On The Road Again
June 28, 2011
Heading off to another lake to fish for a few days with Alain & Cindy had me excited as I made the long haul this morning. I would be staying with them in their beautiful house on the lake and fishing hard for three days. Alain wanted to learn a little more about this lake and booked me for many trips this season, with these being the first three. I arrived around 8:30 and wasted no time getting the boat in the water. I ran to their place on the lake, picked them up on the dock & off we went to our first spot. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was ready for just about anything as we started casting different lures for the smallies. For three days we would be covering the lake from tip to toe and catching bass on everything from senkos & tubes to topwater & jerkbaits. The weeds had begun to grow pretty good and it looked like the fish were setting up into their summer patterns as we were only catching small fish along the shores. I had thought that some of these fish would still be in shallow due to the spawn but was surprised to see the water above 68 degrees and the fish all gone. Although there were a couple of larger fish between 3 & 4 pounds caught close to shore, the bulk of the fish came from off shore locations with some sort of weed cover. Alain had pretty good success with a wacky rigged senko and managed to get most of his fish with this set up while Cindy caught on everything else. We were fortunate today to have had sunshine for most of the day making it quite pleasant while fishing. Although we did manage to find some nesting areas on shallow sandy flats, they all seemed to be vacant. Several fish were caught around them though making me wonder if they still remained close by. We now had an idea of what the lake was doing and were looking forward to day two! The second morning was a little different with some cloud cover and a slightly stronger wind as we headed to the first location. Alain was once again on the senko and had three fish in the boat before anyone else along an open section in the weeds. Cindy & I were fishing the deep edge to try & entice something larger but not having any luck. I moved in a little closer and saw a bunch of fish cruising all over this area and decided to hang shallow for a while. Alain had another small bass on that almost became breakfast for a rather large northern as it claimed his fish near the boat. It definitely looked to be about a 40 inch pike and the poor little bass got a few scars for his troubles. He was one of the lucky ones I guess! We spent the morning fishing off shore but shallow in weeds and stumps, catching plenty of smallies. After lunch I thought we would try some deeper ledges and found much smaller fish all over them. By ripping jerkbaits on the deep edges we were bringing piles of 1 to 2 pounders aboard with an occasional three. The weeds were definitely out producing the rocks but we continued to cast to the ledges anyway. I’m not really sure how many of these small bass we took along the cliffs but it was a lot. By 5:00 we had the makings of a storm brewing and decided to head back and take out. Timing is everything as we found out once we were ashore. We barely had enough time to get the boat covered before the skies let loose and dumped upon us. Thankfully we were back in the house and watching from inside out! The third morning was a complete opposite from the first two days as we lost the temperature. Both the water & the air had fallen drastically and now we were faced with a cold front. I had spent the two days prior in sandals and light clothing just dying of heat, but not today. We had gone from 80 plus degrees to the mid 50’s and a light drizzle. We all clothed up heavily and donned our rain gear before heading out. We also had a stiff N/W wind making it seem even chillier where we began. Water temps had dropped almost 5 degrees and were at 63.5 in the weeds. I knew this would be a tough one! Nothing was moving and seeing the openings in the weeds wasn’t easy as I held the boat in position. Both Alain & Cindy were throwing senkos but not having any luck when I hooked up on a slowly crawled tube. Yesterday’s fish had grown and now they were quality with this one being over 4 pounds. Immediately I set another rod up and let Cindy toss a tube, all the while instructing her on the drag. She had a light take on about her third cast and locked up on a beauty of a fish. This thing went to the air and I knew it was pushing 5 pounds. After several leaps and plenty of line ripping, I slid the net under an honest 4.5 pound bronzeback. This was to be the first fish of theirs worthy of a picture and I shot a few. After the release and repositioning of the boat, Cindy was locked up again. This time she battled another decent fish of around 3.5 pounds and I thought we were onto something. I immediately rigged another rod for Alain and had them both throwing to the area that had been producing the quality bites. Cindy had only one other fish take the tube and it was a smaller 2.5 pounder. Although they both had hits, the cold water had the fish lethargic and hooking them was becoming more & more difficult. We tried several other areas with similar results until after lunch. I decided to follow a shoreline and remain in water 10 to 15 feet deep, casting to the shore. It was a flat and should hold some fish after the spawn! By ripping jerkbaits we were able to hook up with a bunch of fish, holding in about 13 feet of water. The fish weren’t really relating to anything other than occasional weeds and hard bottom. We weren’t crushing them but under the conditions, we were at least doing alright. I ran all over trying to find some activity, but every spot seemed to be the same. On out last stop, I hit a mid lake hump that topped out at 13 feet surrounded by upwards of 60 to 200 feet of water. I had caught on this bump before but not today! It was really a struggle to get anything to move, so we decided that we would. We threw in the towel and called it a day. It was an interesting three days of fishing and full of challenges, but we did have some success. With most of the fish seemingly in the post spawn mode it can only get better. In the next couple of weeks the larger bass will set up in their summer patterns and begin to school & feed. I may just have to get back again sometime soon and go for another 3 day road trip. Alain still has a bunch of days left and I can’t think of a better way to spend them. Overall we fended alright despite the difficult conditions and post spawn fish. With the delay in seasonal weather, it wouldn’t surprise me if the best fishing is just around the corner. Bring it on!!