Conconully fish avoided my hooks

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Dennis Clay

This is the last of a two-part series about fishing at Conconully Reservoir.

The fish at Conconully last year were in the 12- to 14-inch range. One to three fish will fit on my electric barbecue. They were placed skin-down on the heat and cooked fast. When the meat began to show signs of cooking, they were flipped and the skin slipped off easily. Each bone-free filled made a great fish sandwich when partnered with a hoagie roll.

Last year the fish came easier to my hooks. A flatfish was trolled and it caught fish. If there wasn’t a hit in 10 minutes, a larger or smaller flatfish was placed in the water.

Next a different spinner was used. All caught at least one fish. Bass lures even caught fish. This year was different.

A stop at the Shady Pines Resort store for ice found owner Steve talking with two anglers. He was telling them what to use, how fast to troll and how deep to place the lure.

Basically, we were talking 1.5 miles per hour speed, a spinner of some type with a worm as bait and 10 to 15 feet deep. Steve was talking about fish 12- to 16-inches long. Now it was time to fish.

Worms were purchased and a Ford Fender found in the tackle box. First, though, the flatfish was tried, several actually, of different sizes and colors. The depth was a guess, but various weights were used. My speed was known, as the GPS indicated. An electric motor was used to push the boat at 1.5 mph. One fish was caught, so the flatfish was continued.

The Ford Fender was rigged two hours later. My fishing career was started with this lure and it caught hundreds of fish during my lifetime. The oars were used to propel the boat.

One pull of the oars caused the flasher to spin, as it slowed, another pull was initiated. No fish were attracted to this lure this day. Other spinners were tried with no positive results. On the last day, a second fish came to the boat.

Nothing jumps out as a single cause for the fishless hours on the water. There were fish, nice-sized fish, in the water, as they were observed when other anglers returned to the dock with limits and near limits.

Last year I was on the water earlier, but caught fish during the next four hours. The specific time doesn’t seem to be the answer.

There is only one thing to do. Go back either later this year, or next year, and solve the problem.

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