Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Late Season Eyes (Gold)

A family emergency has kept me from fishing as much as I would like lately but thankfully I was able to sneak away to clear my mind and wet a line for a few hours the other afternoon. It was a gorgeous day out for this time of the year and I decided to see if a friend would have a few hours to hit up a shoreline and soak some bait. It didn't take much convincing and in under an hour we were at the waters edge.
The wind was low and the water calm and murky reflecting the opposing shorelines scenery like a painting. I missed the first three bites and had a hunch they were Goldeye and after the next tap of a bite I set the hook and got it to shore. 14 inches on the button and back it went to join the feeding school. We were essentially fishing a small hole at the end of a mudflat on the edge of the river channel and a 1.5 ounce weight would hold our rig to the bottom with ease. When bottom rigging with bait on the river it is usually a multi species day however the first 6 fish we landed and released were all Goldeye.
The banks of the river were muddy but the flurry of bites and pauses in action were enough motivation to move around and try to stay on the school. With minimal gear and seemingly hungry fish we would move from spot to spot hammering Goldeye on small hooks fished off the bottom. Eventually a small Channel Catfish was landed as well as a one eyed Sauger but besides that it was Goldeye after Goldeye. As the moon began to rise and the sun began to set we landed a few Mooneye as well.

It is almost inevitable when fishing for Goldeye that a few will not be releasable and they make for excellent smoked fish and by the time our session was done we had a nice batch ready to be cleaned and frozen for the smoker. The stomach contents of the Goldeye we did retain were full of mostly what I think are backswimmers, hundreds of them. It was simple fishing, but exactly what I needed and I can't wait to brine the fish up and spend an afternoon engulfed in the sweet smell of smoldering apple and oak wood.

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