July 21, 2012
I had the pleasure of fishing with Cotton today, all the way from the Sunshine State of Florida. We met at 7 and hit the lake almost immediately in pursuit of those scrappy smallies. The cool morning air was to soon give way to scorching heat and another high humidity day as we raced to our first location. Water temps were around 74 degrees and the air temps would climb into the 80’s by the end of the day. It didn’t seem to matter where we stopped to fish, there were bass in every location. Cotton was getting them mostly on jigs but several fell victim to a slow moving senko as well. Although there were many bass caught, I wasn’t impressed with the overall size of these fish and kept moving in search of better. The numbers were up but the size was down! Plenty of fish up to 3 pounds were landed but only a few in the 4 pound range were brought to the boat for pics. Another thing that amazed me was the overall lack of boats on the water. Today was officially the first day of the Quebec shutdown for construction and it was light. It’s usually a zoo and careful dodging of boats is the norm! Traffic seemed light but I knew it was going to change sometime during the afternoon hours. We carefully picked the areas to fish based on this and headed to some of the furthest places first just to avoid what might be coming. One of these areas had us locked up for close to 2 hours when fishing was hot. I don’t remember exactly how many Cotton landed, but there were plenty. The jig was the hot item and the bass were chewing! Once we wore out our welcome here, I thought a little drop shotting in deeper water was in order and we moved out. This was fairly new to Cotton but he caught on pretty quick. Both smallies as well as a few walleye were taken but the presentation was difficult, without much current. I normally drift along easily, but today I had to use the motor to stay vertical. A little trickier, but definitely doable! From here we shifted to an edge and began casting the same rig to deep water. We managed several more bass and a few decent walleye before calling it a day. Cotton’s ride was to pick him up at 4 and we had just enough time to travel back to the ramp. I knew it would probably be a nightmare taking out and once we arrived, saw I was right. Smallies were the target today and Cotton definitely caught his fair share of them. The largemouth from back in Florida couldn’t compare to the shear power of these feisty little footballs today. Pound for pound, definitely the strongest fighting freshwater fish on the planet! What a blast he had pounding them all day!!