Fishing with Noble: Time to Take Inventory

Fishing with Noble / Noble Smith

Even though I fish year round, this time of year is special. With Santa Claus coming to town, I need to make a list of all the fishing equipment I need. I do not get many gifts, so I need to make sure the gifts I receive are related to my favorite sport.

It’s hard to believe that I need anything. It seems 22 rod and reel combos and 10 tackle boxes should be enough to get through the season. Not even close. Equipment gets old and obsolete; time for the yard sale. Fishing equipment, like tech equipment, is constantly changing. So it’s our job as fishermen to do our best to keep up.

New reels make a great gift. Reels normally wear out before rods. Reels seem to get better each year. New sharp designs and better performance. A new filet knife to replace the old, worn out, dull blade knife used for many years. Maybe even an electric filet knife would make a great gift. Tackle boxes or bags to hold all the new tackle needed for the upcoming season makes a great gift.

Thanksgiving weekend was probably the nicest I have witnessed in all my years living in the valley. Daytime temps approached 80 degrees. Clear, windless days. Changing colors representing the change of season. It was a great weekend in the valley.

Fishing was good also. The river was stocked Wednesday before Thanksgiving. The fish were stocked near town, section four, the lake to KR power plant #3. A lot of fish were being caught in this area. Another lunker was brought in. An 8.5 pound Rainbow Trout was caught. This is the largest trout I have seen caught this year on the upper Kern. Caught on a good ol’ Green Label Pautzke salmon egg.

This fish could have been a holdover from our trophy trout program the season before last. It could have been stocked that size. It does not really matter how it got there. A trophy like that is a lifetime memory.

The lake was also beautiful. Most of the time over the weekend, the lake looked like a large mirror. It seemed really tame. You learn to appreciate these conditions after all the times our lake has beaten us fishermen up.

Calm water does not always mean good fishing. The fishing pressure was very light. The few fishermen I talked to reported fishing very tough. Bass and crappie fishermen are probably home taking inventory.

I have not been able to go out and chase the bass lately. Have a little rib injury. Tough to zing those lures out there while saying ‘ouch’ every time. This is normally a good time of year for me to fish bass. The lake being calm most of the time makes for good jig fishing.

Jigs, along with other creature baits, are great to use when the water is cold. The metabolism of the bass will slow down. They still need to eat. They will pick a larger prey so they will not need to exert a lot of energy chasing smaller food sources.

I doubt the upper Kern will be stocked for a while due to water temps. The lower river will probably get another shot or two. Water temps are still warm enough for fish to be stocked.

While sitting by the fire planning Christmas gifts and vacations, do not forget the fisherman in the family. Also remember a calm winter day on Isabella Lake can be a great fishing experience.

See you on the water.