Wednesday, January 28, 2009

2009’s First Largemouth

I simply couldn’t take it any longer. I needed to go fishing. The weather’s been all over the place lately and today was no exception. Last week it snowed, today it was 66 degrees. Welcome to North Carolina.

I took a quick trip to our pond, not really expecting to catch anything, but I wanted to get on the water after a three-week absence. While it was mild for January, it was terribly windy and heavily overcast as a cold front was working on chasing the unseasonably warm weather out of here. The water temp was a chilly 42 and the fish would be deep and lethargic so the fly rod stayed home and I baitcasted a Texas rigged 5” Senko worm, watermelon w/black flake, to the deepest spots I could reach. I also dithered about in some of the protected shallow coves, spin casting my go-to Original Rapala, but fishing the top two feet of water just wasn’t going to work this early in the year. It’s a habit, though.

After a couple of non-productive hours it began to spit a little rain so I moved to the road dam where the bottom drops off pretty sharply and the wind was somewhat blocked. There, I had my lone strike for the day, hooked and landed a nice 14” inch largemouth, my first, hopefully of many, of the year. He fought like a cold fish and, if fish can show expression, had a dopey, stunned look on his face as if saying "What the heck are you doing fishing in January?". Probably just my imagination.

Shortly after, the rain began in earnest and I headed for the house, glad that I had made the trip. Sorry, I didn't have a camera with me. I'll do better next time.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Unique Visitor to the Feeder

In today's snow-driven avian invasion, a unique visitor arrived. We believe him to be a leucistic goldfinch. Leucism is a variation of albinism in which there is reduction in all types of pigment, not just melanin.

Here he is with couple of regular goldfinches in their normal winter colors. He certainly had us scouring our bird books. Thanks to our neighbor Juan Pons for helping with the identification.

04/07/2009 Update: The finch has become a regular around the feeder this spring and we are happy to have him around. He's a ray of sunshine any time he arrives.

Our First Redbud Snow

Our little piece of winter paradise.
(Does it snow in paradise?)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Fish

The boy in the grainy, sepia-hued 8mm home movie can’t be more than four, maybe five years old. Frayed dungarees, flannel shirt, crew cut, freckles, ears and teeth he'd have to grow into. But you don’t catch these details right away because your focus is first drawn to the fish.