“My 4wt rod is not up to the job!” That’s the conclusion I came to after another losing battle with my tormentor, Vinnie, the LMB.
Down at my lake at night, I usually start up with a confidence builder — using either my 4wt or 5wt to fish for bream & crappie — and then when it starts to get dark, I switch over to the 7wt. I’m using the 7wt to cast poppers, Sneaky Pete’s, and the like, with the hope that something other than too-big-for-their-britches bream will attack. Some of those bream really do have delusions of grandeur — last night, I hooked a bream a bit smaller than my hand on a Sneaky Pete, which, if the fish had actually gotten into its mouth, would’ve throttled him.
As I’ve reported to the TFF Group, I’ve caught a couple of small LMB’s, but otherwise have only broken poppers, snapped hooks, and bitter disappointment to show for my efforts re Vinnie.
Tonight, I decided to start with the 7wt while it was still sunny & I could see where the poppers were actually splashing down. (I’m not the world’s smoothest caster.)
After a half hour wihout even getting a rise out of the overly ambitious bream, I decided to switch to the 4wt & console myself with battling a few scrappy bream. I tied on a copper john — a fly they’ll always take, when all else fails. I started by working the deeper side of the inlet, where I usually catch the bigger bream. Then, I decided to try the shallower waters, on the other side, where I sometimes have luck.
On my first cast into water that couldn’t have been more than 2 feet deep, a small bream hit the copper john. I was surprised when he jumped out of the water, without a tug from me, but then I saw why: right behind him was Vinnie, who scarfed up the bream and headed for the center of the lake. You may have heard a similar story before, but it never gets old, in my book. As always, I fantasied that Vinnie was so hungry that he’d swallowed the bream, hook & all. For about 30 seconds, I thought my fantasy had come true. Just like last May, when the battle lasted long enough for me to think I’d actually hooked him, he made several runs across the inlet, bending my 4wt like a twig and stripping line off like I’d greased the reel. I tried stopping him a couple of times, but couldn’t hold onto the line. He finally turned & headed again out into the lake. I felt the line go slack & he was gone. I reeled in the line and saw that he’d not only taken the bream with him, but also the hook. For the record, it was tied on with the best improved clinch knot I could muster, but I guess I need to go back to the fly shop for a refresher course.
I think I only had a chance at landing him if I could’ve worn him out before he wore me out and/or snapped the line on one of his runs.
So, what do you do when the only thing a LMB seems to want is live bream on a stick?