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Conditions were not quite what I was hoping for…

Over the weekend, the prediction for Tuesday’s weather was warm and windy with heavy rain. Depending on which weather outlet I checked, the projected rainfall total ranged from just under an inch to close to 1.5 inches. I planned my fishing around that forecast, skipping what looked like a very wet and windy day on Tuesday, and hitting what should be a high and muddy river on Wednesday.

By Monday morning, the forecasted rainfall for the next day had decreased to  just over 3/4 of an inch. I was still hoping that would be enough to muddy the river up and get the fat girls busy by Wednesday.

Then Tuesday, I was home doing chores, and wondering why I wasn’t fishing. The warm temps were the only part of the earlier forecast that had held true. At least in the morning, there was barely any wind, and the major rainfall seemed to have deteriorated to an intermittent drizzle by the time it showed up here.

The predictions still called for heavy rain overnight. If it did happen, it wasn’t for very long.

So the river Wednesday morning wasn’t dirty. Nor was it running hard. Other than a couple degree temperature increase, it looked and fished just like the river we fished on Monday.

That’s not an awful thing, but it sure wasn’t the potential toad fest that I’d been anticipating.

I launched solo at about 7, and fished between the ramp and the mouth of the Naugy. I caught 18 schoolies before 8, when Steve texted me that he was at the ramp and I ran back up to get him. We moved down river until we came upon a sizable school and settled in catching them. It wasn’t hard, but then again, they weren’t very big.

The area we caught them in had been loaded with fish until this past weekend, when they appeared to have relocated 3 to 4 miles down river in a matter or hours.

The quantity of schoolies in the Housatonic is mind boggling. So is their mobility.

The quantity of schoolies in the Housatonic is mind boggling. So is their mobility.

And two days later, they were back home again.

During the course of the morning, when we found ourselves over some fish that seemed a little higher in the water column and the wind let off some, I’d grab the rod I had rigged with an unweighted, 7″ Fin-S Fish and try to coax a topwater bite or two.

Sometimes it worked, and sometimes it didn’t.

Steve had to be back at the ramp by noon, and when I dropped him off, I think 9 of the 101 fish I had for the morning had come on topwater. Steve got a couple of his 107 on an unweighted bait, but then he cheated and put a 7.5″ Slug-Go on a 1/8 oz jighead and worked it just under the surface, and caught quite a few that way.

After dropping Steve at the ramp, I ran back down to where we’d left them biting. The wind had diminished considerably, and the clouds were almost gone. It was starting to get downright comfortable!

Told myself I wasn’t going to pick up a jighead rigged plastic again unless the fish forced me to. The bait on the topwater rig was in need of replacing, and I decided to try going smaller, so I dropped down from a 7/0 hook to a 4/0 and switched to a 5.5″ Albino Shad Freaky Fish. I fished another two-and-a-half hours, and only needed to put down the topwater for a half hour or so, right around dead high, when the fish seemed to shut down.

My only keeper of the day was a 36 incher that hit a Freaky Fish on top!

My only keeper of the day was a 36 incher that hit a Freaky Fish on top!

As the tide started to move, they started biting again. After catching a dozen on the jig and plastic and feeling the action had returned to what it had been like before the tide stopped moving, I switched back to the topwater, and almost immediately got my only keeper of the day — a solid 36 inch fish. Finding reasonably steady surface action on the 6th of December was incredible. But getting that big one on the top was really a bonus!

 

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