July 6, 2013

Warmwater Tenkara & Fiberglass 4-Weights

My inlaws are visiting for the 4th of July weekend and wanted to go check out the beach over in Ponte Vedra after dinner last night.  They really hadn't frequented Jacksonville in the past, so exploration was in order.  So while they headed out with K.C. & Lilly, I thought I'd head over to the pond I tested the Redington Vapen at other night and play with the panfish to kill some time.  Also thought I'd try some warmwater tenkara, so I brought the Ayu II...in addition to the Cabela's 4-weight fiberglass CGR that I'm fond of using for 'gills.

Bluegill action was slower than the night before.  I caught a few on the Ayu, which I have to admit was pretty damn fun.  Unfortunately, the biggest one popped off as I was hand-lining it in after a pretty acrobatic fight.  This was pretty typical of the catch; most being this size, or just a bit larger.

Then I switched over to the CGR.  I love fishing this rod for bluegills, sunfish, and the like because there's lots of wiggle in it, and a good fish will bend it all the way down to the handle.  I also switched from tenkara kebari to an olive woolly bugger.

Honestly, my mind was drifting off a little when my line just stopped dead while I was retrieving the fly.  I thought I was stuck in some weeds, but when the weeds freakin' jumped out of the water, I knew I was in trouble, and in for a fight.  The rod was pretty much doubled over.  This wasn't a fish for a noodle of a 4 weight and click n' pawl reel.

A little over 5 minutes later I had largemouth to hand...and honestly, I was ill prepared to take a picture of it, so I snapped this crappy selfie with my cell phone.

Trying not to be a "forced perspective" angler

And these other pics with my regular camera...

I measured the rod to at home last night to get an idea of how big the fish is in the picture.  It was 22" long, give or take an inch.  Don't know how much it weighed, but it was heavy.

Anyway, with mosquitoes abuzz and not wanting to press my luck any more, I called it quits for the night.  It's nice to know there's fishing like that in the neighborhood, and still more ponds to explore.  I'll just take at least the 6 weight next time...


  1. Awesome! Looks like your gear made the transition to warm water with no problem. If you haven't already, add Guana Dam to the list.

    I can also put you in touch with my father, who can tell you about spots on the river and surrounding creeks. He grew up there, so every story will probably start with "I remember when this was a dirt road . . ."

  2. Or you could take a 4 wt graphite. :) I think the problem landing a fish that size when it's metabolism is in full swing is the "noodle" part of the equation. That's a heck of a fish, and I think you might be underestimating the weight a bit, now that I see it next to that 4 wt. rod. Or maybe I always over-estimate my fish - but that looks like it might go 6 lbs. to me. And again: DEET. lol

  3. Michael
    Just found this post and was sooooooooo impressed with this beast, on the fly, it had to be a blast landing this fish. thanks for sharing

  4. I am guessing it was around 5 pounds....awesome bass!!

  5. Nice! I have hooked up a few LMB that size with my Yamame but never brought them to hand. Congrats.