huge bolder so I adjusted to the left and in the process I lost speed and my kayak started to drift back down stream. All I could do was hang on, until I noticed myself going toward a rather large limb sticking out above the water…which would surely break a few rods if I hit it moving as fast as I was. So I did something I shouldn’t have done, I tried to stop myself with my foot, and as my foot caught a rock my kayak tipped and my butt became wet.  It was worth saving my rods for though. I quickly walked along the bank pulled a scupper plug to drain water and caught up with Amanda. Here's a picture looking back at the lower section of the 100 yard long riffles.

We soon made it to our destination and began fishing.  I started out throwing a 1/8 oz. white rooster tail just to search the area. I then switched to a drop shot rig and bounced a live minnow. Large sized minnows…..I hate calling them bass minnows because it almost implies that I’m using baby bass for bait which isn’t the case. I managed to catch a small white bass and Amanda caught a small largemouth. The bite just wasn’t there this time around. We stayed for about an hour and a half before I could manage to pull myself away from that hole.  So we began drifting down stream and watching the fish finder for any submerged structure. Water depth probably averaged 5 feet deep with some holes hitting 10 feet. We quickly found a huge tree in 6 feet of water and began tossing minnows under a float into it. On my first cast I set my rod down and started to tie on a second float, as I looked back at my float it had disappeared... I set the hook with way too much slack in my line but to my surprise the fish was on. I saw the fish as it came to the kayak; it was a massive crappie, at least 14", probably closer to 15"…..then it happened, the hook popped out.  The fish broke my heart. Shortly after losing that fish, Amanda had ventured over to see if she could find the fish I had just lost.  We quickly landed a half dozen crappie and a few largemouth bass. We sat around and waited another half an hour before deciding to head down stream a little bit more.  

We fished a couple more spots that produced a few small spotted bass, but nothing like the previous spot. We decided that it had to do with the current. The current on the first tree was very slack, almost stagnant, and the current on the trees we fished that didn’t produce many fish was almost to hard to fish. So with that in mind we developed a game plan and decided to fish the slack water behind fallen trees and boulders.
Our last spot of the day was actually 2 trees that had fallen in the water just downstream of a massive boulder that had fallen of a nearby cliff. The water was so calm that we could have gotten away without anchoring. I let Amanda have the downsteam side and I took the area just behind the boulder, just upstream of the trees.  Before I could anchor I heard drag slipping and she soon asked me for a hand. To our surprise she had landed a huge stream largemouth on a 5' ultralight rod spooled with 6lb test in some rather nasty structure. We really debated on calling it a spotted bass because its lower jaw did not extend passed the eye, it was super short and fat like a football, and its mouth was much rougher than most largemouth. I can’t say for certain if it had the rough patch on its tongue. However going off of appearance we decided it was a largemouth and a dandy at that. It went a short 18" and 3lbs 8oz.

We took a few pics and released her back into the water.  I finally got back into position and threw out my anchor. I set my float at 5' and started probing the structure. We quickly found out that this tree was holding a school of crappie. The largest of which went 12".  

We managed to pull fish out of this spot until dark at a rate of 1 fish for every 5 minutes... failing to hook 2 out of every 3 bites. We presumed that it was small crappie trying to eat our large minnows. It was aggravating but we were catching fish.

We fished for as long as we could, and probably longer than we should have.  It was my fault, I told Amanda that we had waited all winter for a bite like this and that I wasn’t going to leave just because it was getting close to dark. I took a picture as we were heading back to the bridge and you can see that it was dark….real dark.

We then realized that we had to pull the kayaks up the hill in the dark. You can imagine how that worked out for me. If Amanda hadn’t caught that bass, I’m pretty sure I would have heard about it all the way home. She did fall one time, busting her knee up pretty bad, but she got back up and helped me get the kayaks the rest of the way up the hill.

When we got home we grabbed a quick bite to eat and then filleted the crappie we kept. 


  1. Sean I'm glad you two had a great day. And man you are a lucky to have a partner in life asyou do with Miss Armanda.
    Great catch nice bass lil Lady.


    Louisana boy lost on Rocky Fork Lake.

  2. Thanks Wes. I was very surprised that she landed that bass by herself without a net. Its hard enough to land a sizeable fish on an ultra light rod, but in a Kayak its even harder yet. She's becoming very independent....which means more fishing for me. LOL.

    Thanks for reading.

  3. That is some real nice fish there.I been fishing for crappie in a small feeder creek near my house and have got a few but nowhere near that many.Tons of gills bu not many crappies.I been fishing a crappie jig under a float and letting it drift twitching it every now and then and they just tear it up.I am a bank angler for now.I need to get a boat or a Kayak looks like a lot of fun.Well gratz on your catches.

  4. Thanks. Most of the fish have been coming off of large minnows under a float set around 3 feet deep suspended deep structure. They are really starting to heat up.