June 2, 2018
Fishing Time: 6:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Weather Conditions: Sunny with Clear Skies
Bait: Lucky Craft Flash Pointer Chartreuse Shad 115 Jerkbait; Gary Yamamoto 5″ Green Pumpkin/Watermelon Senko with 1/0 Gamakatsu Wacky Worm Hook
Rod: Abu Garcia Veritas Winch Crankbait Rod; G-Loomis GX2 Jig and Worm Rod
Reel: Shimano Curado Casting Reel; Quantum Catalyst PT
Line: 12-pound Yo-Zuri Hybrid Fishing Line; 8-pound Seaguar InvizX Fluorocarbon
Total Bass Caught: 2
Final Weigh in Weight: 4.80 pounds
After getting the quantity I wanted last night on Lake Sammamish, I decided to go after some quality bass on Lake Washington. I woke up bright and early and hit the water at 6:30 a.m. When I got there, the conditions were reminiscent of the time I caught some big largemouth in the lilies, so I decided to fish the lily pads to the left of the boat launch. The lake was very calm at the time, so I started by working a frog around the lilies. I did this for quite a while, but wasn’t able to trigger any bites. Eventually I came upon a pile of logs that was surrounded by lily pads. I’ve fished this spot in the past and was always surprised that there wasn’t a bass there. Fortunately today was different. As I cast my wacky worm to the gap in between the lily pads and the logs, I saw my line jump and take off in the opposite direction. I gave a huge hookset and immediately knew it was a good one. The bass took a lot of drag and the whole time I was fighting it, I could feel the bass thrashing around. Between trying to keep the bass from jumping and trying to keep my line from getting wrapped around the logs, this was one of the best fights I have experienced. When I finally got the bass back into the boat, it came out to be a solid 2.80 pound largemouth. This was exactly what I had come to Lake Washington for, so I was thrilled to start the day with such a great bass. After that, I decided that I wanted to try to get a topwater bite, so I put down my wacky worm and tied on a Whopper Plopper. I’ve never actually fished a Whopper Plopper before, but given the hype surrounding it, I decided to give it a go. I worked the rest of the lilies with my Whopper Plopper, but wasn’t able to get anything to bite. I was just about to swap spots, when I spotted a small patch of lily pads that I had missed. I cast my Whopper Plopper past the patch and slowly worked it back to the boat. Just as my lure made it past the lilies, I saw something erupt out of the water to grab my lure. I set the hook and once again had a good bass on. The bass was putting up a good fight and was halfway back to the boat, when it spit the hook and swam away. I was devastated to lose a bass and even more discouraged that I had just ruined such a great topwater bite. After that, the wind picked up and I was forced to move to the I-90 bridge. I worked the rocky flat by the bridge with my jerkbait, but didn’t get so much as a nibble. I then headed over to fish the canal right of the boat launch, but other than seeing a few fish jump, nothing. Once I was done with that, I fished a few points by Newport Shores, but didn’t get anything there either. I was just about ready to call it a day, when I spotted two smallmouth swimming by the boat. I cast my jerkbait in the direction they were swimming and managed to get one of them to follow it all the way back to the boat. I made a few more casts, and each time the same bass followed it back to the boat. After the fifth follow, I figured that the bass was just curious and probably wasn’t going to bite anything. However, just as that thought crossed my mind, I saw the bass accelerate and attack a school of baitfish. This told me that the bass was actively feeding and would bite my lure. Since the bass kept following my jerkbait and not biting it, I knew that I had the right bait and the wrong color, so I swapped to my Live Target jerkbait. I cast it out past the bass I was targeting and worked it back to the boat, but the result was the exact same. I rotated through six different colors and every time the bass would follow it all the way back to the boat. Finally, down to my last jerkbait color, I backed away from the bass until I could no longer see it and made a deep cast over in its general direction. I ripped my jerkbait a few times and then BOOM! The bass hammered my jerkbait and came swimming right at me. I picked up the slack, gave a quick hookset, and brought the bass into the boat. I put it onto the scale and it came out to be 2.00 pounds even. This was my first time ever sight fishing a bass with a jerkbait and being able to use my knowledge to entice a stubborn bass to bite made the whole trip worth it for me. Satisfied with my last catch, I headed in and called it a day.
Observations: The water temperature ranged from 65-67 degrees, which makes sense given the colder weather we have been having. The bass were all very shallow and I caught both of my bass in less than 5 feet of water. As per usual, the largemouth were holding tight to heavy cover and the smallmouth were found around rocky flats and points. The bass on Washington seem to be all done with the spawn, as all of the beds I saw were empty. The bass were very active and I saw a bunch of them jumping and chasing down schools of baitfish. This was the first time that I have ever been able to sight fish a bass that wasn’t on a bed, which just goes to show how aggressive the bass were. Lake Washington continues to produce quality fish for me and I will definitely be out there again soon to try to land a topwater bass.