Recently I fished a pond I have not fished in a long time.
This pond was covered with water from the Sabine River drainage during Hurricane Ike and some of its largemouth bass population was scattered and immediately after the storm there were lots of crabs and even some shrimp there.
I fish a nearby pond frequently but have neglected this one for all so I decided to do some exploratory fishing, just to see what was in there.
I rigged up a Black Salty Baitfish under a slip float on a fluorocarbon leader attached to 30-pound braided line. This pond has all kinds of trash on the bottom so working a jig or even throwing a spinnerbait can be problematic, so I thought drifting a live bait a few feet off the bottom might score on a big bass or whatever else might be lurking there.
As you can see in the photo below, I ended up in the something else category.
My rod doubled over and I set the hook on what felt like a stump. In fact my float was right next to one and I figured a bass ran inside one and I was hung up. Pretty soon that stump started to move and I realized I had a big catfish on and it was a flathead (op). This thing put up a strong fight, at first just sort of refusing to budge and then moving out from the cover and running across the pond.
I caught the beast, took a few photos and released it back to hopefully catch again another day.
My friend who owns the pond said he had no idea the fish which was in the 20-pound class was in there and that it had to have been a remnant of Ike. Kind of cool, huh?
Sometimes just going around to see what you can catch in ponds is a lot of fun. Even though I would have initially preferred a lunker bass, catching a big flathead is lots of fun. By the way, the Black Salty Baitfish will catch just about anything in freshwater and is great to throw out under a float or free line. I have caught bass up to eight pounds, gar, grinnel, channel cats and now a flathead on them.
The drought has that pond super, super low, exposing some cover I didn’t realize had previously existed. I am going to go over early one morning and take a floating lizard and see if I might be able to fool one of the big bass I have hunch still lives there. And if I catch the big catfish again, it might just end up skinned and put in the frying pan.