Last week my girlfriend Kelli, ask me to take her fishing over the weekend! “Of course!!!” I said. What type of a boyfriend would I be if I didn’t jump at the chance to take my love out and find a spot to spend the day, fishing pole in hand and a pretty lady sitting beside me. Now mind you I don’t have a boat at the present time, all I have is my kayak that I usually go out in. But this relationship is fairly new, couple of months new, and we have yet to go kayaking or go fishing. So, in my judgement I thought I’d better take her fishing at one of the better known lakes that has a public fishing pier. My thought being that I’ve never been fishing with this girl and who knows how long she’ll put up with it. Now mind you, she’s a southern girl, and has told me that she loves to go fishing with her brothers up in North FL. But I’ve heard similar stories in the past and wasn’t gonna take a chance that we get out there and within an hour she’s ready to go home. So, I strategically plan our day. The idea was to head up to Orange Lake and throw some lines out and see if we get any bites, if not, then we’d head around the lake up to Lochloosa Lake and fish from the fish camps shore. That was the plan…
Saturday rolled around and I woke up excited to see how this day went, any day with a rod in hand is better than one working around the house. We loaded up after having a nice breakfast that she had cooked, thanks baby. The drive up to Orange lake is only about 15-20 minutes from Ocala, so not too far, and I’d heard that there had been some pretty big bass brought in on Orange lake. When we rolled into Heagy-Burry Park there were probably 10-15 trucks and 4 guys fishing off the fishing pier. I told her that we’d try it out. We get our rods and when we got down to fishing pier, I notice that her attitude had changed just a bit and the four fellows weren’t being very inviting to us being there. I kept trying to make some conversation with two of the guys and they weren’t having any of it. Kelli looked at me with those eyes and said, “I don’t want to fish here”. In the back of my head I’m thinking to myself “Well, crap, where are we gonna go now”, lol.
I was running through all these little lakes around us trying to think of a good place for us to head off to, when I thought we should head over to Rodman Reservoir and fish Kirkpatrick Dam. Good enough spot from what I had heard in the past. I’d never been so why not give it a shot. We take off driving the back roads enjoying the day and time we were getting to spend together when a thought jumped into my head about growing up fishing. When I was a teenager my buddies and I would always find the little off the road paths down to the rivers or lakes and would fish them hours. So, I started looking at any little lake that we past to see if there were the tail-tail signs of a trail going do to them. After we had just gotten through Hawthorne I drove past this lake and noticed some tracks going to the lake shore. We flipped the truck around and found this nice little trail that went down through a stand of trees and the trail wound up sitting back from the lake side just about 20-30 ft. The trail followed along the shore for probably another 150-200 ft from where I parked. But this spot looked to be very promising, no people, no boats, plenty of Lilly pads and lake grass but not too much. We got out and Kelli seemed to be as excited as I was that we had found this place. I have since gone on Maps now and tried to find the name of the lake where we were and the best, I can tell it was on the north side of Lady’s Slippers Lake just west of Interlachen. I get her pole all rigged up and I’m telling you probably within 10 minutes of being there she gets her first bite and then ends up pulling in the biggest catfish I have ever seen in FL. As she pulls it on
shore, I look at this “monster” and ask “Well, what am I supposed to do with that!” She has told me that she’ll bait her own hook, which she does, but she will not take a fish off the hook if she catches anything. So, I’m left to pick this thing up and wrestle with it to get the hook out. While I’m doing this little Ms. Kelli decides to snap a couple of pictures, now I’m glad she did so we had proof! She then proceeds to tell me that its the largest fish she’s ever caught! I think this fish probably weighted in around 3-4lbs, I didn’t have a scale, so if any of you disagree, I’d like to hear your opinions.
After all that excitement, we sat there for probably another hour and half with not another bite, nibble or anything showing there was any type of life in that lake. As we started to think about packing up I finally got a nibble. That nibble turn into 3-4 quickly following and my mind started thinking of grandeur. I’m about to pull in monster!!! I set the hook, and those dreams start to fade, as I didn’t feel the tug of a monster on the other end. So, I start telling myself well maybe it’s just swimming towards me. As I get this fish to shore, I lift him out of the water and what is on the end of my line? A Catfish Nugget, this thing was so small when I held in one hand and my fingers wrapped all the way around it. This thing couldn’t have been any smaller :(, I laughed at my luck and shortly thereafter we are in the truck heading to Rodman.
Rodman Reservoir was a nice place that has a couple of nice fishing piers, one on each shore below the dam. I’m betting that they are usually packed, as they were on Saturday. There is enough shore line above and below the dam to fish either side and would be a good place to take the young ones as well. We sat up below the dam back where the main channel offshoots to the west and fished there between the Lilly pads for about a half hour and again didn’t get a nibble. Right before we left, we walked over to the main channel and fished just to the north of the west shore pier. We didn’t have heavy enough weights on our lines, so the effort was fruitless. Being my first time out there I can say that I’ll be heading back up there and give it a better go in the near future. But in the meantime, drop me a line and let me know what you think of my day fishing with my gal.
Till next time, keep those lines wet and may the Lord bless you as he has me.