Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Into the Fog, and Summer Too

We slipped out of the shrouded cove as quietly as we could, not so that we wouldn’t wake the girls - the dogs and our stumbling about the kitchen had already taken care of that - but because the morning fog seemed to expect it of us. The ancient Evinrude chugged quietly and evenly, engine rolling in pace with the lap of water against our prow. Wooded shorelines melted into mists as we entered the main lake and turned north. Pulling our hats more tightly to our heads, we opened the ‘rude up and propelled ourselves into soft grey nothingness.

As we pushed across the waters, visibility no more than a couple of boat lengths, we listened for the whine of high torque turbines – GPS directed rocket bass boats that occasionally skip across the lake like thrown stones, all too certain of their God-given right-of-way, visibility or no. Speed, take heed. None appeared.

With a quickie breakfast of coffee and last night’s chocolate birthday cake rumbling in our stomachs, we headed out in search of largemouths. The completion of the spring spawn and the onset of summer weather conditions were changing the game but we still hoped to find fish hanging in the shallow lily-padded fingers of the reservoir. Topwater days are slipping away as the waters warm with summer's arrival, but surface-busting bass are much too fun to give up without a few last tries.

Dewey backed off the throttle as the faint lines of someone else’s wake appeared beneath us. No immediate danger, but someone wasn’t far away. We slowed to a crawl and a low-floating basser appeared out of the mists - a lone fisherman casting deep-running cranks off a rocky point. He’d made the seasonal change. We were more stubborn. Or dumber. Or both.

As the lone angler slipped back into the fog, we picked it up once again and headed for the feeder fingers and the acres of pads under which we hoped to find our spring holdouts. Dewey with his spinning tackle and I with my fly rod, we resumed our friendly competition on his home lake, each quietly cheering for the other to make a good game of it – but not too good.

We found bass where we had hoped and caught a few. Seems that a handful of fish were as stubborn as we. And a few was enough for all were decent fish, a bit slim having completed their spawns, but feisty and vigorous in their hold in the pads.

Just as we’d hoped when we set out into the fog. And into summer.

As always, my deepest thanks to Jo and Dewey for their warm, wonderful friendship and hospitality. And also to Boone for putting up with Wilderness Dog Sammy (who could easily be his chew toy). I can think of no better way to start the summer.


loftend said...

Looks like a great day on the water! What lake was it?

Mike Sepelak said...

It was a fine day on Lake Mayo, Loften, directly north of Durham, perched on the NC/VA state line.

Sanders said...

Onward to summer! Glad that you were able to catch a few of the stubborn bass that couldn't quite give up the good life of spring.


e.m.b. said...

Stubborn fish...a good welcoming story! Wonderful photos as always, but I especially love the lighting in these.

Mike Sepelak said...

Thanks, Sean, but I'm afraid the dog days are arriving and life takes a different pace. But it's all good.

The fog has a light all it's own, Erin. I don't know how, but I love it too. Thanks.

Steve Zakur said...

The fish are still shallow up here though if the weather stays warm and the water low they may be deep before long.

Sweet story and pictures.

Mike Sepelak said...

Thanks Steve. Glad you're feeling better. Get them shallow guys while you can!