I left home and it was clear and cold. A low fog swallowed me as I headed out 26, "this is fine", I said to myself. The fog changed into light rain as I kept heading West, "this is fine", I said to myself again. As I got to Hagg and started across the dam the light rain started getting slushy. By the time I got to ramp C it was snowing, "what the *&%$" I said to myself
I got to ramp C around 8am. I took my time unloading hoping that the snow would stop before I got on the water. The snow, sensing the challenge, refused to give in and it was still snowing lightly when I launched my kayak. The wind gently pushed me down towards Scoggins as I rigged up my trolling rods. I figured maybe it was a sign so I decided to just troll that direction.
The water was pretty muddy, maybe 1' of visibility so I decided to switch things up a bit. I had bought a small-bladed lake troll earlier in the week. I put that in front of my normal roostertail + 1/2 nightcrawler on one rod and on the other rod I decided to put on a chartreuse Strike King Bitsy Minnow (tiny crankbait). I got the rods out and I hunkered down deep inside my rain gear as I started slowly trolling towards the Scoggins end.
I had not gone too far when a trout slammed the rod with the BItsy Minnow. I picked up the rod and worked the fish to the kayak and carefully worked the fish towards the net. It was a really fat and healthy trout that was in the 13-14" range.
I was really stoked! That was my first trout caught trolling in the new year. I went back to trolling and a short while later I hooked up again on the Bitsy Minnow. As I was fighting that fish in I realized that I had not turned on my video camera yet. So I reached back, turned it on and went back to fighting that fish. After another really good fight (if you watch the video at the bottom of the post closely you can see it jump just off my handle) I was able to land my second trout of the day!
Now this was more like it. I was ready for a killer day. I kept trolling towards Scoggins and maybe 20 minutes later my rod with the roostertail went off. I started working that fish in (felt like another good) but the hook pulled out as I was working to the kayak. I blame the Lake Troll, surely it could not have been a lack of skill on my part.
No big deal I thought I will have plenty more chances. Narrator's voice: "He did not have any more chances".
It was so weird. After that fish I had one more quick drive by on the spinner and that was it for me for trolling. I spent several hours trying but it was like the lake had just shut off. Really strange.
I had eventually trolled up to Sain creek arm and I decided to give the bass a chance. I fished a bunch of spider blocks with a drop shot but I never got a sniff. After an hour or so of that I decided to anchor up and try some powerbait fishing.
I dropped anchor in about 22' of water, tossed out my first rod and before I could even get my second rod baited I had another nice-sized trout on. Woo hoo, I thought. I quickly landed it and then was able to quickly get both rods back out. After a short wait I had another good bite on the same rod and started fighting the fish in. I once again realized the video camera was off and turned it on to capture the end of the fight.
I was so stoked to get some great, fast action footage. Once again the fish gods laughed at my paltry desires. I spent an hour fishing (moving a couple of times) without getting another bite. Really strange day.
That was it for me. I did a little more trolling without touching a fish and then spent the last hour of the day trying to calibrate my Garmin SteadyCast heading sensor. I realized I could turn on both the SteadyCast heading and the GPS heading on my unit. That revealed that I had a pretty big calibration error on the heading sensor. I kept trying to just re-calibrate the heading adjustment on the sensor but each time it would drift off almost right away.
Eventually it dawned on me to recalibrate both the compass and the heading. Once I did that everything was right with the world. When I was undeway in a straight line the two heading lines were perfectly on top of one and other. That felt really good to get that figured out. I am really looking forward to my next trip out. Might be tomorrow if my back starts behaving.
It was a day of snow, and then a calm period, then it was breezy for a few hours, then it rained pretty hard, but at the very end the wind died and the sun even came out. It was strange day with a couple of really good flurries of action and a whole lot of my just pedaling around. I was at least stoked to get my first troll fish of the year.
Here is a short video. You can see it still spitting snow when I land the fish trolling.