By Noble Smith
It is that time of year again. My family all came up to stay at the Falling Waters resort for the family vacation. The pressure is on; Uncle, Brother, Cousin, Son, Grandpa Noble better put us on to catching fish. For most, this will be the only time of year they cast a line. The truth of it is, I have a hard enough time putting myself on to fish. Of course, I tell a really good fish story, and that’s where I begin.
I always have pictures on my phone of fish taken over the previous year. This helps a lot after a day or two of bad luck. I can always pull up a picture to show. “I just do not know why the fish are not biting; this is what I caught the other day.” This will help to keep the family fishermen motivated.
The first day, we started at the old cemetery. We saw a couple of fishermen catching some really nice trout. They were throwing artificial lures into the main channel. We were not in position to reach the main channel. We did not have any luck outside the channel.
The fishing was much better on the upper Kern. Jason and Peter were able to catch several nice trout bouncing from spot to spot up river. They had to work a little throwing a variety of spinners and working the slow pools of water. Jason took a nice 16-inch rainbow near the KR3 building. The river is slowing down to prime time now. A lot of great fishing holes are showing on the upper Kern and the tributary creeks.
The family rented a pontoon boat for our lake day. Not the most effective way to fish, but definitely the most fun. Relaxing with the family all around, listening to music. Sandwiches and drinks close at hand. Dangling a nightcrawler over the side, waiting for a bite. I think I could really get used to this type of fishing.
The fishing was not very good this particular day. It could have been all the noise vibrating through the pontoon boat with 12 people aboard listening to music. Possibly the several family members jumping in the water to cool down and swimming around the boat could have slowed the bite. Pretty much a limit of laughs and no fish; not a very good fish report.
I know lake fishing is good for the more serious angler. Catfish, bass, and even crappie are still hitting good. Bass are in the post-spawn mode and chasing shad. Top water bite first thing in the morning. Five to 10 feet of water during the day. Catfish shallow in morning and evenings, 10 feet plus during the day. I think crappie have moved a little deeper, 15 to 20 feet of water. This is just a general call on my part. There are always exceptions to the rules of fishing.
Looks like I am going to have another medical vacation. About 2 years ago, when I was diagnosed with cancer, my oncologist told me not to lift more than 20 pounds. I replied, “What happens if I catch a 21-pound fish?” She then said, “Let it go.” I told her that’s not likely to happen. She also told me that boating is a ‘no’ because of the two compression fractures I have on my vertebrae. Since boating and fishing are what I like to do, we needed to find a solution.
The solution is back surgery. I am going to spend the month of August and part of September off the water getting my back fixed. I am counting on the City of Hope to keep me casting. Hopefully, with a stronger back, I can fish salt water again and land bigger fish. Also, I can boat rough water and not worry. Fishing Isabella Lake, this is very important.
I am told that it will be one week in the hospital and 3 weeks in rehab. This is acceptable to me because the next ABA bass tournament is on September 14. I should be ready for the great fall fishing the Kern River Valley has to offer. See you on the water.