Saturday, July 15, 2017

Aqueduct Action

Pat woke me up this morning, saying, "I'm going to go fishing, bye!" I was groggy and was confused. Then he said, "Just kidding."

I was a bit more confused. Was he going fishing or not? I pondered this for a bit, until I heard the ice maker dispensing product. I got up and went to the kitchen. "Are you really going fishing?" He said yes. "Can I come?" He said yes. So I got changed and loaded my Bass Pro Shops Megacast and the Abu Garcia Vendetta into the Lightning, along with my tackle bag.

He wouldn't say where he had in mind on the trek down MD100 to I-70. I thought maybe he'd head to the Monocacy Aqueduct, since I'd had some success there on Wednesday. Or maybe to the Lander Road boat ramp near the Catoctin Aqueduct, since he's talked about going there previously, but I'm not sure if he actually has. In the end, it turned out that our destination was the Antietam Aqueduct, where we often camp (and have reservations for next weekend).

Oops. I did it again.
I started off upstream of Antietam Creek while he wandered downstream somewhere. The first place I went, there were four college-aged kids, along with a pool raft. I turned around and went just a little further downstream to another area with enough open air for me to fish from shore. Sadly, it was only about a 100yds downstream from the brobeans and their girls. While they splashed around and the girls "tee-hee-heed" to some really awful commentary, I tried a Reaction Innovations Little Dipper (lost it in the rocks) and then settled on a TRD Finesse Worm. The Ned Rig was getting some interest, but for the most part, no actual bites. I had one fish almost hooked, but it jumped and the hook went one direction while the fish went elsewhere.

Hearing one of the girls say that they needed to leave by 10AM was heartening. They cleared out around 9:40, and I thought maybe some action would come back. Just some tap-tap-taps, but nothing else. By 10AM, I was done in this area, and figured I'd look elsewhere.

I knew that Pat and I had biked further down from the creek previously, but I couldn't remember how far down. I hiked down to a trail I semi-remembered from a prior trip; it was steep, and it was tough to get out an area where I could cast from shore without getting tangled up in trees or other vegetation, but before long, I was set up. I tossed the TRD Finesse Worm a few more times before it got caught on something, and I laid down that rod.

It was about my third or fourth cast with the Spanish Fly Little Dipper that I felt a hit. It felt like a hard hit, but when I went to set the hook, it seemed more like a big branch. Still, there seemed to be something on the other end, and the closer it came to shore, the more it acted unbranchlike. Finally, I could see it through the water, and my heart dropped.

Using the Megacast as an impromptu ruler

It was a walleye. And I still didn't have a stringer to keep it until we were ready to go home.

Of course, it had to be bigger than the walleye I caught before my Acadia trip.

This one would measure in over 17 inches. It would have made a tasty fillet tonight, but sadly, I tossed it back into the river, hoping to meet it again one day.

These teeth are no joke!

I had to switch out my swimbait after the walleye, because it was pretty beat up. I replaced with the same thing, still the Spanish Fly coloration, and shifted a bit to my left so that I could safely cast away from some downed trees.

It didn't take long to get another hit, and this one was, as Pat likes to say, angry!

A good 13-14" fish
I didn't have my Megacast nearby, nor a ruler, so my best gauge said this was a 13-14 inch fish, though I initially thought it was bigger. It sure fought like a bigger fish, but that's what smallmouth bass are known for, right?

Little fish
I had to do some damage control after that bass, as somehow I'd managed to cut my finger. Fortunately, I have a mini-first aid kit in my tackle bag, and after I got cleaned and bandaged up, I was ready to catch some more fish.

The first few casts were awkward, as the bandage really interfered with what I was doing. Once I got used to the lack of sensation when casting due to the bandage, I was on a roll again, before I shifted a little further to my left, even closer to a weedbed and a rocky area. Lo and behold, I caught another smallmouth, a dinky little 9-10 inch thing.

Then Pat texted that he was done and waiting for me back at the truck. It was time to pack up and head out. :(

Evidently, he had only landed one smallmouth, and lost another while using a topwater lure. :(

I should note that I shouldn't have been surprised to catch a walleye here, as Pat had caught one about a mile further up the river when we'd camped during the beginning of my Spring Break. He'd even caught it on a Reaction Innovations Little Dipper.

We headed over to my mom's in Sharpsburg to say hello to her and the spaz dog before heading home. Bruce was, as always, super happy to see Pat.

One more week until the road trip, so I know we'll be back here next weekend! :)

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