As summer approaches here in eastern Connecticut, with the warm temperatures a turnoff to many species of fish found in local ponds and lakes, often your best bet to find some action comes early in the morning. If you want to really enjoy fishing, I think there is no better way than to greet the sun, long before the air gets uncomfortable.
The earlier the better, as far as I am concerned, as many types of fish, including crappie and bass, start off their feeding at first light.
Recently, I awoke at 5 a.m., fed the dogs and waited for my brother to come from the next town over. Once he arrived, we loaded up the canoe and gear and headed to nearby Moosup Pond. We were on the water right at official sunrise, with the layer of fog that covered the still surface hanging low over most of the pond. We immediately headed for the shallower north end, where I knew largemouth bass, pickerel and crappie congregate. While these same fish would be more concerned with staying cool later on in the day, we knew they would be hungry at dawn and much more actively pursuing food.
Our efforts were immediately rewarded, as one bass after another began to offer at our presentations of soft plastics. I was casting plastic pollywogs, which the bass would hit quickly after just a few cranks of the spinning reel. My brother had success with a plastic lizard, but when we switched to 3-inch long green tubes, the crappie showed up in force.
I am new to tubes, but after that morning of fishing, I will always have some in my tackle box. The crappie I caught were all big, with one about 14 inches long going an estimated 1.5 pounds. I caught five on seven casts, with my brother finally getting on the board with one of his own. The crappie bites came in between 5 to 8 feet of water on the far north end. After we caught those fish, we moved into shallower water where the water lilies and other aquatic surface weeds were plentiful. Pickerel and bass started to hit the tubes, but since we did not have them rigged to be weedless, pitching them into vegetation often resulted in snagging on the plants. This caused us to switch back to the 5-inch lizards and the pollywog.
We did well enough until the sun burned through the clouds, which occurred at about a quarter to 9. Once the sun and blue sky appeared, the morning bite was cut down significantly. We decided to call it a day after about an hour, but not until we caught a few more pickerel and one bass.
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