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Lake life

Bad day turns good

You would think that with me being semi-retired and my fishing buddy, George, being temporarily out of work again, we could go fishing just about anytime. But for some reason, we can’t.

However, we set aside a morning recently to go fishing no matter what. The afternoon before, I checked on the Solunar Tables on lakedarbonnelife.com to see when the best time to go was. There is always a major and minor period in the morning and another of each in the evening. But once a month, there is just a blank. The major period for this day: blank. I emailed the Solunar Folks to ask what that meant, and here’s what they told me:

“The SOLUNAR Periods-the odd-hour periods of activity and feeding on the part of wildlife-last, as a rule about two hours. You will note in the SOLUNAR TABLES that the SOLUNAR Periods occursolunartables, as a rule, four times daily.  The lunar day being twenty-four hours and fifty odd minutes, there are some days of each month in which the twenty-four hours will not accommodate all four of its SOLUNAR periods.  When this happens, you will see a blank space in one of the columns.

I think that the “lack” of that other period on the chart means only a  fool would go fishing on that morning.

But it didn’t deter our plans. In addition, we woke up to brisk 12 mph EAST wind that turned 30 mph by 10 a.m (Everyone knows that when the wind is from the East, the fish bite the least. Right?). The frigid temperature left behind as an early Christmas present by a cold front that had visited from the north was a nice surprise, too.

In addition, George’s brother Larry, the younger (his other brother is Larry, the older), had gone a day before and not caught a fish.

That was all the motivation we needed. Looked like a perfect morning for George and I. Because of the challenges, we decided there was no reason to break our necks getting there early. With age comes experience, and with experience, discretion. So we discreted to sleep in a bit, do some honey do chores and not go fishing until 9 a.m. (By George time, that’s 9:32).

We got there and the wind was so brisk we decided to just walk around the bank of the lake and fish from there.

George and a bad day bass.

George and a good bad day bass.

Frankly, it didn’t look like there was much hope, until on the third cast, George hooked with a nice micro-fish. Then another, and another. Before the morning was over, we had landed a two-man limit of 20 bass. This was the second straight trip this has happened for us. You know what that means.  By the odds, it will be somewhere around 2018 before we land another such limit. I do think I know what happened with that solunar thing, though.  The fish were confused over when the major biting time was, so they did just what George and I would do. They just ate all morning! I think there were two other major factors. First, it was my suggestion that we dress like we were duck hunting, so if the bass spotted us around the bank, they would think we were hunting, not fishing. Second, George wanted to get some filets to fix as “fish bite” appetizers for our Christmas Sunday School party tonight. There is no spot on the Solunar Tables for Divine Intervention, but I think that explains our “fish bite”.

What made me sad was that we had invited Little George to come, but he was too busy working. He missed out.  Later we received an anonymous tip that he was “working” at putting out more duck decoys. I translate that into he was skeert to go head to head with us fishing.  Even though Little George was busy, he did find time to leave us a magnifying glass by the filet knife so we could, as his note said, “see your fish to clean them.” It would have been a better idea if he would have left us a bigger set of blades on the knife. Apparently the knife is owned by Larry, the younger, and designed primarily to clean 6-inch rainbow trout at the maximum.

The point of this story is simple: Like the bumper sticker says, “A bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work.” That’s especially true if a bad day fishing turns out pretty darn good.  Pass the tartar sauce, please.


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