October 21, 2003

I caught a crappie "This big"

Gotta love a fish named "crappie". The problem is that I didn't catch a crappie "this big" or any crappie at all.

The first couple days out I got a couple of nibbles but that was about it. I knew there were some fish because I lost my worm every time I cast. It was very odd to get nibbles but no bites. Big fish bite, little fish nibble. I was there late in the season so the fish should have been on the largish size. Even though I was fishing at a bad time of day the place I was anchoring was usually teeming with rock bass and crappie. I had pulled them in hand over fist when I was up here as a kid. I started actually fishing then. The next couple days I fished presun, mid day, late, you name it. Never more than a nibble and I never got a worm back once it was dunked. Where the hell were the big fish?

I thought that maybe the lake had been fished out but I dismissed that idea pretty quickly. I've seen it happen before at other places but it just isn't a reasonable hypothesis for Mazinaw. The lake is just too big and too much stock is added each year for the population to be decimated by sport fisherman. I remembered reading about a fishkill in Georgia earlier in the year. That's when massive amounts of fish die, often from a bacteria or other infective agent. The dying fish polute the water with stress hormones and ammonia. That sets off a chain reaction as other fish stress and develop ich and velvet and then die, letting off stress hormone and ammonia that makes other fish stress, etceteras, etceteras, etceteras. The cycle continues until you have a fishkill and it can depopulate a body of water. I figured that Mazinaw must have had a fishkill. That would have eliminated the big boys and only the fry that survived or came down the streams would be present now. Nobody had mentioned a fishkill but I hadn't mentioned fishing at all when I rented the cabin or the boat so it may just not have come up. I've made a mental note to ask about it the next time I went in for supplies. The problem is therefore solved in my mind I'm going back to just afternoon trips and will continue happily drowning worms.

Posted by Charles at October 21, 2003 07:51 AM
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