April 10, 2016
Fishing Time: 9:00 a.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Weather Conditions: Sunny with clear skies
Bait: Livingston Beauty Shad Howeller Dream Master Classic Crankbait; 3/8 oz Z-Man Charteruse White Elite Chatterbait with 3.5 inch Charteruse/Pearl Magic Shad Trailer
Rod: Abu Garcia Veritas Medium Heavy Spinning Rod; Abu Garcia Veritas 2.0 Winch Crankbait Rod
Reel: Quantum Smoke; Shimano Curado I
Line: 10-pound Yo Zuri Hybrid; 12-pound Yo Zuri Hybrid
Total Bass Caught: 2
Final Weigh in Weight: 4.65 pounds
The Potholes Reservoir is one of my favorite bass lakes to fish, so when I found out that I had an open day to make the long trek I jumped at the opportunity. I arrived at the lake around 9:00 a.m. and instantly headed over to fish the rock dam because I have had a lot of success bumping crankbaits along the rocky drop offs in that area. I began around Mardon Resort and worked my way down the dam for about an hour, all the while alternating between a crawfish colored carnkbait and a shad colored crankbait. Unfortunately I was unable to get a bite. I believe that this was the case because the water temperature at this time was around 57 degrees, which must have been too cold for the bass to be hanging out in the shallows. After this realization, I decided to skip fishing the rest of the rock dam and to go and find a warmer area. I motored around for a while and eventually came to a canal opposite the dam boat launch that looked promising. I worked crankbaits, drop shots, jigs, and chatterbaits along the rocky shoreline, but as was the case with before I was unable to get a bite. I was extremely discouraged at this point and decided to head all the way back to the bridge at the far north end of the lake. I made a few casts around the bridge with my crankbait, but didn’t get any bites, so I picked up my chatterbait and decided to give it a go. On my fifth cast, I cast over in between one of the bridge supports and an old beaver dam and felt something absolutely hammer my chatterbait. I set the hook, but unfortunately the bass got away. I continued to work that spot for a few more minutes, but wasn’t able to get any more bites. For the next few hours, I fished the shorelines of all the canals by the bridge, but I still wasn’t able to get anything to bite. Since the bridge was the only place where I had gotten any bites, I decided to head back there and give it another go. I picked up my chatterbait and cast it back between the pillar and the beaver dam and sure enough a bass hammered it. I set the hook and this time felt the weight of the fish. However, as soon as I began to reel it in, the bass shook off. I was extremely disappointed to have missed another fish, so I decided to go back to my trusty drop shot. I motored around until I finally found a nice drop off near the dam boat launch. I worked my worm up the drop offs, but still didn’t have any success. I then headed over to Goose Island and fished the drop offs around there, but didn’t get any bites over there either. At this point, it was getting really hot out and I noticed that the water temperature had already risen ten degrees since I had first arrived. With this in mind, I figured that the bass would be in the shallows, so I headed back over to the rock dam to give it another go. On my very first cast, I cast over to the rock wall and slowly worked my crankbait back to the boat. I felt it deflect off of some rocks and as soon as it came off of the rockpile, I felt something eat my lure. I set the hook and was finally able to land a nice 1.5 pound smallmouth. Ecstatic to finally land a bass, I set my boat up close to the rock dam and cast parallel to the rock wall, so that my crankbait would always stay in contact with the bottom and would deflect off of more rocks. On my very next cast, I felt something absolutely smash my crankbait. I set the hook and instantly knew that I had a big bass on the line. I fought with it for a while and was just about to bring it in when the bass shook off. I was devastated and estimate that it was a 3-4 pound bass that got away. I continued working my way down the rock dam and a few minutes later was able to hook into another bass. This one was a lot smaller and ended up jumping and shaking the hook before I could get it into the boat. At this point, it was getting pretty late, so I decided to make one final cast along the rock wall before heading in. I cast my crankbait as far as I could and slow rolled it over some rocks. About three quarters of the way back to the boat, the pole was nearly jolted from my hand as a monster bass smashed into my lure. I quickly set the hook and the fight was on. The bass jumped multiple times and made lots of dives under the boat, but eventually I was able to wear it down and get it into the boat. I put it on the scale and it came out to be a 3.15 pound smallmouth. After that I decided to head in and call it quits, thrilled to end my day with a monster bass.
Observations: The water temperature ranged from 57-68 degrees, which is a lot warmer than I expected it to be during this time of year. The water warmed a whopping 11 degrees as the day progressed and the bass seemed to move towards the shallows as the water warmed up. The water was surprisingly murky in the main lake, with only about 2 feet of visibility. However, the water was a lot clearer in the side channels, with visibility around 5 feet deep. The rock dam was once again a promising spot and the bass seemed to be feeding on both crawfish and shad in preparation for the spawning period. Unfortunately, I was unable to get a largemouth bass, but I was happy to get a solid 3.15 pound smallmouth in the boat.