Normally we do this on Erich’s dock far back in a shallow cove. He has a tent set up on his dock and we just cast out in all directions. The cats typically keep us pretty busy all night, which means very little sleep.
So, this year I proposed that I would bring my little camper down the road on the adjoining property, stay in it later in the night and then fish that part of the bank. I made this proposal earlier in the week when it looked like there might be some thunderstorms Wednesday night. But, while staying out potentially bad weather was one reason, another is that I really like getting at least a few hours of sleep every night!
Long story short, we moved the whole operation to a neighbor’s nearby dock. It’s a much bigger dock. It’s covered. And fishing can be good.
It was good: for the sunfish we planned to use for bait. In no time we had plenty of bluegills and green sunfish in our bait basket. So then it was time to get the baits in the water and wait.
Erich provided chow: hot dogs with venison chili and corn on the cob. I love my own venison chili, but this was right up there. It’s a lot meatier than mine, so perfect for chili dogs.
I have found that sipping a nice, hoppy ale can dullen the pain of slow fishing from a dock. Last night the evening started with a Victory HopDevil. Victory does things right, and this is a great, hoppy bear. Then I had a couple of my old standbys — Sierra Nevada Pale Ales, which I can now get in cans (great for fishing).
So we had great food, great beer and a lot of laughs, but no fishing action. Finally about midnight I detected the low whirring of a clicker. It was coming from one of my reels, so I ran over, grabbed the rod and started reeling. And reeling. And reeling. The fish clearly had been on there for a long time because it must have had 100 yards of line out.
It turned out to be a pretty nice channel cat of maybe 5 or 6 pounds.
Shortly after, I retired to my camper, Rich crashed in the back of his Durango and we left the night watch to Erich, who was snoozing in a lounge chair on the dock. He got plenty of sleep as we got no more bites.
This morning, while I brewed up some coffee in my awesome GSI Camp Espresso maker — I forgot my metal mugs so had to brew the delicious nectar into a cut off aluminum can! Also, my old Coleman stove clearly is not working well — headed out in his kayak to check six limb lines he set yesterday evening. He had a small turtle on one, and a 3-pound cat on another.
The two fish was a low for the Catfish Campout. Not sure if the blame should rest on our location, or on the high pressure system and clear skies.
I wish we could have put a few eating-sized flatheads on the dock, but even with the slow fishing it was still a great outing.