It is early season and I am fishing each of my usual freshwater lakes. Mostly to see what the water temperature is and if there are any obstacles that I might need to plan around on a trip with clients. This morning I visited White Oak Pond to see how the bass and pike were feeling. Short answer they were feeling chilly with the water and air temperature at 42 with a stiff northwest wind. Not what you would call a pleasant morning on the water.
As I was fishing an eagle came by clearly on the hunt for a fish as well. I was fishing with a white plastic soft bait that I knew would show very well from above. The eagle saw the bait and began to follow it. Just like the young gulls at the end of the summer but I expected that a mature bald eagle would easily figure out that it was a fake and move on.
Not so and in fact the eagle followed the lure to about 25 feet from the boat. All I could think of was that as the lure got closer to me it would rise in the water column and look like an easier catch. So with the eagle watching I did what I tell clients to do; take it away from him. I cranked like crazy and got the lure into the boat. It worked! A simple turn of his wings and the 30 knot breeze the eagle was a hundred yards off in a second. Whew! The image of trying to untangle an angry eagle from the end of my line did not sound like any fun I am relieved that he agreed.
On the upside it is clear that there are still lots of eagles around and seeing them on all of my trips again this season is likely.