Slow Biters & Trolling
September 13, 2009
Darren & Jack joined me today on a local lake for smallmouth as well as pike and walleye. We dropped the boat in around 7:30 and were on our way to the first location shortly afterwards with high expectations. The weather was a little dismal with heavy clouds lingering overhead and winds from the west blowing at 10 knots. Air temps were in the 50’s with highs to reach into the 70’s along with sunshine, we hoped! On our first stop it was a little slow with Darren breaking the ice on a smallie around 2.5 pounds that he landed on a blade. Jack was throwing a crankbait and not having much luck except for the moss he kept catching but soon was tight to a nice one of his own. Unfortunately, the three pounder threw the hooks when it went to the air leaving him disappointed. Eventually I switched Jack up to a senko and he finally managed to land a few of his own. Darren also went to soft plastics and got bit by some and managed to land a few smaller ones too. I wasn’t seeing the activity that I had hoped for and was wondering if the fish had moved to deeper water with the cold front that came in overnight. The water temps were barely over 68 degrees so I ran to some of the deeper shoals to try our luck. Once again Darren was the first to lock up on a fish and although it was a bass, it was a little smaller that I had hoped for. We managed to catch a few more but they were all around the same size and the action wasn’t too fast & furious so I switched it up once again. We had the same thing on the other places with a few smaller ones being caught, all the time marking plenty of fish sucking bottom on the sonar. I really didn’t like what was going on so I threw in the towel for bass and decided to try our luck trolling for pike & walleye elsewhere. This was apparently the right choice as we didn’t wait more than a couple of minutes before the first reel fired and the game was on. From that point, the fish were coming in every few minutes and for two or three hours the numbers climbed. We didn’t really catch anything larger that 3.5 pounds for walleye and twice that on the northerns, but they had action! Somewhere in the afternoon we decided to go back for the bass and packed it up for the trolling. I began covering water on a shallow flat in hopes of active fish now that the sun was out and quickly saw results. Darren once again managed to hammer one on a spinnerbait and Jack soon followed on the soft plastics. The bite wasn’t really aggressive so we all switched to the senko’s and picked at them for a few hours all the while looking for the mother load. Today wasn’t to see the best results on the bass but they still got into plenty of fish by mixing it up. One more final location at the end of the day in hopes of trolling up some big walleye or smallies resulted in disappointment too. We did have a good sized smallie on briefly but after several jumps, it came unpinned. For Jack’s first time out he didn’t get to experience the potential that this lake has to offer, but did enjoy the day none the less. Darren on the other hand wasn’t worried as he has seen this before and knows that the best is still yet to come. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks the temps will fall and the bass will start to move into their fall patterns. Then the results will be insane each and every day out and both size and numbers will climb to the levels I want. Bring it on and soon!!