Location: Pactola Reservoir
Target: Rainbow trout
Technique: Shore fishing along southern bays
Weather: High 50s, sunny with winds blowing around 10-15mph
A couple of days ago, I decided to bring my wife out for some shore fishing at Pactola and enjoy the nice weather that the Hills have had recently. While I would prefer some colder weather to get here soon, it is much easier to enjoy some quality time fishing with my wife when the weather is nicer. Recent reports had suggested that bluegills were biting on the south side of the lake so I decided to head there so that she could maybe catch a few gills while I cast for perch.
Well, neither the trout nor the bluegills were biting in the first couple of bays we tried so I took us to one more smaller one where I'd had success before and gave it a try before the sun was about to set. At first, it was looking pretty grim, but then as the sun set behind the hills, the activity picked up immensely. Before long, I was reeling in several decent bows. Unfortunately, I had forgotten my short net in the truck so a couple of nicer ones got off right at shore. With a look from her that said "go get your net dummy", I ran and grabbed it and it helped me land a few more before they got off the hook. Accessory lesson number one: bring your net even if you don't think you'll need it.
One of the fish had taken the treble hook deeper in its gullet, which is normally a death sentence for fish. Luckily, I'd brought along my T2 Toothpick from Cold Snap Outdoors with me. Thanks to its clip and retractable line, I just attach it to my shirt and it’s there if I need it and it was needed. While used most often to retrieve ice jigs from a fish so as to not damage it or the jig, the T2 is also very helpful at getting treble hooks out of deep hooked fish on open water. This trout was lucky this day as I was able to get the hook out without damaging its gills and it swam away virtually unharmed. The T2 is a great fishing accessory no fisherman or woman should be without. Accessory lesson number two: always bring your hook extractor tool along as it might save a fish's life and save you some money in lure replacements.
Fishing accessories are sometimes forgotten about, but they can mean the difference between fish caught and fish lost. Coats keep you warmer and on the water. Nets help bring fish in that might get off hooks. Portable phone chargers keep your phone powered and taking pictures or recording waypoints. And hook extractors like the T2 keep the fish alive and swimming when they might not be without it. So even if you don't think you need it, bring those accessories with you. They may just come in handy.