FISHING TRIPS FOR SUMMER 1998

from

Mike and Kristie Schwartz

Capt. Butch

Long time no email (on my part). So here is the update for my summer trips. My spring pike adventure was not as red hot as the summer before. A massive front pushed through the night we pulled in and the heater went out on my camper. Nonetheless we were out on the water the next day. Apparently the lake was slow to warm this year, and at 52, was a bit colder than I was hoping.

I was hoping to find big fish in the shallows getting ready for the spawn but they hadn't moved in yet. We moved out to a big flat in about 7 feet of water and preceded to have fish follow our lures right up to the boat but they would not hit. Varying the retrieve didn't seem to produce either. We ran into some people fishing with water dogs and it seemed even the live baiters weren't doing so well.

After changing to a perch colored rapala I did boat 8 small pike throughout the day. My six month old son had a great time watching dad release the toothy critters. The next day the wind was at about 20 knots and I didn't think it a day for the family on the water so we packed up and drove home early.

The next few outings were on a lake that is convenient for me to dip the boat in after work but have way to many !#$@%^&** jet skis and thunder boats to be any fun at all.

The next 4 times were spent on a friendís farm pond fishing for largemouth bass. These were fair days, with one standing out, because I was able to sight fish for them in the shallows with a small plug.

The next outing was with Kristie and my son Jared on Horsetooth Res. in Fort Collins. It was the first time I had ever fished there. I was after smallmouth bass but when I arrived at the local tackle shop the gentleman told me that the water temp. was still too cold for them and that the walleye were being caught, for the most part at night. I put the boat in anyway and in three hours had boated 3 smallmouth bass and 4 walleye, one at eighteen inches. I've heard walleye are the best tasting of the freshwater fish and the largest was keeper size but I put it back. Next time I think I'll keep one, just because I'd like to taste it. I was happy with that outing except that my trolling motor switch malfunctioned and was on high continuosly, even when switched to the off position.

The only way I could stop it was to unplug it. It can be frustrating fishing when working a rip-rap bank with the wind at your back with a trolling motor stuck on high. I'm sure you can imagine.

I just got back from a trip to Missouri, my home state. Thursday and Friday were business but Saturday was reserved for fishing with a high school friend. Tim had a friend that had 400 acres along a stream. It had rained for 2 days prior to Saturday and we were worried that the water would be too high and muddy. As we drove the 40 miles outside of St. Louis every river and creek we passed over was high and muddy. It wasn't looking promising. But when we arrived the water was up but it was still pretty clear. We waded into the stream and began to fish with ultra light gear 4lb. test. Tiny crawfish lures were the first choice but the water was moving too fast and we couldn't get those lures in what we thought would be the strike zone before they were down stream. Tim bought these plastic jigs on a whim called chompers. These things smelled awful and the package said they were garlic and salt impregnated. Don't laugh yet, over the next five hours we each caught 20 plus smallmouth bass in just a 400 yard section of stream. I broke-off perhaps the three biggest when they swam into the current after beeing hooked. I think I had my drag set wrong.

We also had the rare opportunity to see four mink, as in the coat. One of them swam right between us and we were only standing 7 feet apart at the time. We released all fish, and did not see another person all day. It was a GREAT DAY! I miss fishing in Missouri. Colorado is a much less productive state for a warmwater fisherman like myself and those trout are awfully picky and smart.

Well that brings you up to date on my fishing for the summer. I've enjoyed reading your reports and look forward to getting out on your new boat next year, hopefully about this time of June. Keep the E reports coming.

Regards,

Mike Schwartz

If you have any questions or comments, would like to book a trip, or would like to submit a story, please email me at capt@barhoppr.com.

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