I grabbed a few minutes this afternoon to fish the close “swimming hole” down on Silver Creek. I wanted to try the Marukyu tanago bait I recently purchased. This is a pink/red gel in a tube and is used extensively in Japan by Tanago fishermen. I’m looking for other micro-fishing bait alternatives that will travel well. I have no doubt the tube will travel well, but I sure could not get the small blob of gel to stay on my hook well. I quickly resorted to a small piece of Berkley Gulp Earthworm. I have been using this bait with some success when I do not have real earthworms. Real earthworms perform the best though.
This pool is known to hold a variety of sunfish, Largemouth Bass, Yellow Bulheads and Weed Shiners. On my first cast with the Gulp earthworm I caught a scrappy little bluegill that made the 7x tippet line on the Soyokaze 20SR sing. Even with his small size, he sported a striking orange chest. Mind you now, this piece of bait is significantly smaller than a match head and the hook is a micro tanago hook. Luckily I hooked him in the lip, so hook removal was non eventful.
With the quick action of the Bluegill, I thought I was in for a fast paced afternoon. It was not meant to be…. Nothing. Usually, the Weed Shiners eventually find me and keep me busy, but they were no where to be seen. This water is not clear, has a black bottom and the surface is almost entirely obscured by canopy. Sight fishing is not an option, but I usually fish without a bobber/float while micro-fishing here. I use a single #6 (.1 g) split shot about an inch and a half above the hook, and flip it out, letting it slowly sink. This normally is where I’ll get the activity, but not today.
It seemed like an eternity, so I decided to change up my presentation a bit. After letting the bait sink, I began twitching it, much as I do my soft bait jig while fishing for Speckled Trout. On my second cast with this technique, I had a “strike”….fish on! I must have aggravated the 3 inch Brook Silverside (Labidesthes sicculus), as he inhaled the bait. His face showed hints of red which the males get when in breeding condition. This is the first Brook Silverside I’ve caught in Baldwin County and was quite surprised to find him in Silver Creek. Other Brook Silversides I’ve caught have generally been sight fished while they are on the surface. Even on the surface, action to the bait seemed to be key to success. After a brief photo session, he was returned to the creek.