Tried Bowfin on Flies, Got Bass

Went to a great bass spot to try for bowfin.  Got Bass and at half dark got a slow follow from a good fish just below the surface.  His fins were slowly stirring the surface.  I paused the steady popping retrieve waiting for the hit.  It didn't come, a couple of strip taps made the diver head nod subtly, he ate it.  He fought hard, I saw him, long, smooth black head and back with Red? sides.  The most common Bowfin color pattern is black with steely grey sides which were reflecting the sunset here. He got off as fly hooked Bowfin often do. Their mouths seem to be all hard bone and soft membranes with no fiber to them. 

Kayak Fly Fishing for bass with poppers

In the first cattail maze, the first big and best bass hit early missing twice on the cast.  Casting back and doing a slower quieter retrieve got the hit.

Bass taken on Fly Rod Popper pattern from kayak

The last bass came on a cast where the popper landed up on a cattail blade.  As it fell off this bass rose to meet it coming full horizontal profile out of the water.  After a long and hard running fight i netted him with the hook lodged on the back of his gill plate.  I didn't notice whether that happened from the get go or on one of those powerful runs it pulled it loose from his mouth then snagging him on the gill plate.

Bass in weed cover taking fly rod popper pattern from Kayak

I also lost three bass as big, one maybe bigger than the three pictured here.  At half dark the Dive Banger popper  got jumped by a pike of about 27 inches. He came 3 feet out of the water in and awkward half cartwheel.  I didn't cast back to him even though he probably would have come again, Pike are fun but also a bloody pain to get off the hook and get to hold still for a picture.  I did catch a small pike and had him waiting in the net while I dug out the leather glove and foot lone needle nose pliers.  The hook came out in the net.  Yay for barb less hooks!

I finished 3 for 6 on bass 15 inches or better 0 for 1 on Bowfin.

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