A week or so ago I headed out to a local park with a couple ponds. I'd heard there were trout, bass, bluegill, and catfish in it, and I later learned that there are crappie as well (and possibly perch, although that term can mean different things to different people, and I've seen no signs of actual yellow perch).
Partly I wanted to catch fish, and partly I wanted to scope it out as a place to bring the kids (more on that in another post), so I just took my light spinning rod and a box of nightcrawlers. The day was rough, cold from the start, and I got hit by a slight shower.
I took an 11-inch bass and a reasonable sunfish pretty quickly. Both of these followed a slight disappointment. I already had my floating minnow tied on in the morning, so I started with that. I saw a silver flash come at it twice. I cast again, saw the same flash and paused the lure (sometimes a fish will come back to see why its prey stopped). A decent rainbow trout nosed up to lure and swam away quickly. It was the last sign I'd have of a trout all day.
The rain started and the fishing stopped, after such an optimistic start. After the rain, the wind picked up, probably the hardest I've ever fished in, and I knew I'd have to earn fish that day. I ended up with about 8 bluegill and 2 largemouths, not bad for just a few hours, considering the conditions.
The bluegill were of much bigger average size than I've seen around here, and the biggest was about 8 inches and fat. I caught him in a little cove, out of the wind, but on the side of the pond it was blowing into (the second bass came out of the same spot).
I checked the other pond in the park, which seemed to have fewer noticeable features, less accessibility, and more algae. However, I've sinced noticed that more people seem to fish that one. I'm not sure why.
Eventually I got out of the wooded area for fear of trees blowing down on me, but in the open it was hard. Without being able to simply pitch to structure, I had trouble casting, sometimes even letting the wind shoot my bait downwind, while I walked after it to take up the slack. Before long, it was too much work for too little expected reward (especially given that I was already pleased with the outing).
I was primarily happy for finding a place to take the kids, esp. my daughter, who's just becoming old enough to fish. There's lots of fishable water and plenty of panfish (with the chance of other species), so I think she can have some fun here. Today I proved myself right, but that's a post for another time...