Sunday, February 18, 2018

Rumors at El Capitan

Fishing Time:  7:30 AM to 2:30 PM
Weather:  Sunny, calm morning, 10-20 mph afternoon winds
Moon Phase:  8% Moon
Location:  El Capitan Reservoir
Best Bait:  Live shiner fished off bottom in 20 ft of water
Who Went:  Dunc

The weather has been a bit funky this past week.  Mostly sunny days, but the temperature has stayed cool in the low 60’s.  I wasn’t sure how it would affect the fish, but I’ve heard rumors of fish beginning to move shallow and stage for the spawn, so that had me excited.

Santa Ana winds were forecasted to arrive around 1 PM today, so I made it an early start in case I had to end the day early.  I was on the water at 7:30 and it was chilly until the sun finally peaked over the mountain around 8:00.  I started fishing shallow water hoping the rumors were true.  I was casting two rods today.  One set up with a live shiner, and another with a jig/trailer.  First fish of the day was the smallest bass since I have been here and wasn’t worthy of a photo.  It was caught on a live shiner in approximately 3 ft of water.  From there it was tough fishing.  I continued fishing shallow, but by 11:00 AM it seemed like no life was living from 0-10 ft.  It was time to change it up.

I moved into deeper water (15-30 ft) and set my slip bobber to keep the live shiner hovering near bottom.  Then I rigged up a Ned rig on my other rod and started casting deep.  Finally, my bobber disappeared and I had a nice fish on. A good bass in the 2-3 pound range.  
Rigged up another shiner and sent it back down then continued casting my other rod.  It didn’t take long and the bobber was down again.  This bass put on quite a fight and was just under 4 pounds.  Yeah baby!
I didn’t get any more bites for quite a while and the wind started to pick up right on schedule.  Of course, it was right against me, and the direction I had to kick back to my car.  I began kicking and kept a shiner out as I slowly made progress against the strong wind.  I was rewarded with a few more bites and one more bass.
It was a struggle getting to the shoreline and at some points I was kicking as hard as I could making no progress.  It showed me how easy it would be to get in trouble on a float tube.  After over an hour of continuous kicking, I finally made it to shore.  I ended the day with 3 fish and was hoping for better action with all the rumors of shallow bass, but maybe the funky weather had something to do with it.  Either way I caught a 4-pound bass and that’s enough to keep me happy!

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