May 28, 2013
Despite being exhausted from running on very little sleep over the weekend, I rolled out of bed early this morning to chase some bass. The clouds blocked out the sunrise again on another crisp morning on the water. However, even with what seemed like ideal conditions for shallow water bassin’, the bite was dead. I pounded the shoreline with everything from flies to spinners without any interest.
Grandpa and I decided to leave the shallows and the poor bass bite and go after some walleye. Trolling produced only one baby ‘eye, but the time spent in the boat was great. I hit the shoreline solo in the little rowboat after breakfast. I pitched jigs to the docks and shallow weeds that were just starting to pop. I hooked into a good fish right under an old pontoon that ran me all over, probably a pike, but he popped off right under the boat. After that things picked up a bit, and I nailed a nice largemouth on a llama hair jig I tied up earlier this morning. I really liked the llama hair on the jig. It had some great movement yet was stiff enough to push some water and maintain a solid profile, almost like bucktail, but softer. I’ll definitely be tying some baitfish patterns with it in the near future.
I landed another fat largemouth on the llama hair jig before picking up Braden. We patrolled the shallow flats on the inside of the weedline, tossing our lures toward shore. Braden hooked into a pike on a Rattle Trap, but his drag was set too tight and the pike broke him off when he dove under the boat. A few minutes later he stuck another pike, and this time he got it in the net, a nice fish that measured 21″.
One of the coolest things I’ve ever seen while fishing took place this morning. Braden was rolling his Rattle Trap over the weeds and brought it up to the boat. Just as he started to pick it up for another cast, a pike launched itself out of the water bent on destroying the Trap, sending a spray of water into the boat! By that time Braden had pulled it out of his reach and there was nothing he could do. It jumped literally two feet off the side of the boat, freaking both of us out with its aggressive attack.
A few casts later, Braden hooked a good fish on the Rattle Trap. A fat bucketmouth went airborn, tailwaking in its attempt to shake the hook. He carefully played it for a minute before I got it in the net, a great bass that weighed just over 3.5 lbs.
That was about all the time we had. Braden released the fish and we slowly drove back to the cabin, happy with a great weekend of fishing.
This weekend will be remembered as one of the best Openers we’ve ever had. The bass fishing was on fire for bigger fish, and the walleyes were shallow and hungry in the evenings. I couldn’t have imagined a better weekend of fishing on that lake. Here is a quick recap of the best locations and patterns:
Bass were in the shallows and hadn’t spawned yet, with lots of fat females hanging around. A tube fished slowly on the bottom accounted for the biggest fish.
Walleye roamed the shallow flats in the evening and after dark, sitting deeper (10-16 fow) during the day. Lindy rigs in the deeper water and floating Rapala’s in the shallows.
The best flies were Meat Whistles (around 3″, #4), conehead rabbit strip streamers, and conehead worm-style patterns. Anything with a weighted jig style head worked great, as long as it was big enough to get their attention. Slow retrieves with a few hops mixed in worked best.