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A Warm Memory in a Frozen February

February 12, 2014

By Chris Erwin

The cold temperatures and wintery snow is holding the lid down on my dreams of the spring of 2014. However, I can’t help but think back to the spring of this past year.

It was a warm morning in May when I loaded the old bass boat and packed the Ford Excursion for a weekend on Cave Run Lake. The warm sunshine beaming through the window felt good on my face as we pulled out of the driveway and headed toward the highway. It takes me about an hour and 20 minutes to get to the gate of our place, which looks out onto the Licking River near the Popin Rock ramp.

The five mile road into the authors’ camp on Cave Run Lake. (Photo by Chris Erwin.)

The five mile road into the authors’ camp on Cave Run Lake. (Photo by Chris Erwin.)

Five miles from the gate the gravel road ends at the river.  Our place is a few hundred yards before you get to the water. While many of the guests I have taken to the lake complain about the long distance down this backcountry gravel road I find it to be filled with a chance to see nature and the many critters that live here.

On this day, I dropped my boat off just inside the gate and around the first bend. I usually come back out and pull it around to the Popin Rock ramp once I unloaded and set up camp. It saves the wear and tear on my boat and makes the trek in a little quicker.

Deer, rabbits, squirrels, and even an occasional bald eagle have been spotted on our way in. Four miles of the road has no houses or any other thing to break the landscape, so for the most part it’s undisturbed and the wildlife is unmolested. I always have my camera sitting in the seat beside of me just waiting in case I can get a good picture.

Once I get unpacked, I drive back out hook up my boat and drive around to the Popin Rock Ramp and launch my boat. It’s only a two-minute ride from the ramp to my little cove where I tie up my boat. From here we will start fishing.

It was a warm morning with the water about 68 degrees. The fish were thinking about spawning, having moved to shallow water and every cast could produce a strike.

I was fishing with my son Scott and as I recall we were throwing a lure we make, which resembles a Rouge.  It suspends about three feet down. This is a good choice when the fish are moving up on flats, roadbeds and sandy points. One of the reasons I remember this day so well was because it was a time when everything was blooming. The sun was bright and at the time I was so glad winter was over.

The author's son, Scott Erwin, holding a nice spring bass caught in the spring of 2013. (Photo by Chris Erwin)

The author’s son, Scott Erwin, holding a nice spring bass caught in the spring of 2013. (Photo by Chris Erwin)

I can still see the lure darting under the surface and the fish coming from nowhere to engulf it, my rod bowing from the pressure as the fish drove for deep water. After a pounding fight the fish exploded to the surface, and I got to touch and admire the beauty of the fat healthy spring bass.

As winter slowly moves toward spring I find I can hardly think of anything that doesn’t have something to do with spring.

On a different note: I wanted everyone to know that The Boyd County High School Fishing Team is alive and well. They will be fishing the Regional Finals for Region 4 on Saturday, April 5 at Cave Run Lake. The tournament will be launching out of the Scott Creek ramp. The director for the tournament is Keith Mullen. If you have any questions you can contact Keith at (419) 206-0203 or (419) 345-3474.

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