Fishing, a Spectator Sport

By Noble Smith
Special to the Sun

I have to admit that for the last forty five days I have been a fan and not a player. I did not make the comeback from back surgery as quickly as I thought I would. Since casting and boating are out of the question for post-op rehabilitation I spent most of my time walking and watching fishermen in action.

It is amazing how big spectator sport bass fishing has become, especially back east. Major tournaments pack in thousands of people in stadiums to watch the weigh-ins. There are even hosts on the water just to watch the pros fish. There are now high school and college team fishing tournaments for the young and fishermen to hone their skills for the big time.

I really enjoyed watching other people fish for a change. Walking the Kern River near the rodeo grounds I watched several families fishing. The adults seem to be content relaxing and watching the children fish. The kids on the other hand were really into it. For all I know their fishing trip may have been weeks or months on the planning stages. This really helped me appreciate all the great fishing opportunities we have here in the Kern River Valley.

A fisherman’s choices are many. Start up in the high country for some great stream fishing. Be sure to have an ultra-light for this type of fishing. On the way down break out the fly rod or medium action spinner for some great river fishing. Then once down to the lake a medium heavy bait caster for the bass will come in handy. A heavy action spinning rod will help in these large channel cats cruising the shoreline. Also, do not put the ultra-light away in case of a red hat crappie bite. Fisherman’s Paradise.

I did not realize how much I take fishing for granted. After two months without I was dying to make a cast. I took my little ultra-light down to the river. Just like riding a bike. Just a little change in technique. I have quite a bit of work to do to get back into shape.

Since I have been doing more watching than fishing I noticed fishing action on the upper Kern is very good. The river flow is ideal for all fishermen. I watched fly fishermen taking in some stockers as well as bait and artificial lure fishermen taking in their share. I could tell fish were recently stocked. The shores were lined with fishermen on both sides of the river near the rodeo grounds. I am sure the same is true throughout sections four, five and six. Conditions are great for stocking.

I was disappointed that’s I was unable to fish our last A.B.A. tournament of the year on September 14. The guys had a tough time of it. Only one limit caught, several boats came in with no fish at all. It is no surprise that team McAbee caught the only limit and won the tournament. Randy and Mason pretty much dominated the season and won the Fisherman of the Year Award.

My teammate, Ray, had to fish the tournament alone. Like some of the teams competing, Ray could not find a pattern. On a positive note, Ray and I qualified for the A.B.A. fish off at Lake Havasu. This is a big event. First prize is a new Ranger Bass boat. I have yet to fish one of these tournaments and hopefully I can get myself back into shape by mid-November.

It is time to wipe the dust off the boat and get busy. I love fall fishing on Lake Isabella. Fish should be actively feeding getting ready for the cold winter months. Winds seem to be calmer in the fall and I need to get back into shape.

See you on the water.