09/17/12

Insects and other foods the trout should be eating:
Hatching:
1.    BWOs (Little and Eastern BWOs)
2.    Little Yellow Quills
3.    Little Yellow Stoneflies
4.    Slate Drakes
5.    Needle Stoneflies
6.    Mahogany Duns

Most available/ Other types of food:
7.    Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
8.    Craneflies
9.    Beetles
10.  Grasshoppers
11.  Ants

Fish Head
As I was returning home from Guntersville Lake yesterday, I went over one of the many bridges
along the highway between Guntersville and Scottsboro Alabama and noticed what appeared to be
a school of bluefish that somehow got into the lake. I hit the brakes to see what was going on and
almost wrecked a lady following too closely. It was either quickly hit the gas again or wreck, so I had
to turn around and go back to check the situation out.

The lake is almost at full level, but the milfoil has been sprayed and has turned a beautiful aspen
color. It's Guntersville Lake's version of an Aspen forest but it's upside down in the water rather
than on the mountain sides.  It clearly outlines the deep water from the shallow water areas of the
lake. It looks like a colored topo map with all the shallow water an aspen color and all the deep
water a blue color.

Most all the coves have shallow water but some have creek channels coming up and under the
bridges along the old highway #79 have rather deep channels. At some point in time, I have had a
bass boat with a sonar chart recorder running in just about every square yard of water in the huge
79,000 acre lake that told me the same thing, but the dead Eurasian milfoil clearly outlined the
lake's channels. Oh, excuse me, I forgot what I was writing about.

In one of the deeper old creek bed channels that comes up under the bridges along the road, the
surface of about a quarter of an acre of water was churning with fish. I first thought they were
White bass, locally called stripes. They are common and they often school in the late summer.
They average about a pound and don't get over two or three pounds at the most.

When I got turned around and parked along the bridge, I quickly determined they were not stripes
but more like saltwater "true" striped bass. I've never seen landlocked saltwater stripers or hybrid
stripes schooling in the lake, but I haven't fished the lake in a few years either. The fish were so
large, I thought they were landlocked stripes for a minute or two, or up until I noticed the green
color of a few three to five pound largemouth bass in mid air. I started toward the vehicle to get a
fly rod but then realized I had taken them all out Saturday morning to straighten everything out. I
even thought about running back down the road a couple of miles to a tackle shop to purchase a
rod, reel and lure.
I was shaking just at the thoughts of casting to dozens of big bass
eating shad in the channel coming under the bridge
. It was an unbelievable sight to behold.
Yes, I know the lake is full of large bass but this wasn't common, at least it wasn't during the days I
fished the lake. I had just passed about a hundred bass boat trailers at each of the launch ramps
along the highway but not one bass angler was fishing in that particular creek.

After I realized I probably couldn't purchase a rod, reel and lure fast enough to get back before the
bass ate every last shad, I just returned to the vehicle, upset that I didn't have anything with a hook
in it along with me.

I was driving on up the highway, checking every area of water I could see for more schooling
largemouth when the name "Fish Head" hit me. I'll explain.

In the early 1980's, when I first started a TV series on fishing, I occasionally stopped in a bar in
Mobile Alabama on highway #90 at the intersection of Azalea Road. In those days, I was known to
drink a beer but since I don't want to leave anyone with the wrong impression, in 1998 Angie
decided I should quit and I followed her advice. I haven't drank a drop of anything since. Anyway,
back to the story , there was this red headed "marlin darlin" that I enjoyed talking to that tended
bar in the watering hole up until the day she called me "fish head". That didn't go over well with me
at all.

One afternoon she showed up with a black eye. After my interrogation, I discovered her boy friend
had smacked her. I was feeling sorry for her up until she called me "fish head" the second time.
That did it. I began to call her the "black and blue eyed redhead".

As all this was passing through my daydreaming mind as I was driving on up the highway, it hit me.
Maybe she was right. Maybe there are some fish swimming around in a few of the holes in my
head. When your in your late sixties and you still act like a kid when you see a few fish, you can't
be all there - can you?
Copyright 2012 James Marsh