Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Snake on a NuCanoe

Last weekend we had a cold front move through. Temperatures dropped to the 30's overnight. A cold front like this typically slows down most fishing. I figured the bass would be shut down so I decided to do some more carp fishing at Rocky Fork Lake. As I arrived at the boat ramp Saturday, I was greeted by two guys in a nitro bass boat. As I threw my net into my Nucanoe I hear one of them say, "you wont be needing that net today." I quickly responded, "you don't even know what I'm fishing for." with a smirk on my face. So they asked what I was fishing for and I responded, "carp". They then replied that I probably would need my net. So my assumption that the bass fishing would be slow appeared to be correct.

It was an overcast day and there was only a 10-20% chance of rain. I paddled to the same cove I had caught carp in a couple weeks ago. The water temperature was 64. The water clarity was good at 1-2ft of visibility. I decided to anchor up on the bank at a slightly deeper spot. I thought the cold weather might have pushed the carp a little deeper. I chummed a half can of corn and tossed out two lines and waited. 30 minutes in I got my first bite. I hooked the carp and it immediately went into a pile of branches and my line broke. An hour later the wind started to blow. The temperature was only in the upper 40's and with the added wind I found that I had under dressed. Minutes later it started to sprinkle rain which wasn't supposed to happen. I checked the dopplar radar only to find a small isolated rain system was heading straight towards the lake. After looking at the dark grey clouds on the horizon I decided I was too cold to get rained on so I headed in.

Sunday, the weather looked perfect. Partly cloudy, 70's, and only 4 mph wind! Wind under 5 mph for an entire day almost never happens. I decided I still wanted to try for carp so I headed back to Rocky Fork. Again, I headed to the same cove I had success in. The water temperature was 68. I seen a couple carp swimming around in the shallows so I set up, chummed corn, and waited. 30 minutes in I noticed a snake slithering towards me along the bank. Snakes  are a pretty common site to see while fishing so I didn't think anything of it. It passed by me, inches from my Nucanoe. I thought to myself, "I hope that snake doesn't crawl up in my Nucanoe". Nucanoe's sit pretty low to the water so it wouldn't be hard for a snake to do. 15 minutes go by. I look back behind me to see what I assume is the same snake swimming around in the water about 15-20ft behind me. Another 15 minutes go by. I'm sitting motionless when I make a slight movement and I snake comes shooting through my legs! I grabbed my camera and stood up. I couldn't see it as It was hiding under my tackle bag. I didn't want to move my bag while still on board so I stepped onto the bank. After removing everything that the snake could hide under it finally exited my Nucanoe. Here's the best two pictures I got. I am told that this is a queen snake, a somewhat docile snake.


After all the commotion I decided to change spots. As I paddled around I noticed several carp packed tightly around downed trees. Since they didn't appear to be active I tried sight fishing for them. I managed to hook the biggest one I seen, maybe 10lbs. In a matter of seconds it shot under the snag it was by and broke off. An hour later I hooked my second carp sight fishing, this one was a good bit smaller than the first. It went 20" and 3lbs 12oz.
20" 3lb 12oz Carp
I failed to catch any more carp sight fishing and eventually tried anchoring and chumming again. After two hours with no bites I'd had enough. I snagged and broke off one of my carp rods so I decided to tie on a floating crankbait. I had an hour left before sunset to see if the bass or crappie were biting. Turns out, there was a pretty hot crappie bite right where I was carp fishing. I started catching crappie on the crankbait every few casts. I even got a near Fish OH at 12.75"

This spot also produced a couple small saugeye.

The bite was hot but I had to call it quits a little after 9pm as I had work in the morning.

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