Just a quick post this week as I am running short on time. While I would have liked to return to Mullet Lake last Saturday for another shot at shad downstream, the weather frankly had other plans. With highs in the low to mid 40’s, an approaching “hard freeze” that night, and wind WNW at 30mph, the only place to offer any real options was the Econlockhatchee River. The Econ offers high banks and is lined with trees which provide shelter from the wind.
Ray picked me up at 9:00am and we made the drive to the Brumley Road Trailhead of the Little Big Econ State Forest. We made an easy hike to the river, headed upstream, and were fishing about an hour after setting off. We fished the Lilly Pool for a solid hour with both the switch rods and ultralights (oh shut it, ye pounders of sand,) and while there was a decent amount of surface activity, we determined definitively that activity was not shad, but shiners. How did we do that definitely? A picture is worth a thousand words. I thought you used a cast net for shiners, and while I have no problem with spinning rods, I do have to draw a line at using cast nets! Anyway, I will say it was a new species for me.
We made our way upstream to the Wives’ Pool where we spent the rest of the day. We worked the head of the pool, depth of the pool, and tail of the pool and did not find shad.
While the fishing was slow, it was completely expected with the cold front pushing through, and at the end of the day, hitting the trail with a good buddy, beats sitting on the couch any day. Add to that, this is one of the most scenic sections of the Econ River to take in, one of my absolute favorites, and how could you complain? The hike is very nice, and whether you choose the white trail or yellow trail, you will be treated to some gorgeous scenery. You may even run in to your Pastor and his wife like we did. Just make sure you are not changing out of your waders down to your skivvies like Ray was when they stroll back to the parking lot! LOL!
BTW, props to Ray for having a hot Yeti thermos of coffee in the truck when we got off the trail! After a cold day of fishing, that was a real treat! I think you should drive more often!
So does it work like a point system, if you run a switch rod for so many minutes you can change to a spinning set up with impunity for so many minutes…or what? 🙂 In the southern part of Ohio the more fiscally challenged will grind those shiners into ‘fish patties’ when they get peckish toward the end of the month…
I’ve been following you and this FB page for several years now and it seems this is the slowest year for shad that the St Johns has had in years, Is that the case?
It is the slowest year I have ever experienced.