Back at the Little Econ, but this time with my oldest daughter and a canoe. We launched at 419 and took the first leg of it, which is about eight miles and ends at SnowHill Road. This time I had my wife drop us off and then called for a pick up as we approached the foot bridge. I figured that would give them about 40 minutes drive time and enough time for me to paddle the rest of the way to Snow Hill. It was one of those trips when you were fighting the falling sun, partly because I forgot the paddle and we had to turn around and go home, and partly because you can't just paddle through. No way, there are fish in here, and I have to catch a few of them. I never understood people who go to the beach to lay out either, there are fish in there too.
My best today was a 5 pounder and it came on an Academy H2O popper in a frog pattern. This took all of our bass today and Lily took it away from me so she could start using it. Top water is always fun, but I love it in rivers and there were just too many dead falls that looked amazing.
This is a beautiful stretch of Florida river and I think we may do the other section soon, but camp it so there is more time to fish. The other run is from our pick up point at Snow Hill Road and ends on the St. John's River at S.R. 46. This is about 11 miles long. We put in just after 1 pm and it took us till almost 6 oclock to reach our 8 mile pick up point. This included fishing and a shore lunch though, but it was dark when we got to the Snow Hill bridge.
The red bellies and bluegill in here can be aggressive and this one took a small clothespin spinner I use for Crappie, sometimes you run in to those in here too. I usually bring some Rooster tails in white and managed some on that today too, but the star was that H2O popper, what a blast.
Thursday and Friday this week saw me getting a few hits but closing the deal on nothing. My little brother took six bass the other day on a spinner bait, while me, Rich and Brian went home empty handed. Today I watched him catch panfish on a Rooster Tail and I tied one on a light rod but I held to a shaky most the way out on Econ today. It was hard to stand my ground with this as I watched him catch some very nice pan fish, but it was slow, even for him today, so I kept throwing the shaky.
Rooster tails are awesome though, and there are a few places where I'd even throw them in a tournament. These bluegill and red bellies are begging for the grease and a pot of grits. I like white spinner baits out here and in John's Lake, but the red with copper blade was also good. You can kind of play it by the water clarity, but one of my favorites, especially when there are green bait fish like inland silversides, is a "frog bleeding". There were places in the mountains though that I caught more on yellow or a Mepps with a simple buck tail and silver blade.
I love fishing creeks and rivers, and it is truly a reset around every corner. There is the chance that you will find a better spot, a group of crappie, some slow water holding redbellies, or tie in to a beast on topwater. I love it, the exercise, beauty and diversity, it is a loaded experience.
Well, this was the size of my shaky head bass, and I have been told more than once that this is the size of the bass in here, that there are no "big bass" in the Econ, but I have caught them in the 3 to 7 range in here which is a good fish to me. If you can sneeze at a 7 pounder then I would love to fish your lakes with you sometime. These are wonderful fish in here and full of fight. The larger fish was taken on topwater, and I was mad because I couldn't find any of my Arbogast Hula poppers, so after my shaky head broke off in some dead fall, I tied on a tiny Torpedo. I had an immense boil behind it that did not materialize into a fish, and then the same thing a few hundred yards down. This time I am yelling to my brother, "did you see that boil", and then boom! I thought the fish had decided to pass on it, but now it was coming clear out of the water with it, and oh what a fighter. These guys dig deep, use the current and wrap you in every log they can find on the bottom. What an awesome day, I am so glad we came out here! I started the weekend off the hard way, and except for the handful of fish I caught behind the house, it was looking bleak, but here we were with a lot of river bends and plenty of resets.
Forty years old and still in awe of the outdoors.