June 17, 2017
Fishing Time: 7:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Weather Conditions: Overcast
Bait: Strike King 3/8 ounce green pumpkin football jighead with Gary Yamamoto 5” Green Pumpkin Hula Grub; Drop Shot with Poor Boy’s Baits Green Pumpkin Erie Darter and Quick Drop 1/4 ounce weight
Rod: Megabass Orochi XX Drop Shot Rod; G-Loomis GX2 Jig and Worm Rod
Reel: Shimano Sustain; Quantum Catalyst PT
Line: 7-pound Sunline Super Sniper FC; 8-pound Sunline Super Sniper FC
Total Bass Caught: 10
Final Weigh in Weight: 12.60 pounds
Final Tourney Weight: 10.41 pounds
My friend and I have been dying to fish in a bass tournament, but without any upcoming open tournaments on Lake Sammamish, we decided to do the next best thing and fish a simulated one. We blasted off at 7:00 a.m. and headed straight to V-dock. V-dock is a great place to start a tourney because it tells you where the bass are at. If there are bass at V then chances are that the bass are a little shallower and closer to the docks, but if they aren’t at V then they are hanging out on the drop offs past the dock. We started by fishing a few docks left of V, but didn’t have any success. When we finally got to the famous dock, I made a perfect cast in between two pilings and immediately felt my line get heavy. I quickly picked up the slack, set the hook, and knew I had a big one on. I fought with it for a while and when I finally got it into the boat, it came out to be a monster 3.2 pound smallmouth. The bass was absolutely massive, but you could tell it was in the postspawn phase because it was really long and slender. My guess is that with that length it would’ve been a 4.5 pounder in the prespawn phase. After that hawg, I decided to test the drop offs, so we motored up a few docks and I cast out to an orange buoy marking a steep drop off. As was the case with my last bite, the bass immediately hammered my lure, so I quickly set the hook and got it back to the boat. This one was smaller and only weighed 1 pound. With success at both the docks and the drop offs, I knew we were in for a quality day of fishing, so we continued fishing the second point on the right. Once we came to the stretch of two-tiered docks, I spotted another buoy marking a steep ledge, so I cast my drop shot to the base of it and began hopping my worm back up the slope. About halfway up the slope, I felt something pick up my worm, so I set the hook and managed to land another solid bass. This one weighed 1.25 pounds. We continued fishing the rest of the point and my friend managed to pick up a nice 2.34 pounder and a 0.75 keeper on this stretch, so less than two hours into the tourney we already had our five fish limit. After initial success on the eastside, we wanted to see if the westside was equally as productive, so we motored over to fish the Vasa Park area. I was able to catch a 0.5 pound dink on another buoy, but other than that we didn’t have much success, so we decided to go back to what was working and fish the eastside again. At this point, the wind was starting to pick up, so we headed to a protected cove on the right side of the lake. Once we got there, I noticed another buoy sitting by a drop off, so I cast over to it and again landed a 0.5 pound smallmouth. With almost every buoy producing, I stuck with this approach and cast to the next buoy I saw. I let my worm sit there for a good minute and was just about to reel it in, when I felt something swallow it. I gave it a good hookset and brought in a 0.75 pounder. We fished the rest of the cove, but didn’t have any luck, so we motored up to the area where I caught a nice one during my last outing. The first few docks proved to be unfruitful, but then we came to a wooden dock with a floating dock tied to it. I cast in-between the two and let my worm sit for a bit. I gave it a few twitches and then felt something hammer it, so I set the hook and landed a solid 1.34 pounder. A few docks later, we came to an low wooden dock and I made a perfect cast right under the front lip of it. I barely had time pick up the slack before I felt a bass grab my lure, so I set the hook and immediately knew I was on to another hawg. It was extremely strong and I did all I could to keep it from jumping, but eventually it broke the surface and snapped my line. I was devastated because judging from the look and feel of the bass, it would have been another 3+ pound smallmouth. However, the disappointment didn’t last long because a few docks later I managed to hook into another decent smallmouth. This one wasn’t the 3 pound giant I lost, but still came in at a respectable 1.67 pounds. After that things went quite for a little bit until we came to a stretch of deeper docks located in 20+ feet of water. I spotted a high wooden dock that looked promising, so I cast to the middle of the shaded side and sure enough I was able to get a bite. I quickly set the hook and after a decent fight I was able to bring in a really solid 1.89 pounder. With 5 solid keepers in the livewell, I decided to try and target some bigger bass, so I switched over to my jig and Lucky Craft Gun Fish. I fished those around weedlines, in the hopes of finding a big largemouth, but unfortunately came up empty handed. After that, I went back to my drop shot and started working the drop offs again. It took a while, but eventually I was able to get a bass to bite. Unfortunately, it was only a dink 0.5 pounder. In search of bigger fish, my friend and I decided to head up north and fish the deeper docks on the westside. We fished these for about an hour, but didn’t have any luck. We planned on heading back to the right side of the lake to try a few more spots, but then we noticed that the livewell wasn’t functioning properly, so we decided to quickly release the bass and call it a day.
Observations: The water temperature ranged from 64-66 degrees today, which is what I expected it to be after having a week of poor weather. The bass were extremely active today, especially in the early morning hours, and were found in depths ranging from 10-30 feet. The bass seem to be in the process of migrating back towards the docks, with the biggest bass already there. The smaller bass still seem to be a little bit behind and are located at the bases of the steep drop offs near docks. All the bites I got seemed to be hunger bites and almost every single bass grabbed my lure on the fall, which shows that they are aggressive. The bass we caught were all pretty skinny, so they are definitely entering their postspawn patterns. Interestingly enough, we only found success on the eastside of the lake today, but that may be due to the fact that the eastside was getting more sun. All in all, it was a great day of fishing and the only thing that could have made it better was if I had landed that second 3+ pounder.