Point Mouillee, Big Bass & Pike Hit Poppers #1/5

The Point Mouillee Kayak-Boat Access gets you into this 1.5 square mile dyke enclosed pond.  It appears to have no inlet-outlet to Lake Erie or any of the creeks that converge here.  There are a dozen culverts under the dyke on the right almost the full quarter mile down to the dyke.  The culverts are closed to boats and light passing through. There could be underwater passage to allow the passage of some water and fish from the Lake Erie bay across the dyke to the right. This spot has lots of shallow water and 75% of the enclosed area is weeded over.  Cat tails and giant lilly pads are part of that but the main fish cover is weeds growing up from the bottom, sometimes capped with floating duck weed and fibrous slime algae.  The good fishing is the margins next to deeper water or where the weeds are only partially occupying the surface.  In the far off corner, a dyke runs to the left for 2miles.  In the bit of water showing in the fish pictures, often you can see a bit of the weed cover the fish was caught near.

Down the boat launch channel this egret fishes.  Across the dyke behind him is a bay on lake Erie where I caught large mouth bass last time here.  The afternoon started slow but gradually crescendoed into blur, but divided into distinct chapters.  

The 3/0 White Dive Banger:  I started with this fly and caught four 13 to 16 inch bass.  It took fish as a quieter popper or quickly stripped under the surface as a floater-diver lure.  In this corner of the pond, a male Night Heron nervously watches both me and the black mink that was darting around the rip rap behind him.

 Where the kayak is sitting, is where I had just hooked the first very big fish.  It hit close and fought deep and heavy like a bass but I thought the colors were not right when I saw him hit.  I thought I saw a bit of orange.  At the other end of this huge bed of giant lily pads,  Another huge fish T-boned the Diver, going hard toward the lily pads.  I hit hard, pulling hard from the side didn't turn him a bit, I felt the leader hit the stem, the fly coming loose then snagging on the stem.  Over all, the action had been mostly slow.

The 3/0 Chartreuse Marabou Banger I switched to was XLong, XFlashy and a louder popper.  Coincidently, I made the change just as I was getting to the most productive water.


A Pike: bit off my brand new Xlong, Xflashy popper in the typical high speed extra violent slashing strike.  I waited and sure enough, 20 seconds later, it bobbed back to the surface.  I retrieved it and rather than risk it again, I had a well used, dingy, slightly faded Chartreuse Banger, tied medium but worn short.  It also worked well.  I had a huge, violent, slashing "hit and miss" close to the kayak. What I saw was bass colors and big bass width.  


The fat fish measured 19 inches and after this point I was not taking pictures of anything that wasn't close to that.  

That popper disappeared into a typical pike explosion with my hookset connecting with nothing but air, no more fly.   I tied on 8 inches of 50 pound Fluorocarbon and my XFlashy Banger.  I seemed to also have tied it with one size bigger foam cylinder so it floated the heavy bite leader easily.  I needn't have worried that any of this was too much.  



The far rip rap stretch was only offering small bass and pike.  In deeper water where scattered weeds reached the surface a heavy fish hit out far.  Hard stripping brought him and the kayak closer till he was along side then he continued running powerfully past the kayak.  As the kayak spun, the fish leaped high with me holding the rod somewhat too high.  The hook came free.  It was the biggest, strongest bass I have seen, perhaps ever.  An estimate would have to start at 21 inches although I have caught a few fish bigger.

I caught a pike bigger than any so far.  He looked mean, I didn't think he would hold still for a picture. The other one had taken me 5 minutes to get a picture, largely because my phone is so difficult to take a picture with.  I was holding him by the bite leader, setting up everything to be hopefully ready to get the picture quickly.  When I began to slide him up onto the deck, the 50lb leader cut. 

I continued fishing good water with the last 3/0 Chartreuse Banger, fishing carefully with the 4inches of remaining 50 pound leader for the rest of the fading evening.  I was hit with two aerial hits from very big pike.  One, over 30 inches, missed and my hookset brought the fly most of the way back to the kayak, a roll cast pick up and a quick cast put it back where it got hit.  Just as I let the cast go, I saw the big wake coming to the nose of the kayak and then the swirl as he spooked away from the kayak. Later another explosive arial pike miss was from a fish only slightly smaller.

Sometime in the late evening I measured a bass at 19.5 inches.  Perhaps he was the one that hit close, taking the popper from straight behind, continuing toward the kayak.  I waited two seconds, then set good enough to get him.

I finished with 5 pike and about 20 bass landed.







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