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Tucson - Silverbell Lake, May day and Red Flag

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Greetings Atll,

I started the month of May having to travel to Tucson. My afternoon schedule would allow for a couple of hours of goofing off. Since I would be on Tucson's west side I made my way over to Silverbell Lake. I have been there previously with limited success. Basically catching a bluegill and a small crappie there from a previous visit over five years ago.


My visit there would be during Red Flag conditions where the winds were over 20 mph with gusts even higher. Being the recreational ultra lite angler my fishing rigs are not well suited for these conditions and I am presented an interesting casting challenge.


I began by tossing a weedless rigged tube with a 1/32 oz weight. I figured this was a safe bait as I am not familiar with the lake and given the crazy wind who knows where the soft bait will land. Using low angle sidearm casts I was able to make the most of my casts into the water. Unfortunately there was no response on those initial casts. So I transitioned to my curly tailed grub on a 1/32 oz jig. That eventually found a bluegill that was interested.


Catching the bluegill was a wonderful welcome back to the lake after all these years. Bolstered by the success I continued to cast. The response of the bluegill must have alerted other fish in the area to my presence and to my benefit too. A few casts later the grub on the jig just stopped as if snagged. Just as I was about to reach for the line to put a direct tug the line surged off the spool with the drag screaming. OH, what a fun and exhilarating sound and experience to have the UL rod fully loaded under tension. 


It took some time for the catfish to tire enough for me to gain back the line peeled off the spool. Even more time to encourage it to rise from the depths for a look. Just as with the bluegill, I thanked the catfish for the experience and photo. Who would have thought I would be successful under these crazy windy and hot conditions. My angling good fortune continued.


A very nice large mouth bass managed to gain interest in my curly tailed grub on the jig. A fun strong fish that also took some line and time to photograph. Here is a solo photo of the bass.


My goofing off time was quickly running to conclusion as the afternoon passed on. I had had such good fortune on the curly tailed grub that I figured that would be as good as it gets. Still it would be nice to catch one on the weedless tube rig too. Wish answered.


I had transitioned to the tube rig and was casting a bit further along a different portion of the shoreline. It was great to feel the classic thump on the line with a gradual tension increase and the lateral line movement as the bass was swimming with the soft plastic bait. Yay! Whaahoo! FISH ON! So fun to have those rod bending, line peeling, experiences. Some special memories of my Red Flag May day fun at Silverbell Lake in Tucson to share. I hope you can enjoy the adventure too.


I bid each of you well and look forward to my next angling adventure that I can share. Cheers!

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