A buddy and I made plans to head to my camp Wednesday after work in hopes that the warming water temps would be pushing the smallmouth up towards shore for the spawn. On a recent trip (Finally Put The Boat In), we found that some bass were moving up but overall only a few fish had made the seasonal migration. After a few more days, it was sure to be good!
Mid day, the weather service began issuing severe thunderstorm warnings across the state but the skies were still blue and there was no wind. Perfect day for bed fishing! Of course, as I started on my way home, the skies as I crested the heights in Northfield were dark and stormy. We figured we had at least an hour on the water before the weather would push us off or sink the boat as we tried. Either way we were going fishing!
It got worse than this after the next mountain range!
We got on the water with clear skies above us but darkness on the horizon. The first few casts produced bites but we were still only able to boat a few fish throughout the day. The fish that were biting were right on shore but as we drifted along, we came across many beds in the 5-7′ depth range. Very unusual for the lake we were on from the years that I’ve been at it. I guess the lake needs a few more days till its worth going back again.
We fished a good portion of the west shore as it provided the best seclusion from the wind and in past years has held more fish than anywhere else on the lake. Not necessarily the biggest fish though. As we went along with on our drift, the clouds crept closer and closer until we hit a point that opened us up onto the widest part of the lake. This was when we realized we needed to make a change if we hoped to get out of white caps and heavy winds.
Not wanting to fish the same shore again, we went across to the south east end of the lake where the wind looked manageable. Boy were we wrong… We fished that stretch of shore faster than ever before. It was nearly impossible to effectively fish a cast with anything but a crankbait. As we reached the southern extent of the beat it started raining a bit. We called it for the time and started motoring back to the dock. The waves were splashing over the boat making the ride back not very enjoyable.
After unloading the boat, we decided to hang close to camp in case the skies cleared. We figured the best way to pass the time was with some brookies. We fished two small brooks and a beaver pond with a few fish taking the bait. Native brookies have some of the best colors in the wild world! We posted a video of one brookie on our Facebook page. It was just after 7 pm at this point and we decided with the sparse thunder booms still lingering, we shouldn’t get back out in an aluminum boat! I knew of another smaller pond with bass in it on the way home so we beat feet there to look for some beds within casting distance of shore.
We were successful in finding some beds that we could cast to. The first bed we found had two bass on it. One male and one female. We could tell there was both because they were doing a mating dance where the male was nudging the female in an attempt to release some eggs. It was pretty cool to see. I wish I had my underwater camera to try to get some footage of it! We were able to catch the male once. You can see a video of the bass on our Facebook page as well.
Even with the poor weather conditions the day was still a success in my book!