Friday, May 20, 2011

Love-Hate Relationship Comes Full Circle

The Millpond
When I was growing up, my father taught my brother, sister and I how to fish.  All of our fishing back then was aimed at catching panfish, bass, catfish, perch, and pickerel (basically warm water fishing) at a local reservoir.  I did most of my fishing with a good old fashioned worm or Mepps spinner.  As with my daughter, my first fish was a bluegill and even thought I don't remember the exact day it probably brought a huge smile to my face.  I loved to go fishing and anything on the hook was fun, pure and simple.  However, as I grew older the real good days of fishing were when I was catching large bass or pickerel.  Sunnies and bluegills became something of pain to deal with even to the point of despising them.  They were good at leaving you with a bare hook or didn't put up much of a fight on the spin rod.  But, like many things in life, my love-hate relationship with bluegills has come full circle and I begun to enjoy catching them again.  At the end of 2009 I discovered Tenkara fishing and became obsessed with it.  When not chasing trout or stripers, bluegills and bass have my attention. 

First bluegill of 2011
Although Tenkara was developed for small mountain streams, it can also work very well at the edges of the shallow and weedy ponds here on Long Island.  I put the fly exactly where I want it and a few twitches later....Bam!  I don't know if its a failing memory or the Tenkara rod but the fight in many of these fish is enjoyable to experience.  And the simplicity or Tenkara allows me to take in more of the moment and enjoy the peace of the pond and all the life in and around it. 

I have been waiting for the temps to warm a bit to get these guys and the largemouths in a feeding mood and apparently that time has arrived.  My first trip to the pond this year I landed 8 decent bluegill and 1 largemouth bass in about 30 minutes.  Not an outstanding outing but an enjoyable one none-the-less and that's what matters most. It's funny how the passage of time and one's experiences can influence the way you look at something as simple as catching a fish.

First largemouth of 2011 decided he liked the taste of a Kiwi's Killer


  1. You've inspired me to go chase some gills and bass with my fly rod over at the nearest pond. Nice pics and fish. Great post.

  2. Trout Magee, Thanks. When I can't go after trout or stripers, it's these guys that help me get through. In addition, fishing for them brings back good memories of fishing with my Dad and sister when I was a kid and my daughter's first fishing trips.

  3. Bluegills are ounce for ounce (hard to say "pound for pound") one of the toughest fighters around. It looks like you've enjoyed rediscovering them with Tenkara. I still haven't gotten in a good day of pond fishing this year... I'm jealous.

  4. Sunnies are a wonderful fish to target, especially on a 2 weight. I love fishing for them.
    Good post.

  5. Thanks guys! I kind od wish it hadn't taken me so long to rediscover them again. They are definitely a lot of fun.