Found at last!
After searching for a little while, and several times elsewhere, I found the school of stripers. The fishing map I have gave the clues and once we had calm winds and sunshine, I got out to the spot and spent a few hours searching.
The kayak has its advantages, but not on the list is searching open water and the general lack of electronics. But I’m a little seasoned now in the handling of the boat and my hand held can give me depths and sometimes even tells me of the presence of fish (although it does have a tendency to lie from time to time).
I also had to contend with a boat that want to troll through where I was trying to scout. Out of curtesy I would alter my course to allow them to troll though. The same gesture was not offered to me. It was a little pain in the butt but I held my ground (water, even that sounds wrong), and they eventually left.
Off the point of the little island, the depths drop off to about 30-50 feet of water. From there I would paddle straight out from its point until the water dropped off quickly to about 100 feet. I had brought two rods. A lighter spinning outfit that I thought would be good for the rocky points in shallow water for Smallmouth, and a heavier baitcasting outfit for the deeper water and stripers. However, I am also of the mindset that one should always use as many rods as one has. I tipped both outfits with anchovies and casted them out from the kayak and allowed them to drift and swing back to me.
The slight breeze and waves would then slowly push me back towards the island. The school, I found, were handing out along that sharp drop off in about 80-50 feet of water. When my baits hit that spot, it was time to hang on. Having fish on both rods was not uncommon. The smaller rod, that I’ve had with me for as long as I can remember, did just fine. It can now add stripers to its long list of fish caught on it.
As I may’ve mentioned in previous blogs, the striped bass is not a timid fish. They take the bait with a vengeance and pull like a Mack truck. By the time I would land one or both fish, the kayak would be pulled out of position and I would have to find the spot again, rig up and begin my drift. Of course, learning where that drop off was, and matching the depths to the bite took a number of experiences to dial it in. And then the afternoon winds came.
During the wind break, I filleted several of the fish and fried them in a pan of oil and seasoned with Old Bay. I sat and munched on crispy fish bits and tartar sauce while reading for a few hours.
The wind died down early in the evening and I set back out on calm waters and found my spot. I fish until near dark, catching my last striper of the day against the orange glow of the last bit of sunlight reflected off the few remaining clouds and the redrock cliffs of the lake. It was a picture worth a thousand memories and one that I will forever have in my head.
It was one of the best days I have spent on this lake.