Right now bass fishing is at its peak. I fish before work, after work and even at lunch sometimes in hopes of leaving no water untouched before Memorial Day. Yesterday I went to this lake down the road from work. There were a few younger guys “fishing” (I use the term loosely) as one guy was tossing basketball sized rocks in the water. I walked up to them and asked...
"How’s the fishing?"
"Sucks...only small fish and we can't figure out what they are biting...almost got one but he was only about 12-inches." the guy said.
"Does throwing the rocks help?" I asked sarcastically.
The guy looked at me and smiled and said, "yes, actually we had a big bass come in right after we threw a couple."
"I can honestly say that I have never tried that." I said and moved on.
This is only my third trip out here and the two previous trips were far too early in the year and there were no active fish. Now my timing was better but not in regards to water flow. The lake has lost several vertical feet over the last few months. I needed to cast over a lot of shallow water in order to reach the dark blue stuff. Honestly I was doing a lot more walking rather than casting.
Then I saw a school of small bass (around 12 or 13-inches) clinging to some rock structure near shore. Tossed out a small grub pattern and WHAM! Reeled in a 13" bass and took some pics while the yokal locals looked on.
(Above: The first fish that started a near hundred fish run on the day.)
"That Fuker caught a fish...did you see that?...that was #$%^* luck!" the other guy muttered loud enough for me to hear him.
Then I began to work the shoreline pulling a fish out about every other cast. Sometimes it would be a bass and other times it was bluegill. But the action was constant. After the fourth or fifth fish I heard one of the guys yelling…actually yelling.
"You gotta be fuking kidding me?" and they started to unravel from there. The older guy started yelling at the other kid to stop throwing rocks and they really focused on getting fish. If you play poker and are familiar with a few of the terms, this would be considered pushing a player into “Full Tilt”. At least they stopped throwing the damn rocks.
(Above: Larger green sunfish like this are aggressive, colorful and just plain awesome! I have a huge addiction and a lot of respect for quality panfish.)
Plink, plink, plink...I kept moving down and kept nailing fish. The funniest part is that I wasn't even trying to catch these fish. I was searching for big bass deeper out but everytime the lure would reach the shallow water it would get clobbered. Plink, plink, plink...move down.
(Above: Illustration of water levels and casting distance. As you can see I was only able to reach the edge of the big fish water. A lot of smaller fish were in water around a foot deep.)
Then I hear a chorus of celebration. "Whoooohoooo! Yeah!!! Woooooooo! Hey Mother F@##$%....I caught a fish!!!!! How about that shit?! I didn't skunk mother #$%^&*...I aint no faggot!!!"
The spectacles I see out there on the water sometimes when people catch a fish is pretty hilarious. This is a clear sign that they rarely catch fish. Had I been whooping and hollering every time I caught a fish on this day...I would be hoarse and lost my voice half way around the lake. I didn't acknowledge his catch. Just kept walking...plink, plink, plink...move down.
The celebration picks up again…”yeah!!! Wooooohoooooo! I caught another fish. I am catching up BITCH!!!! Fuk Yeah! Right on…That is how you #%$^&* do it! I am stoked now.”
I could hear this clamor across the lake. It was pretty much a ridiculous display and it is these moments that help me realize how far I have come as an angler. Yes…I still consider myself a rookie but leagues ahead of those guys. There is a measurable difference between three guys catching two fish versus me catching 50 to a hundred. You know it’s a good numbers day when you have no idea how many fish you really caught.
For what its worth I did manage to dig up some bigger fish on the very next trip. Not the fabulous hawgy beasts in the +20inch range but close enough to make the scouting trips worthwhile.
(Above: Would you believe I caught this fish a day later at the very spot the guys were throwing rocks? Even managed to catch this fish while wearing my best work shirt.)
In conclusion there are people that fish and people that are just out there slapping water. Good fishing is more about focus than a magic lure. Better focus = better fishing results.
My name is Matt and I’m a fishaholic