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Geese at this site protested when we got too close to them. One was hunkered down quietly on her nest on a pile of brush near shore. Wood ducks were around in the bay, but they were more shy.
We weren the only ones with that plan. There were plenty of boats parked near brush piles where fishermen thought fish would be hiding.
We moved along the shoreline, catching a fish here and there. Ed shared stories about particular spots where he had caught a bunch of panfish 30 years earlier under a log that has long since rotted away.
Painted turtles had hoisted themselves on logs and were enjoying the sun.
Our plan was to find a sheltered area where the water would be warmed by the sun. Fish would be more active in these areas, and the bugs they eat would also be more active. After a couple of fairly calm, warm days, we were hoping to find some hungry fish near shore.
I wanted to get back to Eau Claire to take in some of the jazz music being played at venues along Barstow Street that night, part of the Eau Claire Jazz Festival. But first I cleaned 14 fish.
After that promising start, however, our catch rate slowed.
At the edge of that brush pile I caught a large shiner, the size you might put on a hook if you wanted to catch a big pike and the game fish season was open. But we didn have any use for him.
Something was making the turkeys and the bluegills active. I suspect it had to do with the time of day and declining light intensity.
I tied on a wet fly and soon had on a small crappie, which I released. Then I caught a larger one that went into Cheap Women Canada Goose Freestyle Vest Navy Nz the live well.
Ed took us from the shallow area where we had been catching fish to a shallow bay where we didn catch any at first, although there were several other boats with anglers there who thought the bay had potential as a quality early season fishing spot.
We anchored near a shoreline with submerged brush. Ed caught two bluegills on a small black jig before I was even rigged up. One he tossed back and one he deemed big enough to keep.
Crows called in the distance and a distant gobbler responded. A barred owl hooted, and another nearby gobbler sounded. A few minutes later I saw a large turkey, possibly the same gobbler, flying across the bay.
The game fish season doesn open until May 2, but the season for panfish the people fish never closes, and a lot of people were out after the people fish.
He was willing to fish with lures of any color, as long as it was black.
Most cottages on the lake were still closed for the winter, with the piers pulled in and the boats pulled on shore and covered. But some people had piers in and were fishing or were just poking around the lakefront.
One fisherman had his shirt off like it was the middle of July. He was absorbing some vitamin D, I guess.
Then the spring peepers started calling. They partial to light intensity too.
Ed alternated between using a spin rod with a small jig and using a fly rod with a small black fly, a sparsely tied black gnat, which resembled some of the little midges flying around us.
Ed Solin, 84, of rural Chippewa Falls had been out fishing with his son and caught some bluegills and crappies that day, and after a series of warm days last week, we thought they might be even more active.
Our last two springs have been late, without much opportunity for fishing in April. I do remember fishing with Ed on Chetek Lake a couple of years ago, but we were fishing through the ice.
We had some first time out difficulties with knots in lines that probably should have been replaced during the winter. We were getting lures hung up on brush piles and overhanging branches. Ed has vision problems and probably couldn see those branches. I didn have that excuse.
There was an opening in one submerged brush pile where I caught several fish on consecutive casts, crappies and bluegills. But they were all small. I was fishing in the nursery school.
Anglers set sights on panfish on one fine afternoon
Sometimes the breeze blew from the south, but later it seemed to switch to the north. The wind wasn heavy, but Ed thought it was adversely affecting the bluegills. He believes that when bluegills are in shallow water, they are fussy about wind.
The fly had the advantage of being light, so he could work it over submerged branches without getting snagged too often.
Now there were newer brush piles to explore.