June 17 & 18 Point Mouillee SGA Family Canoe Trip and Some Bass, Pike & Bowfin

Sunday I took the  family out in the Canoe and circumnavigating the whole perimeter of the large pond at Point Mouilliee SGA . There were no boats on the water, we saw fish, mink, 100s of Pelicans, an Eagle, Osprey, Trumpeter Swans and various Heron, Tern and Duck species.  Drifting along the far rip rap dyke, I made a few cast with a 4/0 Chartreuse Bullet Dog floating diver. It got hit more often than not by small bass and one nice 17 incher. 

Yesterday, Saturday evening after work, there were lots of fishermen on the water ahead of me.  I was mostly not catching fish until late in the day along 100 feet of phragmites edge cover I got 5 bass between 15 and 17 inches on a 2/0 White Bullet Dog floating diver.  This fly has great erratic action when jerked with short sharp strips.  Each strip is followed by a pause to let it bob back up to the surface so the next strip rips the surface before it darts down or to the side.

Bass on 2/0 Bullet Dog Diving Darter Fly

Kayak Bass on 2/0 Bullet Dog Topwater Diver

The first bass was only 13 inches on a 3/0 Gold-Tan Marabou Banger. 

Kayak Top Water Bass on 3/0 Gold-Tan Marabou Banger Popper Fly few

In the middle of some patchy Cat Tail cover I ran over a very big fish that only spooked when I almost hit her with the paddle.  It was not a carp, probably a bass but odd that it let me get that close.  Later, elsewhere in that same patch of Cat Tails, I ran over what, for a second, I thought was a big pike.  I saw the flattened head, then short barbels, then the rounded tail with the long dorsal fin down 3/4 of her long body, a very big Bowfin.  Bowfin frequently do not shy away from humans. That's a shame because they are a great native game fish which have no protection under law and are legal to spear or kill without limit.  I have caught them in tributaries to Saginaw Bay and in Hudson Lake.  If they are around and you catch 100 bass in shallow water, a Bowfin or two will be in the mix.  The big flashy Marabou Bangers I use here have not landed any Bowfin.  I suspected a few might have been hooked.  They frequently are hard to keep on the hook.  I know there are bowfin here, but this is the first I have seen.  I continued over her and moved off and changed flies to come back and try her little pocket but no luck. 

Pike.  Without a bite leader, I twice had my labor intensive Bullet Dog Divers blasted by pike.  The first 25 inch pike launched himself vertically with my deeply held fly, then came down and I never tightened up on him in the least.  After a long 20 second wait, with the lightest touch, I felt him still chewing on the fly.  I paddled over him, he got scared and release my fly.  The second Pike was huge.  I tried the same trick but she bolted deep into a thick wall of big phragmite canes.  Reflexively I tightened up on her and the leader held but it was too late to stop her.  She cut off after a few futile minutes of trying to pull her out.


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