I could see it in the sky on my hike through the parking lot last night. The wind was down, sky was partly cloudy and we had been without storm for three or four days; I had to get on the water. I hit Warm Pajamas about 6pm in what may be my last voyage in John and Kim's kayak. Sunset these days is about 8:30, so I knew I had to get on it. With the stable weather and cooler temperatures I suspected an aggressive presentations would be appropriate.
I started things out with a Shadilicious swimbait. After a half hour or so I had second thoughts about my original strategy. Fishing a Senko for about an hour I left me fishless and frustrated. I decided not to finish out a particularly terrible cast and hastily reeled the Senko in. It skimmed across the surface and BLAMO! I caught the fish above. Hmmm, maybe I was right all along and these fish required something fast, on the surface even. Luckily I had a Booyah buzzbait on board. I recently stated that a day on Warm Pajamas without a 3 pounder was not a good day....this was a good day.
I didn't have my scale, but that fish was a smidge under 18 inches which puts her in the three pound range based on my experience on this lake.
This outing kind of reminded me why I've been trying new lakes this year. Banner Marsh is an extremely heavily pressured state park. Even my secret area isn't really a secret, I just choose not to give driving directions on the internet. The protected slot in place is nice, helping anglers catch plenty of nice fish. However, with a slot of 12-18 inches being thrown back it pretty much guarantees you will not catch many fish over three pounds. They're in there, but you have to be lucky more than good. I'd rather see a 16-20 inch protected slot, 15 inches is big enough for dinner, encouraging the culling of small fish.
Scott's response to my good news TXT that evening summed it up nicely:
"I wish you would break 4"