Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Return of the Great White Buffalo

First Blood
I recently began fishing gravel pits or dredger ponds as some call them. My friend Charles and I have been exploring more of them and through the help of google maps ended up finding a second pond out at “The pits.” We set out to explore it and fish for a couple of hours this past Sunday morning and sure enough there it was. The water is crystal clear in this pond, similar to the other. The water is really low as anywhere in CA but this pond is also not as deep as the original pond at the Pits.

One section of the pond was about 2 -3 feet deep; we started here. Minnows make the trip worthwhile. Every cast close to fish was a takedown and if you play your cards right, also a fish. Nothing too big in this area, biggest was about a pound. Well I was rigged up and ready to go so I caught fish after fish on my panfish set up with a slip bobber rig on 6 lb test. I use 6 lb test because you never know when you will incidentally get into something bigger.  

We hiked out to a flat area where the water was a bit deeper. With only small fish swimming around, Charles hiked to the other side of the pond and I stayed on one bank slaying small fish. At this point I was tired of getting them with minnows so I started using lures. Grubs also worked on them as did my green and silver cast master. 

Gotta do the selfie
Healthy fish in this pond
That’s when luck brought something bigger and more confident swimming along the bank. It moved fearlessly as if patrolling the situation on the bank. I quickly grabbed a minnow, hooked it up and tossed it right in front of his face. Nothing. The fish was a boss! I knew it didn’t get that big by falling for lame tricks like that. It swam away. It would seem my luck had run out. I looked at the general vicinity where it was but it seemed to have disappeared. I stood on top of a mound of dirt to see if I could spot it but I couldn’t. 

I figured it might still be hanging around so I tossed it in a weeded area and then luck brought the mammoth fish right back to me. I saw him swim up to the minnow, inhale it and keep moving. I waited to make sure he ate the minnow down so I waited a second before setting my hook. Then, with my rod tip low I took a hard swing in the opposite direction of the fish, and hooked him hard. At this point he freaked out and took off peeling line. I reeled and he peeled but I was on top of the mound so I slid down right next to the bank making sure to keep the bend in my rod. He peeled and stopped and I prepared myself to lip this bad boy and celebrate. And then I did something stupid that made me kick myself (even as I write this and probably forever. My drag sounded a little loose and the fish seemed all tired so for some reason I tightened the drag up except I didn’t tighten a little bit, I tightened it a lot. I’m used to muscling these big fish in at the end but I usually bass fish with 10 lb test.  So what do you know, the fish makes one last hard run and snaps my 6lb test. 
one of the last of the day

I cussed at the top of my lungs and for at least a minute. I couldn’t even fish after that. I just scanned the water in hopes that he would come back but nothing. My luck was gone for the day. It snapped like the 6 lb test line on my panfish rod. With that we finished up with a good amount of fish and one more sighting of the “Great White Buffalo!” (For those of you who haven’t watched the movie hot tub time machine: the one that got away.)

Total Fish: 13 Largemouth Bass

** This total puts me at over 200 fish this year.


  1. The "White Buffalo", good movie, Charles Bronson. Sorry, before your time. Sorry you missed the big one. Next time.

    1. My dad used to be a huge fan of Bronson. Now that you mention it, it does sound familiar. Yes, hopefully next time!

  2. Substantial fun to be had on those Bass, Juan. I would have like to have seen the one that got away! Darn line................................
    By the way, I have been fishing some Curly Tail Grubs for Colorado Bass lately.

    1. Yes! i used a curly tail grub under a bobber and they also hit that! it's a good place to fish!

  3. The one that got away...they usually leave me wanting to cry. Looks like a nice outing though. Gravel pit ponds have been very productive for me over the years, they're great places to fish.

    1. between me you (and the other bloggers), it made me wanna cry to but I hid my vulnerability by cussing, lol