Today was supposed to be a beautiful Northeastern Ohio day, so I decided to cancel any plans of being productive and go fishing instead. I decided to trout/smallmouth bass fish across the border in Pennsylvania on the Shenango River near Sharon, PA. I didn’t know what to expect. I read some articles about the Shenango river years ago, but I couldn’t remember specifics about the article. I was going at it blind. I looked on google maps just to get an idea as to where I was driving and how to get there, and after a few wrong turns and missed roads, I found the tail race of the Shenango River Lake. I walked down a gated road to get to where the water flows out from the lake to form the lower half of the river. It was beautiful! The trees were lit up from the unusually sunny November day and the water was sparkling. I had my wading gear on and carefully chose a spot to fish. It felt good to be out river fishing. It reminded me of fishing in the Youghioghenny River growing up. Some of the best memories of my childhood and adolescent years were spent fishing, swimming, and relaxing on the Youghiogheny river. Unlinke the Youghiogheny, I went fishless today at the Shenango. I didn’t mind to much today because it was such a nice day out and I always wanted to fish the Shenango. I got some nice pictures and I got to explore a little bit of the river. All in all I can’t complain about a 60-70 degree day in November. Looking forward to catching and reporting the first fish of November for me.
I set out yesterday to do something I always wanted to do more of……..fall time bass fish. I debated on whether I should take my kayak to fish the lagoons of Presque Isle on Lake Erie, or stay local and fish a smaller sized lake that is rumored to have big bass in it. I made the decision to keep it local because I just didn’t feel like making the drive and then cutting fishing short to come back for my night class. Upon arrival, I was excited to see that there was absolutely no wind. That was good because when you fish in a kayak you are typically at the mercy of the wind. I fished this lake about three times in the late spring/early summer, so I already knew a little bit about this lake. Decision one was where should I fish. Since I already fished the lake, my decision basically came down to fishing water/areas I have already fished or explore a little bit. I decided to explore! In retrospect I should have just went with the familiar waters, but I was glad I did what I did because I found out that the lake was a lot bigger than what I thought it was. I ended up not catching anything, but it was therapeutic to say the least. This past year I been having an internal struggle between enjoying being out and my competitive drive to catch more fish. FIshing has always been an outlet for me, but I have always done well fishing (meaning, I have always caught my fair share of fish when fishing). This past year however, I have had one and two fish days, and I have also sprinkled in the occasional skunking. Yesterday just happened to be one of those days. A big asset or down fall of mine, depending how you view it, is I take it personal if I can’t figure something out. Even though I shouldn’t apply that train of thought to fishing, due to the amount of variables that go into it (wind, water temp, moon phase, feeding patterns, lure colors, seasons…..etc), that’s just how I’m built. So, I honestly went out yesterday with the intentions of just being happy I was outside on a beautiful day. All in all I would say I did a decent job of letting go of the fact that I couldn’t figure out where the fish were of what they wanted to eat. I used to tell my students to focus on the process not the product. Translating that in outdoor speak, focus on everything around you and everything you did to get there, and enjoy that moment. Don’t spend all your time focusing in on the end result and looking at it as a “failure”. I had an amazing day to fish, I was the only boat out on the lake, got some good pictures, did a lot of thinking/relaxing, and I was able to come home and write about it. There are a lot of people that would love to have traded days with me, so the next time I get skunked or get frustrated I just have to remember the saying “A bad day on the water is better than a good day at work”.