I got out for the first successful trip of of the season today. I left work early and was on the water shortly after 4pm. After a few, mostly unsuccessful trips the past two weeks, I was ready for the fish to turn on. With little to no wind and bright sun, I was sure we would be able to see any bed on the lake from a mile away.
The worst part part of this particular lake is that the water is never super clear and you can’t always see the beds even if they are only in a few feet of water. The best part about this lake is that the entire shoreline is ideal for spawning habitat. After fishing this lake many times during the spawn over the years, I have learned that there is a bass bed just about every few feet along the shore and especially if there is a rock nearby. The best strategy is to fish slow and make casts every two to three feet alone the shore. If you have the patients to fish a cast all the way back to the boat, the bigger fish usually spawn deeper. I have a few spots that I know larger fish hold so I use up most of my patients on those locations.
Within only a few casts, we had each boated a fish. The average size fish for the lake isn’t huge but the numbers are decent for an inland pond in Vermont. In a little over three hours we boated close to 60 bass. Only one was a largemouth but we saw a few nice one guarding beds. I’ll be giving them a crack soon! The rest were smallmouth with the largest being 19.5″ and weighing in a 3 pounds 7 ounces. I should have some videos up soon!
We fished Gary Yamamoto rigged weedless on a Gamakatsu EWG Worm Hook. On past trips, I have found that darker colors work better on this lake. The fish don’t target black over watermelon but I do find that I get fewer bites with colors like white and pink. As with many people, when fishing beds, I like to fish slow. Cast into the bed, wait and twitch if anything. If the fish doesn’t take it fairly quickly I will reel in and wait to see if a bass swims back on the bed. Pretty simple tactic.
I think because of limited pressure on this lake, these fish hit immediately. It sure makes for some fun fishing! If you wait to crank up your slack, there’s a good chance you will gut hook the fish. It’s always a good idea to be vigil so you can release them to fight another day!
Here’s a few of the fish from the afternoon