Friday, October 16, 2015

Good Bait

I went to Kemp Lake today. It was a good day for commando kayaking: good weather and lots of room on the little community bus. There was someone out on the water in a canoe when I got there.  I began setting up my little inflatable kayak, as the canoeist turned toward shore. As he grounded, the canoeist put aside his fishing rod and began throwing stones onshore. Big stones, head-sized, that were in the bow of his canoe. He had like five of them.
"Nice day for fishing," I said.
"Yup!" he said cheerfully. "I had lots of action."
Dunno what bait he was using to get rocks that size, but it sure worked.
He dragged his canoe up to his truck, tied it down quickly, and drove away as a little car arrived. Out popped a mother and two little boys, who stared bright-eyed at my inflated kayak. Yes, it looks really cool, and has go-faster stripes. "Would you like to float in my boat while I hold the rope so it stays close to shore?" I asked.
Of course they would! And their mother was pleased. One boy popped in to the kayak and I took hold of the painter, which is a line about 15 feet long. I walked along a little dock as he paddled gently, thrilled to be in a real kayak. Then his little brother took a turn. During the summer I saw a trout here, but today we didn't see any fish around the dock, what with all the paddling and talking.
Dunno what I was trollng for, but I had good bait.
We waved cheerful goodbyes as I finally got into my boat and set off to circle the lake. Here's a link showing my location part-way 'round. It's not too big. I took about an hour to make a leisurely circuit complete with pauses to eat a snack and drift peacefully.
As I came ashore, a couple was arriving for their turn at the lake. If I'd known there'd be this much traffic on a Thursday in October, I'd have made a reservation. They pulled two Pelican kayaks out of their van and set up their fishing gear. The couple had many good things to say about their Pelicans, as very stable and practical boats. I am not convinced, as without bulkheads or flotation devices these are not ideal for safety. "No, they're stable and safe, we've had 'em out in waves this high," insisted the husband, but he admitted: "Once you get water in 'em, you can't empty it out. They don't really sink, they just stay there under the surface."
Yeah. I let it go, didn't take the bait, and packed up my boat. Time for a commando departure as I headed to the bus stop. There I ate another snack, while keeping an eye out for bears. I have no interest in bringing a bear out of the forest to find my smoked cheese or candy. There have been fifty bear sightings a month since summer in this area, and that's not an unusual number. Funny, how kayakers have to think about bears AND car traffic on the same day trip. And so, home for a lovely dinner made by my spouse. All in all, caught a good day.

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