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Fishing is a pleasurable release from day to day responsibilities; a way to connect with nature in a pure form.

Pondboy and I were scheming, planning, and conspiring. We wanted to do some catching but we both wanted to do something else; we wanted to get Wacky Bass out fishing with us.

The weather was cold and a chilly breeze was blowing as I arrived at Pondboy's house. It has been well documented on this forum that when I show up to fish with Pondboy we start early and I start with that life-giving elixir coffee. Today was no exception.

Our plan for the day consisted of visiting two ponds in the Naperville/Aurora area. We had the appointed time to contact Wacky B and he would meet us or we'd meet him at a third pond. Off we went to Pond #1.

Pond #1 had very little cover. The wind in our faces made casting ultra-light rigs difficult. Pondboy had procured the crappie minnows and wax worms last night and he began working two rods with ice fishing jigs tipped with bait, a button-row of split shots up the line to a slip bobber, bead, and stop.

I wanted to throw Producto grubs for a short bit then join Pondboy tossing live bait on an ultra-light. Our aim was to catch crappies. We knew they were in this pond but our aim was off. Pondboy began reeling in small pumpkinseeds while my slow retrieve on the grubs was getting no love from any fish. I made the switch to floating live bait and began to get pumpkinseeds too.

We were catching but decided that even though it was fun it's almost a let down when you go out set on catching one species of fish and instead get another. We packed up and headed to the next pond.

Pond #2 had some trees and a burm to shield us from some of the wind. This made casting simpler but enough wind at our backs and lack of sun shining down on us made for a cold start to this pond. What could make it better....


Oh, yeah....Crappies could make it better!

First cast Pondboy's minnow didn't last three seconds before there was a crappie on the end of the line. The fish were bigger than last year and no sooner had Pondboy's minnow been eaten my float went down in that telltale slow sinking way that crappies hit; almost like they're sneaking your bait away hoping you won't notice. Not a chance! Small upward pull set the hook and in came a pretty black crappie on a waxworm. Suddenly someone made a noise behind us that made us both jump. It was WackyBass!

In true WB style he set up the video camera and tripod while Pondboy and I were catching crappies. Once the video was rolling he got in on the fun. The fish came in waves as roaming schools of crappies found our tasty offering and tried to slip away with them unnoticed.


After the action slowed down Wacky suggested we go to a pond he caught some big slab crappies in nearby. We followed him to his spot. A nice little body of water with wonderful grass banks to shield us from the wind.

Pond#3 was a lot of fun to fish. When Pondboy's float went down and drag pulled from his ultra-light reel all eyes were on him to see how big the slab would be. It had to be a big one the way it was pulling. It was a big one alright; a big-mouth bass.


Then another.


And a few more.



Wacky's time was limited and we were glad we got him out of the house and out fishing. He left us to fish the rest of the pond and we got a mixed bag of nice bluegills and large mouth.



We had fun but were back to the same dilemma; we weren't catching crappie. Back to Pond #2!




When all was said and done we called it a day after eight hours and over twenty of our intended target caught and released to grow bigger for next year. Those sneaky paper-mouths, black-spotted beauties, the wily crappie!