Sunday, April 7, 2013

Monroe Powerplant Hot Ponds!

This past Tuesday, April 2, I was scheduled to work. That is, until I attended a funeral for my fiancee's grandmother. This allowed my fiancee and I go to kayaking and fishing with Ted, a good friend of mine from work, and his friend Lon. I picked Lauren up and we headed to Bolles Harbor in Monroe, Michigan. We went from the harbor all the way to the mouth of the so called "hot ponds" as they are best known. Hot ponds are parts of a river or lake that feed a powerplant to cool their equipment. The water actually absorbs the heat via a tubing system usually and is spit out thousands of gallons a second into a canal that eventually leads to the Great Lakes. Pretty amazing stuff!

It took us around 45 minutes to kayak from the harbor to a peninsula at the mouth of the canal. We got out and we met both Ted and Lon and the action started immediately when I stepped foot on land. Both Ted and Lon were catching largemouth bass that were a good 16" and 17". They said they caught a few bigger ones which was downright incredible! The bass were feeding on small minnows and shad that were swimming with the current. The bass would be on the edge of the eddy and would swim and eat anything that was close. Bass and some big carp were jumping everywhere! It was great!

Ted and Lon were using baitcasters and I started to use my fly rod despite the wind picking up and blowing in the direction that I couldn't cast as well. Thankfully, I was using a heavier Clouser minnow pattern with my 5wt which helped me push through the wind to the fish. Not even 5 minutes after I stepped foot on land did Lon get into something big. A nice carp roughly 20lbs was on the end of his shad pattern. The fish was hooked INSIDE the lip possibly signifying that it was trying to eat the shad.
Gorgeous fish...
 We snapped some shots and he let it go. First fish I've touched in several months. It was good to be back on the water! I was happy to help him net it, too! : D

Next, was my turn. I wanted so badly to catch any fish! Well, after about 10 minutes of nothing but plenty of hits and misses, Lon told me to come to the shallower end of the peninsula. I happily obliged and that's when I hooked into a beautiful LMB on a simple Clouser minnow that I tied the previous night preparing for the trip.
FISH ON! First of 2013!
Very happy camper!
 I was so happy. I was laughing and if I could, I would have been jumping for joy. The fish was a mere 12" but to me it was the giant of the deep! It doesn't matter how big or how small, I still find joy in catching even the smallest of fish. I fished up and down the peninsula having quite a few strikes in the short amount of time that I spent there.
Smile on my face is pricesless. : )
The second fish of the day came by surprise. I was taking line out and cast about 2 feet of line out and I drew the rod back and I had it tug! I literally just smacked the water with my fly and I had yet ANOTHER LMB on the fly! Funny how that works. : ) 
Still happy as can be!
The final fish of the day was another small LM coming in at a mere 8". By that time, we all had to go as Lauren had to head to school, Ted needed to go to sleep because he was up since 9 the previous morning and worked a full 12 hours and then went kayaking with a 30 minute nap and loaded up on Red Bull....
Poor fish!

The release.
Technically, we "weren't fishing for LMB" as those are not in season in Michigan yet. The DNR states that there has to be immediate release of the bass. Only in late May can you keep the bass. I still had a blast.

Lauren and I, or rather I being the gentleman I am, loaded up the car with the kayaks and we  headed out but not before we took pictures. : )

"Sam, wait before you take a picture. I'm trying to fix my mascara." *takes a picture* "Oops."

All smiles. We're quite happy! : )

Love this girl with all of my heart! Very blessed!
The next day, I went by myself but have no pictures to show for it. It's a great hot spot for bass but also a great place to just relax and be yourself. It's going to be great for kayaking parties! Tight lines everyone and be safe!

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