I was on my way to meet a kayak fishing client for a day of pike fishing on the Connecticut River along the New Hampshire/Vermont border. When I checked the weather forecast the evening before it was calling for gusty winds, but manageable. I stopped for coffee and then for fuel before getting on the road to make the two hour drive.
While I was filling up at the gas station I pulled up the updated weather forecast on my iPhone and well, lets say it had changed a bit. The new forecast was for 25 mph wind gusts out of the southwest. Every setback that holds pike heads in a northeast or northwest direction. We were going to get blasted and the wind was due to increase.
I called my client and left it in his hands, but I strongly suggested that we reschedule since we would have less good fishing time than the drive was worth. He agreed and we chose another date hoping the same thing doesn't happen again. "Welcome to the problems of a kayak fishing guide," I told him as we discussed a new game plan since a lot would change in the northern pike world in two weeks, especially this time of year.
It was 4:30am when we ended our conversation. I was awake and loaded to go fishing. The wind wasn't due to pick up until about 9 or 10am and there are plenty of good fishing spots close to home. I had been dying to get out on one of my favorite crappie spots. I knew that the crappie have been suspended over basins for a couple of weeks and I hadn't had time to get after them. It took all of a nano-second to figure out where I was headed, Pawtuckaway Lake!
I arrived at the launch at 5am, way too early. So, I set analarm on my phone, reclined the seat in my truck, and took a snooze. The alarm never went off. I never really slept and turned it off well before it was due to go off. I had put new line on two of my reels and had to get them rigged up with crappie gear wich consisted of 1/8 ounce round jig heads to which I would add Live Baby Shads from Lake Fork Trophy Lures and my Signature series lure, the Whisperer from Daddy Mac Lures. Finally after what seemed like an eternity it was time to head out.
I made the 1/2 mile paddle to my honey hole. Once there I dropped my Sonarphone into the water and opened the Sonarphone app on my iPhone. There were no fish. The area I was fishing was a large basin that was 40' deep in the middle. I figured that the crappie would be suspended about half-way down in the water column and probably over 30' of water.
I drifted toward the area where I had done well on my last trip to this spot and BAM! Crappie were stacked. So stacked that the depth on the Sonarphone changedfrom 32' of water to 12' of water. Then I realized that I had a fish on. It wasn't a huge crappie, but a crappie none the less. Minutes later I was into more of the same, and more again. The fish were coming one after another, but they weren't the big slabs I am used to in this spot.
I moved south along the edge of the basin, stayinf in 30' of water and before I knew it I was marking another huge school of fish. Once again fish were coming over the side of my Predator, but this time they were all 12" and bigger. This was what I came for! I did my best to stay over this particular school of fish, but as the morning progressed, the wind blew harder and harder to the point that I was drifting too fast to keep my jig down inthe water. Rather than beat myself to death, I called it a morning and enjoyed the beautiful fall floiage as I made the paddle back to the launch. I call that a perfect morning.