Saturday, September 17. I went out to Lake Mineral Wells this morning. It was a beautiful morning - nice and cool with the air washed clean. The lake got 1-1/2 inches of rain yesterday. Lake Mineral Wells is an old handicapped fisherman's dream. It has bass, crappie, catfish, rough fish and sunfish. More importantly, it has a lighted deep water fishing pier with handicapped access. From the pier the fishing is usually good. It is much better in other parts of the lake. But I can fish off the pier without falling on the rocks or rough shoreline. And it is 12 minutes from my house. Admission for old coots is only $3.00.
Early I fished for the little channel catfish. I still am not catching over 1 in 5 bites. They love stealing the blood dough bait.
When the sun came up I switched to the ultralight rig baited with worms. I prefer crickets but I fed all my crickets to my daughter's school bearded dragon. I kept it while school was out this summer.
I caught the usual assortment of sunfish with an exception - a redear. Since I usually use crickets I almost never catch a redear. This one is the first I ever caught at Lake Mineral Wells. It is pretty short stuff compared with the ones Chuck and his buddies catch at the South Texas spots.
I kept 12 plus the redear, and threw back all the rest. I am going to use the 13 to illustrate an upcoming post on cooking your catch. My wife and I enjoyed eating them.
The sunfish at Lake Mineral Wells are always small. I have fished out there for 15 years and caught literally thousands of sunfish in the 6 to 6-1/2 inch range. A park ranger saw me catch the one in the picture and told me he had seen others at least twice as big caught there. That would be 13 inches. He also told me the lake came up 4 inches last night, while the flood gage measured only 2-1/2 inches. That helped me with calibration of his eyeballs.
The fish were all caught in one spot in six feet of water. When the worm was placed in one spot I caught fish. Two feet away and I caught nothing. I figured that was where they were bedding but the fish ranged in size from 2 inches to 6 inches and several different species. They would not be bedding together. There was something down there they liked.
When the wind switched and became brisk the fishing stopped. I came home to make photos and clean fish. My wife and I had filleted bluegill for supper. They were delicious with corn muffins and potato salad. An upcoming post will talk about filleting the fish and another will show you how I cook them.
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