With the Diablo Chupacabra SUP Yak anchored down in the back of the truck I pulled in for one of the last Monday mornings of the school year intent on an afternoon outing. Throughout the day, I occasionally stopped by the office to check on my baby to make sure a student hadn't taken it for the summer. At the end of the day, the temperature in my classroom approached the breaking point, and when I stepped in the truck the internal thermometer had it at a sweltering 108 degrees. Outside it is about 94 with clear sunny skies. Not an ideal situation for an hour long jaunt south to fish a highly pressured bass lake for the first time.
When I arrived in the parking lot, I was treated to a very unpleasant odor. It smelled like rotting vegetation mixed with sewer. At the put in, there was a vast blanket of the oddest algae I ever laid eyes on and the source of the smell. With no other place to put in, I plopped the kayak on top of it and it never touched the water. It was foul. After several gentle strokes, I made it past the accumulated slop on that end of the lake and into clearer water. As I made my way down the lake, I weaved in and out of very heavy lili pods that ascended 2-3 feet out of the water. Casting into them proved to be futile as my weedless frog rarely touched the surface to entice a strike. For the next several hours, under a brutal sun, I probed shade and structure along the banks without a hint of activity. I finally ditched the frog and tied on a damsel attempting to catch some wary carp. No such luck.
As the sun finally began to set, the air and water temperatures finally started to die down. I began working the other side of the lake, deep into some pads when I finally found some bass. Three successive 12 inch fish out of the very same spot on four casts. After that, despite some great looking water, it completely died off. Around 8:45, I began working my way back to the truck arriving at the brink of darkness and ready for a long drive home.
Before leaving, I found out what that wonderful looking scum was. Blue-green algae. Not something to mess with and I was probably covered in it. On the way home I hit up a car wash and didn't wash my car. I gave my SUP Yak a nice long bath with a spot free rinse, erasing a dozen outings worth of scum, algae, fish slime, and mud. She looked brand new again, and I slid her back into a really dirty neglected truck.