Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mokelumne River Today

Don and I got to the Middle Bar Bridge at 0830 and set up in the middle of the bridge. I put out one rod with chartreuse Power Bait on a new type of slip sinker rig. The other rod went out with the standard slip sinker rig and a #6 bait hook with two red Power Eggs, one white Power Egg, and a slathering of Pro-Cure garlic scent. More on what happened in a second.

The new slip sinker rig went something like this (remember I mentioned I wanted to use something new out at New Melones because of the rocks). Slip one end of a #7 barrel swivel (I'll call this swivel #1) on the line and tie another (swivel #2) to the line. On the other end of swivel #1 tie about a foot of line and attach a Bass Casting Sinker on the end. In this case I was using a 1/2 oz. because of the current. Tie on the other end of swivel #2 - 18" of Fluorocarbon leader and a #18 gold treble hook.  Got it? No, good because it didn't work worth a shit. It got all tangled up and wrapped around itself. So much for that idea. Reeled it in and went back to a 1/2 oz. egg sinker.    

Remember this from day before yesterday?

Not Crap on the outhouse
This is what the nest looked like today. Finished, I think.

The finished product
And this was the little bird that was very unhappy I was anywhere near it's nest. They're kind of like that. By the way, those are the hot new tires on my truck that I put on two days before it started snowing a couple of months ago.

The owner
Back to fishing. It's been the standard that the hot place to fish on the Middle Bar Bridge was in a certain corner. If you're not there at O' Dark 30, you don't have a chance for the spot. Since Don and I got there at 0830 we were exiled to the center of the bridge even though I brought donuts. Should have gotten some extra compensation just for that, but Nooooo.  

So I have two rods out and Don had two rods out and they are side by side covering an area of about 20 feet. The first fish came shortly after we got there on the rod O X O O here (X). Mine are the two on the left, Don's are the two on the right. This has importance so pay attention. Keep in mind the bridge is about 10 or 12 feet off the water and no land access. I got a good tight line on the fish and slowly lifted it up to the bridge and just as I got it to the rail, picked up the rod tip to bring the fish over and the leader snapped. Short distance release.

Thirty minutes later, fish #2 was on this rod O X O O. This time I brought it up and Don snagged it with my net. Note to self: get one of those nets (kind of like a crab net) for the bridge. I put it on the stringer and dropped it over the back side of the bridge.

About 30 minutes later fish #3 was on rod O X O O. Mine again. Same as before, lifted it up and Don snagged it with the net. Works good on a pound, pound and a half fish, but would be tough with anything larger. Put it on the stringer. There is a point to this stringer stuff.  

Again, it seemed like a fish every 30 minutes or so, fish #4 was on this rod O X O O and same snag by Don. I put it on the stringer and dropped it over the side. Zing when the stinger, snap went the rope, and the three stringer hooks popped open dropping all three fish back into the water. One of the guys that had one of those drop down nets ran over and managed to catch one, but the other two were gone. The stringer was destroyed, two of the three fish were gone and Don's Mother and Dad (you know Roy) were pretty much out a trout dinner which was the main purpose of today's trip.

The idea here was to get them a nice trout dinner tomorrow night when they get up here, so the rods were back in the water and again, about 30 minutes later, fish #5 was on this rod O X O O. We got that one up and into Don's ice chest along with the other survivor of the stringer debacle.

Oh, way back when, I switched the rod here X O O O to two red and one white Power Eggs with garlic, but I don't know what it was with that one rod. Don was fishing the same and that one rod was catching every fish. I saw a couple other fish caught earlier in the day, but that was it. I hope the guys still there after we left had better luck, because there wasn't any other fish caught when we left.  

I pulled out at 2:00pm to make a stop in town and then home. I think next week, I'm going to wander back up the hill and see what's shaking.

Till then.



  1. Hey Mark........sorry to read about The Great Escape from The Bridge Too Far.

    The bird nest still looks like crap but now it has "straw" underneath it.

  2. That one pole was the lucky one for the day! Bummer about the fish getting away. I think I would quit as soon as that happened! haha glad you stuck to it though!

  3. Mark,

    Should've joined you. I have a couple of crab nets. (one foe sale.$

    Stringer is no good there. There are otters who love to eat your catch. I know a guy whose four fish were all eaten by them and only their heads remained. A mini "old man and the sea"...

  4. Momma said there would be days like this.......
    You definitely need a bridge net.
    Tight lines