Picked up some big minnows in the 5-7 inch range, and headed out to fish for channel cats just before sunset. Got our lines set up around 8:00 PM, first hit came about an hour later. Unfortunately, my son Avi missed the hookset, seems like the catfish only had the tail of the minnow in it's mouth. Over the next hour, the 2 kids missed another 3-4 runs. Frustrated, I brought in the lines and cut the minnow in half to give the catfish a better chance at taking them in. Sure enough, about 20 minutes later, Levi's rod goes off. As he starts fighting the fish, Avi's rod goes off as well, double header!
I coached Levi to help him land the big channel cat in the current, and just as he's about to land it, Avi fish spits the hook. To bad I didn't get a chance to help him out or eve see his fish, but Levi's had the biggest belly I've ever seen on a channel cat that size. Though not too long, it weighed in at 12 lbs, really looked obese.
As it was already 10:30 PM, I took them home to sleep, they had to be up for school the next morning.
Following day, I took my younger son Eli (still in kindergarden) and my nephew Ezzy out for some sight fishing. Plan was to target gar and carp on flies, using the crystal cast / spinandfly bobbers, after my success with them a few weeks ago.
Got a late start, hit our spot about 10:30 AM. Gar were all over the place in shallow water, the bigger ones up to 4 feet long.
Tied on a home tied hookless fly, designed to tangle the teeth in the gar's jaws. Despite casting all around them, the gars took no interest whatsoever in my home tied lures. I eventually switched to a conventional lure, using a floating Rapala J-11 to entice them. Sure enough, 2 gar actually hit it, on actually took it into it's jaws horizontally right in front of us, and started chomping on it. Couldn't managed to fight it for too long, it eventually spit the lure, as their jaws are too hard and bony to get a proper hookset.
Noticing that they attacked my lures, I wrapped some line around it's treble hooks in an effort to have the gar tangle their teeth into my line so I'd have a better chance at landing them. Sure enough, the next 3 gar got tangled to some point, got a decent fight out of 2 of them, but still didn't manage to land any, as I was up a good 5-6 feet above the water.
The gar eventually were all spooked off, so I decided to try enticing some carp I saw near the surface into hitting a streamer fly. Most of them weren't interested in the least bit, but eventually got one to follow. Just as it seemed ready to hit the fly I was twitching, I got it fouled up in a small floating weed, which caused the carp to spook and dart away.
The kids were getting anxious to catch some fish, so I tied some lures on for them. They managed to land a few bass, so I headed off the spot in search for pike.
As the weather was very hot and humid, I decided to get in the water with them, figuring we'd fish of a shallow shoal with a nice 6 foot drop into deeper / cooler water. I tied on a spinnerbait for my nephew, showing him how to cast and retrieve it. On the first cast, a mid size musky followed the spinner bait right up to our feet, really freaked my out as I've never seen a musky in that area since staring to fish there about 6 years ago. Must have been in the 12-15 lbs range. I followed up with a cast, as my nephew was retrieving, a nice 5-6 lbs pike followed the lure into the shore. Unfortunately, that was it for that spot. The 2 kids cast out for about 2 hours without success.
Heading to a third spot, I took a rod, and let them share the other. Managed a small pike on my spinnerbait, followed by a small musky in the 4-5 lbs range.