Tag Archives: adventures in ditch fishing

Accidental Triploid Encounters

As it swims closer along the bank it becomes apparent we are dealing with something of more substantial immensity than the chunky black bass standing sentinel over the drain pipe.

desperately seeking lawn clippings

It makes the heart skip a beat and the eyes move toward the bass bug tied to your tippet and the assorted others in your wallet, and you realize there’s a problem.

It swims lazily by and pokes at things and it could be 20 pounds. The ficus aren’t blooming and the man told you to tie up a green san juan worm because if someone’s trimming grass nearby it becomes a chum situation. Or match the hatch, if you choose to look at it that way. But you didn’t.

Then it swims away and you’re reduced to the pathetic recollection of movie quotes.

“He’s gone and we couldn’t do nothing about it.” *

Then it’s back to the bass and the realization that some things aren’t going to happen for you.



FLORIDA: The Ditch Slam

The Tri-Rail

The whole thing started with the least of expectations. I had a rod and some time to kill due to a delayed appointment. I made some casts. I caught nothing. I drove to the appointment. Delayed again, for another hour.

I google mapped. I found nearby water. I tried a new fly.

The Mayan Cichlid

On my first cast I caught a mayan cichlid. Sweet.

Then I saw a dark swirling shape hanging out near a submerged drain pipe. I made a cast.

The Largemouth Bass

A largemouth bass with a middling amount of heft liked my offering. OK, cool.

I released the bass. Then I saw two bulbous fish cruising the shoreline at a fast clip. I made a lead cast. One charged like a mofo.

The Oscar

It took off with the force of a Tri-Rail and I had to run down the bank for 20 feet or so until it settled. Actually took me to the reel. My uncertified genero-grip registered the openly hostile oscar at around two-pounds.

What an ornery little cuss.

This became interesting. The fly I had tied on looked similar to a juvie peacock, proving the cardinal law of fish: Everything eats everything. Could I make some sort of slam out of this?

My cell phone rang. I had to meet my appointment in 15 minutes. I was five minutes away.

Would a peacock bass hit a fly that looked kind of like a littler peacock?

The Peacock Bass

Death don’t have no mercy.


Extreme couponers are stealing my recycling. Once I put it to the curb it’s in the public domain, I suppose, but when a black Ford Econoline creeps slowly in front of the house at 3am, it creates unease. Why was I up at that hour? Teething.

I tried my first coupon at Costco over the weekend, to see what it’s like. I put it towards a 32-pack of Diet Dr. Pepper. In the days following I’ve had 13 of them, if for no other reason than they are dominating my refrigerator. I found the crumpled receipt from the trip in my pocket this morning; no discounts noted. After all my clipping efforts to arrive at that point, she didn’t even scan it . I feel violated. But that may be due to the excess phenylalanine in my system.

not a striper

You don’t need Korkers and breathables for the duck ponds, just ditch kickers for the goose shit. In the context of locale, it all seems askew, like reading Wired on microfiche.

The salt water is calling, about 30 minutes from my house, but work keeps me flying to the midwest. There are no albies in Indiana.

FLORIDA: Horse Country Rambling

“The pie and cake is mine to take,” –Don Edwards, Saddle Tramp

There is irony in the fact that some of my best opportunities to catch native wild freshwater fish exist in manmade drainage canals designed in part to turn what is naturally a swamp into solid ground.

A berm about a half mile away cordons off the real wild, the swamp water flowing southerly over limestone bedrock. But the wild creeps into the sanitized despite the best efforts of developers and trappers.

Alligators show up uninvited in golf course ponds and largemouth bass make their way into every reasonably oxygenated patch of freshwater. Out in horse country, miles away from the coast, the bass are the game. In the small canals inaccessible by bass boat or canoe they are unabashed. A long walk, with vigilance for gators, cottonmouths, and fire ants, gets rewarded.

I am a Florida expat; I haven’t lived there in 17 years but I still love much about it. But that doesn’t make me an apologist.