Fishing with Noble: Fishing With a Vet

The first annual Fisherman’s Social was held Saturday, May 11. The event was put on by Patrick Fitzgerald and Ed Coleman of Anglers Anonymous, Dean Ott of the Kern Valley Elks, along with the help of Bob Talbot, Paul Beeker and myself. The purpose of the event was to show appreciation for our veterans’ service by taking them for a day of fishing on Lake Isabella.

I was lucky enough to take a combat veteran from Desert Storm fishing for the day. I figured the best bet would be our red hot crappie bite. Armed with Ultralite fishing tackle, enough crappie jigs to start my own store, and a couple of jars of crappie nibbles, Harry and I hit the lake. We started out deep into the South Fork. It was the right call. We caught and released a couple of limits during the first couple of hours fishing.

I am glad Harry was a catch and release guy. I did not want to spend hours filleting fish after fishing all day. So we just caught and released fish all day. We lost count early in the game; we would have needed a calculator to keep track of the day’s catches.

It turned out to be a great event. The weather was beautiful. Mike from Red’s Marina put on a great lunch for all the vets and volunteers. The bottom line is, it’s a win/win for me. I love to fish, and I appreciate our vets for their service. I also appreciate the freedom we enjoy here in our great country. I look forward to the next event; I am sure the Fisherman’s Social will grow in the upcoming years.

The river and all the tributary creeks are still in the rock’n’roll mode. Even though the DFW is stocking the upper Kern and some of the tributary creeks, the fishing is still tough. Last week, I fished upper Brush Creek with a longtime friend and great creek fisherman, Allen Moore.

The creek was pretty blown out. We found several small pools to fish. I tried my crappie jib with a small worm on the hook. Had some good hits and a few fish on. I was a little slow with the flip of the wrist hook set. It’s a lot different than setting the hook bass fishing, in which I use the entire rod and sometimes the body. A little overkill, in most cases.

Al was able to catch three nice keepers to donate to the Smith family for dinner that night. This is the only way Pam and I like to eat fish – fresh a day or two after the catch. There is nothing like a trout cooked in a frying pan the day of the catch.

Too many times, the freezer is overloaded with fish, especially during crappie season. Sometimes, fishermen get a little tired of eating fish. The next thing you know, it’s time to clean out the freezer. Last season’s surplus fish get tossed. It’s a terrible thing to waste fish.

Catch and release is not such a bad thing. If proof is needed, there is always the cell phone photo to corroborate stories. Plus the fish will be back in the water for the next fishing trip. Instead of going out once and catching two limits and breaking your back filleting 50 fish, go out fishing several more times, keeping fish for dinner each time. This means you will have to go fishing more often, and that can’t be bad.

An ABA bass tournament is coming up May 18. I plan on a day of practice for the event. That will be an all-time first. Hope to see you at the weigh-in. If not, see you on the water.