4-16-12 – The Bass Weren’t Biting…

The plan for the day was to go fishing for bass but try to pick up some trout and bluegill along the way. We headed to a small inland pond that is rumored to have some nice bass and decent gills. We got on the water around 9am and the temperature was rising fast. The high of the day was somewhere well over 80 and the sun pounded all day.

The first shore we fished had some decent old woody structure so we fished it in its entirety as the wind pushed us along. On average it was only a few feet deep quite a ways out with crystal clear water. If there were any fish we would have been able to see them cruising along. The only thing that inhabited this stretch were turtles, and lots of them! It seemed like they were on every tree that was in the water.

As we approached the far end of the shore, we noticed a few mergansers take off. As we watched them go we could see fish popping in the shade of an over hanging pine tree that they just left. Creeping in, we came across a beavers winter cache of branches that jetted out over a slightly deeper channel. Under all the timber was a pile of fish silhouettes. We took casts with multiple baits of all sizes until we determined they were all trout as they chased our baits up to the boat. We quickly changed to spinners and the fish started biting. We caught a few decent sized brookies before moving on in search of the bass.

We began fishing the north shore with a decent current pushing closer and closer. There was much of the same type of structure present but with a few freshly fallen trees still sporting green pine needles and deeper water closely adjacent. This is when we were able to catch a few small bass ranging in the 1.5-2 pound class. The fish were tucked tightly in the cover of the dense pines. For the remainder of the north shore we found fish in every pine tree that offered similar cover. Floating along, we also discovered several bass cribs as we went over them. If there was any fish in them, chances are we spooked them off before realizing they were in there because of the clear water and us being directly overhead.

After the excitement of catching and seeing a bunch of fish on the north end, we began fishing south again with no fish to be had. We found lots of familiar looking, old fallen timber in shallow water. We saw one school of small bluegills cruising in and out of a cluster of ancient tree stumps before calling it a day at this pond.

Because it was still early in the day, we decided to hit another lake before heading home. We launched the boat planning to fish a northern end of the lake looking for similar structure as we had previously found. Also, a bit of shelter from the wind because of the formation of the lake offered a bit of it. Go figure, the fishing was once again poor.

We managed a few smaller bass before hitting the only honey hole for bass of the day. Unfortunately, they were not the species of bass we were looking for. There was a pile of rockbass sitting where we least expected them. We found a square dock sitting in no more than a foot of water with only a few inches for an opening before meeting the sandy bottom. The fish were stacked up under there big time. We anchored the boat only a few feet from the dock and vertical jigged them as if we were ice fishing. We could watch the entire scenario unfold each time we dropped our jig in the water. We found that they hit best when the jig was slightly suspended off the bottom but they would come check it out each drop even if it was resting on the bottom. It was a blast! After a short while my buddy told me we had to leave because I was having too much fun… Weak!

I also posted a few videos on our facebook profile from the days honey hole!

I got to test out a batch of “live” baby shad by Lake Fork Trophy Lures. Even though the bite was slow, I was able to catch fish when they were around. The action on these plastics in nice. They seemed to have more action than similar “baby shad” style baits because of the swim slot while being equally durable. I caught numerous rockies without having to change the bait.

Moving on, we had only a short stretch before hitting the next batch of fish. Cruising down the east shore, we came across a spot where a sandy shoal jetted out from shore and immediately into 20+ feet of water and the fish were jumping. We assumed they were trout so we began casting our spinners. First cast, I hooked up with a brown. Not much for size but still a fun catch. Within the small area enclosed by the shoal, the fish were cruising around and surfacing occasionally as there was a decent sized hatch going on.

The remainder of the day was very unproductive. I don’t think we caught another fish even though we fished a lot more water before getting off shortly before 6. The day was slow but we fished two bodies of water that were new to both of us. We learned a bit about where and how to fish and probably won’t forget sunscreen the next trip out. We both got roasted in the early summer sun with our winter skin!

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