As I correspond with clients who have scheduled trips for upcoming dates, I find myself being brutally honest with them. Prior to our outings, I explain to them the current conditions and the pace in which we should expect to get bites.
If I feel the fishing is going to be lights out or on fire, I will tell them it is good. And, if the fishing is slower than normal, I will explain to them that it will be tough and that we will have to work for every bite. But, regardless of the circumstances, we will hit the water with a positive attitude, have fun and make the best of our day. I always say, “We are using baits that catch fish and fishing in areas that hold fish, but when they choose to bite is up to them.” The bottom line is you can’t catch them if you aren’t on the lake trying.
Recently, we found the fish to be more hesitant and their likelihood to chase and grab was far from wide open. I’ve mentioned this to all that have hired me, and none have backed out or rescheduled. They have all invested in my abilities and have committed to the Xperience, knowing we might not produce, and I’m beyond grateful for that.
I recently ended up doing 13 trips in nine days, and every single one of them turned out to be a complete success. With two young brothers and their dad catching a great amount of fish, an angler landing his personal-best spotted bass and two avid enthusiasts landing fish up to five pounds, we did it all.
The final day of nine was a true testament to our commitment to the sport and our abilities to pattern fish. The air temperature was over 100 degrees and we had eight hours of fishing. With all my previous days on the water, I had established a milk run – a series of hot fishing spots – and we would run them all, plucking a fish or two from each one.
It was midmorning and we were on our sixth or seventh fishing area, and with two lines in the water, we worked thoroughly for the next bite. We had been in a short lull and it was time to break the spell. The first angler in the front of the boat said, “There’s one,” and set the hook. The fish came to the surface and it appeared to be worthy of the net. As I reached for the net, the next angler swung and said, “I have one, too.” The feeling of accomplishment is magnified when you are standing between two anglers, both grinning and fighting their fish simultaneously. We netted, photographed and released these great catches.
There is a part of me that thinks that my preconceived ideas of the fishing to be tough made me work harder to produce. But honestly, each trip I work as hard as I can to catch as many as we can, and am always in search of that giant bite.
John Liechty is the owner of Xperience Fishing Guide Service in Angels Camp. Contact John at 743-9932 or xperiencefishing.net.