Last summer, there were bass — lots and lots of bass — as well as aggressive tilapia. And as just about anyone who has fished the L.A. River will tell you, both species are a heck of a lot easier to catch than our crafty carp. Targeting bass, you can do dumb things like muff your cast or take some drag on your line, and still recover and hook up. With carp, mostly, it’s one and done.
After last season’s first rain, all the bass disappeared. Because our river is currently more of a causeway without significant structure, what was solid fact one day vanished the next, as uneven flows swept away everything in their paths, including the bass that many of us watched grow to healthy sizes. That’s one of the beauties of catch and release: you can actually watch the fish mature through the season.
“Wonder where they went?” asked John Tegmeyer, which was truly said in hindsight, as yesterday he found a new Motherlode.
Maybe we can all file our “what the heck happened?” under the line from an old Joni Mitchell song, “Big Yellow Taxi”:
“Don’t it always seem to go
You don’t know what you got
Till it’s gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot”
In the case of our river, the opposite will hopefully be true: our paved parking lot will gradually become something entirely more heavenly.
So, until fall’s predicted El Nino teaches us what rain really feels like, and the bass once again go missing, get out there.
Roland Trevino has been consistently hooking up on prince nymphs, instead of his usual fav, white poppers.
See you on the river, Jim Burns