Last Fishing Trip of 2015

The year is winding to an end and the temperatures are ever slowly dropping. This is typically the time of year where my fishing companions stop going out with me and my fishing adventures tend to get shorter and shorter. Luckily the weather hasn’t really dipped under freezing yet, keeping the fish very active and easy to catch.

With half an hour to spare, I set out on my last fishing trip of the year, the temperature was sitting right at 40 degrees and wind was only blowing at 2 MPH making conditions fairly enjoyable. I set out to fish Evansville State Hospital Park to fish my favorite holes in hopes of catching as many species as I could. I only had a half hour to spend, so I focused on the spots that have historically been the most productive for me: the drainage ditch pipe between the two lakes and the rocks around the edge of the dock.

I started out at the drainage ditch, and as expected, there was a nice bass sitting in it. These bass see a good amount of pressure so I stuck with a natural bluegill pattern and since the drainage ditch is so shallow I fished a squarebill crankbait. On the first cast, this beauty engulfed the lure.

Last bass of the year

Sadly, this appeared to be the only fish sitting in the pipe so I moved over to the dock. The water isn’t too deep and there are a large amount of rocks surrounding the dock so I kept fishing the squarebill. With the temperatures being higher than usual I expected the crappie to be suspended in the water column still. This lake has a notoriously small crappie population, so anytime I catch one it is a special day. But this was one of those special days where the crappie were biting, landing me this little guy on a squarebill.

squarebill crappie last of the year

Nothing compared to the size crappie you would expect to find in most places, but a welcome sight to see any day. With time running short, I still wanted to try out the ice fishing rod I was given for Christmas so I moved to the end of the dock hoping for a bluegill. I tied on one of my Lazy Man Woolly Bugger Jigs and started jigging away! Luckily it didn’t take long for a hungry fish to grab hold of it. I was rewarded with a little bluegill, and with that fish I called it a day.

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I was happy to say the last trip of the year was a success and for only having a half hour I was happy to have caught 3 species of fish. 2015 had some amazing fishing adventures and I can’t wait to see where 2016 brings. Tight lines and a happy New¬†Year!

Crankbaits and Inline Spinners

It had rained for last few days and the lake levels were up a little and that always seems to make them easier to fish. I had some time to kill so I went to the State Hospital Park again in search of catching a decent number of fish.

Because the water was higher the rocks around the borders of the lake were submerged so I started with a squarebill to try to get a few reaction strikes. Which worked out surprising well, I caught a good number of small fish and one very nice fish (I’m guessing 4-5 pounds, I’m not sure my scale is definitely broken).

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After I caught the bigger bass I decided I was tired of fishing a squarebill and just wanted to catch some fish regardless of size. With the fish so active I thought a inline spinner would be a good choice. I caught a good number of small bass, a bluegill and a crappie. I’m always excited to catch a crappie from this lake, I seem to catch one every year or two. I’ve seen people pulling them out one after another during the crappie spawn, but I have yet to see a crappie over 7 inches out of this lake.

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I was really happy with how the day turned out, ended with three species and one very nice bass for this size lake. The crappie made me want to go out and do some serious crappie fishing. I’m still searching for a decent crappie hole that isn’t out at Bluegrass FWA.

Cranking up a 3.5 pounder

Enjoyed two hours out at the State Hospital Park this evening. The water has turned a dark green brown color, mostly due to the lower than average rainfall for this time of year. The bite was much slower today, the weather was reasonable: Temperatures between 67-63 F and pressure of 30.32 in. But to be honest, I don’t really buy into the pressure making a huge difference in fishing.

I only caught 2 largemouth bass today on crankbaits, but the largest fish I caught was on my favorite squarebill, a bluegill pattern xpress crankbait (2-4 ft). The first fish weighed in at 3.5 pounds, this astonished me that this fish was that healthy even though she was blind in one eye. But due to my stupidity I lost my squarebill right after this fish. The fish was right where you’d expect, in front of a pipe connecting two lakes.

3.5 pounder

The only other bass I caught was a small 15 incher on a deep diving crankbait (gizzard shad xpress 6-8 ft). This fish was out by the end of the dock, which makes sense due to the large schools of bluegill that people feed there.With the stained water I choose the gizzard shad color to really show up, plus working a deep diving crankbait in shallow water gives of tons of vibration and pausing it to let it float up higher in the water column tends to cause those finicky fish to strike.

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Far from my best trip, but both fish were over the 14 inch minimum size, which is always an accomplishment from this lake. Both fish were released to fight another day, I figure it’ll make some young anglers day to catch one of these healthy fish.