Big Bowfin and Musky Hooked Kayak Fly fishing with Poppers

I started on Lake Hudson at the big point and caught an 11 inch bass there on a 5/0 White-Silver Musky Dive Banger.  Lots of boats on the lake. I hopscotched down the lower north shore.  Everybody was polite, respectful and obeying the lake no wake rule.  I headed to the back of one of the finger bays in the Bear Lake Backwaters.  There is a 3 feet wide,5 inch deep beaver channel back to an extremely shallow and weedy pond where bowfin spawn.  I spooked a big fish in that tiny channel that was certainly a huge bowfin.  The spot where that channel connects to the pond is a favorite hang out for the hungriest fish as all bait fish passing in or out must pass by there. 

Bowfin Spawning Shallows

The surface is covered in duckweed.  A few inches below or up to the surface are weeds.  The tracks on the surface are from cast and retrieves I made with the Dive Banger I retrieved on or a bit below the surface.

The first good cast I managed from that corner, the 3/0 White Dive Banger was hit by a big fish that ran hard and came loose while I was pulling back hard and yielding line.  About 20 cast later, another hit but a smaller fish that came in easy like a bass before getting tough.  I got a look at him just before he got off, it was a small 16 inch bowfin.  I heard bowfin busting frogs or baitfish back in the extreme sallow edges of the pond but couldn't get another one to hit.  I did catch two 12 inch bass. 


Best Top Water Popper Fly Bass Pike Musky

Out of the bowfin pond, back out in the back bay I got fast action casting to open pockets weeds.  The biggest bass  was stout and almost 15 inches long.  I headed out to a shoreline where Musky hang out.  A soft breeze was blowing parallel to it and I drifted along it while casting to the weed edge.  I wasn't looking when the Musky hit but I quickly struck and pulled hard with the rod low to the side.  He was about 40 inches long, thrashing violently tearing up the water with the length of his body just below the surface.  The hook came loose after about 4 seconds. 

I did catch a couple of quite small bass on the big musky popper and hooked a pretty good one on a cast back into an open pocket.  He went down and easily got tangled in the weeds and un hooked himself by head shaking the popper against those weeds.

The White Dive Banger has become my favorite fly for Bass, Pike and Musky.  Last year this same 5/0 fly landed one U.P. Musky, hooked another Hudson Musky and was rushed by two muskies in Lake Saint Clair.  On my mid winter Florida trip, a 2/0 White Marabou Dive Bangers took Tarpon, Snook, and a few Peacocks.  In warmer months it would take more species in greater numbers.

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