Invasive Species Slam

Invasive Species Slam

Martyn White | Thursday, 16 June 2022

The weather was good this week, so chuck and I got out on the float tubes. It was the June moon, so even though we've not seen the normal June temperatures, we were still expecting a good bit of action from the bass and panfish. We weren't disappointed.

We arrived around 1 am, got the tubes blown up and the rods rigged then settled in to wait for the light. As we were looking for the panfish spawning flats so we could target the bass that would be lurking near by we both set up a #3 with a hopper dropper, a #6 with a topwater bass fly and I also had an #8 rigged with a streamer. Once it was nearly light we launched the tubes and it didn't take long to get into fish. In fact, Chuck launched first paddled about 5 yards and caught a small bass before I had even finished clipping in my tube's spreader bar! We had good couple of hours before the sun got up and started covering water looking for bluegill, switching to the heavier rods once we caught one or, in my case even just an eat. It was working well, although interestingly the bluegill didn't seem to be concetrated in any one area and the colours of a lot of them were only starting to intensify, suggesting the lower than usual temperatures meant they weren't quite ready to start spawning. Although charles did get a couple of big, dark, orange breasted males.

With several fish of both species each in the first hour, it was shaping up to be a great day. Until I noticed that I was slipping to the left in my seat. A puncture. Obviously it was quite a slow one as it had taken a few hours to deflate to the point where I noticed it. I was hoping it'd be reasonably easy to find and fix, but unfortunately my repair kit was missing! A quick run to the nearest 7 Eleven turned up some vinyl tape and goopy glue. I'd love to say it was an amazing fix, but unless you're amazed by taking 2 attempts to patch a small hole and only succeeding in slowing the puncture a bit more it wasn't. It wasn't amazing at all. It did keep me fishing though, and that's what matters. So we kept going and picking up fish, the morning was cloudy which kept things going and kept the bass out of the heaviest cover for longer than we'd normally expect, giving us a few more hours of targeting fish on the shade lines and near hard structure before it eventually got too bright and things slowed down.

After than I headed under a bridge where I had found a large brush pile with the finder earlier. I marked a few fish sitting on the upstream side and sunk a 5" olive and copper whistler down there to see if I could get a response. First cast I hooked int a very nice bass, which disappointingly threw the hook on a jump. Next cast resulted in another solid eat from what I initially thought was another BIG bass. But the way it fought quickly made clear that it was something else and after quite a tussle it turned out to be a channel catfish of around 70cm. No monster, but a new species for me. The brush pile produced another cat of around the same size a few casts later by which point my tube was getting a bit too lopsided to continue and Chuck had already beached his and started packing up. Time to limp back to shore and head home. A lot of the discussion on the way back centered around my proclivity for getting punctures, we just couldn't work out why I seem to be so unlucky. But I wasn't in bad spirits, a new bladder could be ordered and the old one cut up for patches, I always like adding new species and getting an invasive species slam on the Kasumi helped ease the floattube frustration.