I love fishing multispecies waters. In part, because I feel it gives you more opportunities to catch fish. Letís face it, a big part of fishing is catching.
When you fish a lake that is dominated by a single species, such as trout, conditions can be such that you either figure it out or suffer the skunk. I recognize that there are times when a number of techniques will work. That was the case a couple weekends ago at South Delany, midges below a strike indicator worked well, but so did streamers. But there are also those time when any give species can be maddeningly selective.
The skunk can also visit us more often than we like if weíre selective about what we fish for, especially if we lock ourselves into a single approach. Hum, that sounds like an angler I know with his clousers and sinking fly lines! Even if weíre versatile with our tactics, limiting ourselves to fishing only for catfish, trout, bass, crappie, etc. Can result in great days and not so great days when the target species, say bass, are tight lipped for whatever reason.
Combine flexibility in both fishing techniques and what youíre willing to catch then multispecies waters rule. Once waters warm over fifty, itís my experience something is always biting on those waters, and itís a rare day I donít have a decent day catching something. It may not be what I set out to catch, but sometime just having a tug on the end of my line is all that matters.
Sunday was such a day. Bill and I opted to head out east to fish one of the smaller waters. Given its solid bass population, smallmouth and largemouth were the target species, at least at the start. Water temperatures were in the upper fifties so I figured weíd timed it right. The only concerns were the low waters levels (lowest Iíve experienced) and the water was rather stained, 12-18 inches visibility.
Undeterred I hit my spots with techniques that worked in the past, nada, zilch, zip. Then a nice 22 inch catfish nailed my fly in about a foot of water and Bill picked up a couple crappie and a drum in deeper water. Shortly thereafter I nailed another cat, and so did Bill, both extremely shallow.
Giving the situation some thought, I downsized my patterns and opted to try the deeper water for the crappie. Not sure what Bill was doing when he caught his fish, but after an hour or so that didnít work out so well.
So I moved on to plan C. Floating line, smaller flies, and hit the shallows where the warmest waters were by a couple degrees. I also slowed my approach way down. That turned out to be the ticket, as I then managed a few bass and lots of catfish and carp, most on small 1-2 inch pin clousers. Why pink? Well, itís a light shade of red, and reds/oranges show best in stained/muddy waters per my readings. Along those lines, my best drum and crappie came deep with a larger brown/white clouser (likely showed as black).
Bottom line, fishing a water with multiple species, coupled with some flexibility in my tactics and what I was willing to catch, I managed good numbers of catfish and carp in the 16-24 range. I ended up six species to boot, catching crappie, largemouth, smallmouth, and drum, also.
If just catching something is your goal. Fish multispecies waters and be willing to switch tactics until you stumble on whatís biting. It worked for us last Sunday.