5-11-05 - Biting off more than you can chew...
Waters Fished: Lake Como, Delevan Lake
Fish Caught: 2
Outing Date: 5-11-05
Weather: Cloudy and WINDY!
Air Temp: upper 40's
Water Temp: Como - 59F
Water Level: Como - normal
Water Color: Como - less than 6" and GREEN, Delevan Clear,
visibility several feet
Fish Species: Northern Pike, Smallmouth Bass
Pattern Fished: Flying Bunny
Pattern Color: Bunnies Chartreuse/White and Red/White.
Fishing Quality: It bites!
Working around the house gave me yet another opportunity
to try my backyard! Wouldn't ya know it...maybe 15 minutes in, around
9:30, I tie into something big. The drag screams and then it's back
breaks water...a NICE PIKE is at the end of my line. It fought valiantly
and viciously...as landing approached I could see the wire leader
coming out of the corner of its mouth. Had I been using mono this
fish would have easily escaped with my flies.
Once landed, I took some measurements as I had
been looking for ONE Pike to eat this year - many folks have told
me they're one of the best tasting fish around. 27" and a roughly
11" girth - 1 inch past the min. size limit. Maybe?
I set to the task of removing the hook. While most
of the Pike I've landed this spring have been hooked in the corners
of the jaw, this one had simply engulfed the red & white flying
bunny. While holding it by the gillplate, I inserted my hemostats
to retrieve the fly.
The fish was obviously nervous during this minor
surgery and wanted nothing more to do with this fiasco any longer.
It writhed in my grasp and somehow with its gaping mouth managed
to get position...then reversing direction in his headshake he caught
the thumb on my free hand and sliced it open!
I stared at my thumb for a minute...at first thinking
this might be a superficial wound not requiring any special attention.
As the blood rapidly left my body, I decided this would indeed be
my EATER PIKE. Goes to show ya what you get when you bite off more
than you can chew! After rinsing my wound I took a good look. It
was indeed a nice deep slice, almost an inch long. I could see some
fat down in there...I didn't think the Pike's teeth were that long.
After some phone calls regarding the minimum size
of a wound required for stitches, I ended up making a trip to the
ER. Honestly, I really felt like I was whining or even worse, a
full-on moron coming in looking for stitches for this wound.
Well, turns out it did require stitches, every
ER Nurse and Doc that looked at it felt so. Any wound that's this
size in the area it was would have problems healing and staying
shut, let alone the fact that my fat was pouring out. I still thought
that maybe this just needed some TLC and a butterfly bandage...that
is until I took pressure off the cut and it started bleeding yet
again, now an hour after the incident.
2 stitches later and I was back on my way. Back
in the afternoon I gave Como a cursory cast or two before literally
getting blown off the dock...time to go fishin' somewhere else.
I turned my attention to another local lake that
has some good public access - Delevan. After the drive, arriving
around 2 hours before sunset, I set out on a long walk along the
peninsula that separates the main lake from the boat launch. Winds
coming across made casting the shallow flat side easy, while casting
into the wind, even with all this weight, was impossible!
It was a great walk, and all I found for my efforts
were lots of algae and weeds. The calm side, sheltered from the
wind by the peninsula, was flat and clear...no fish to be seen.
I walked all the way to the point, passing several groups of geese
who hissed incessantly at my trespass. Arriving at the point, I
found what remained of a fatal struggle...a Smallmouth Bass, DOA,
with a Panfish, also DOA, lodged in its mouth. Guess you can indeed
bite off more than you can chew...you'll pay for it!
After this futile hour of fighting the wind, I
turned homeward and finished out the evening before dark back on
the dock at Lake Como. Surprise - another Northern is fooled by
the red and white flying bunny...send a message to your buddies
fool...don't feed on the humans!