July 30, 2018
Fishing Time: 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Weather Conditions: Sunny with Clear Skies
Bait: Strike King Gizzard Shad Pro Model 6XD Crankbait; Gary Yamamoto 5″ Green Pumpkin/Watermelon Senko with 1/0 Gamakatsu Wacky Worm Hook
Rod: Megabass Orochi XX Drop Shot Rod; G-Loomis GX2 Jig and Worm Rod
Reel: Shimano Sustain; Quantum Catalyst PT
Line: 6-pound Sunline Sniper FC Fluorocarbon; 8-pound Seaguar InvizX Fluorocarbon
Total Bass Caught: 6
Final Weigh in Weight: 6.80 pounds
During the summer, some of the best days to go fishing are the nights before a cold front. This is because bass can sense changes in barometric pressure and use the nights before a storm/cold front to stock up on food before the colder weather slows down their metabolism. Fortunately for me, tonight was one of those nights. Since I had a lot of success at the I-90 bridge during my last outing, I started out by fishing the bridge pilings. When I arrived at the bridge, I noticed that there was a lot of boat traffic on the right side, so I decided to skip those pilings and start on the left side of the bridge. This proved to be a good decision, as I was able to land a 0.5 pound smallmouth on my very first cast. The pilings on the left side of the bridge stand on top of a rocky drop off, so after catching my first fish on top of the drop off, I used my drop shot to work the bottom of it. It took me a few casts, but after a while I felt my line get heavy and saw it take off in the opposite direction. After a good fight with the bass, I was able to get it into the boat and onto the scale. This one was a little bigger than my first one and came in at 0.75 pounds. After I ran out of pilings to fish, I decided to motor down to the southern tip of Mercer Island to fish the docks in that area. As soon as I arrived, I knew that I had found a good spot. The docks all sat in 20+ feet of water and had a rocky bottom, making it the perfect place for bass to be hanging out. I wasn’t able to get anything to bite on the first dock, but on the second dock I cast my wacky worm next to the swim ladder and felt something grab it on the fall. I gave a big hook set and managed to bring in a 1 pound smallmouth. As I was bringing up the bass, I spotted another smallmouth bass following it to the surface. One thing that I’ve learned is that whenever you have a bass following a hooked bass, you should drop another line in the water as soon as you can. With this in mind, I dropped my drop shot straight down as soon as I got the first bass out of the water. Before my worm even hit the bottom I saw my line jump, so I gave a hook set and brought up the 1 pound bass that had followed the other bass to the surface. After catching two bass in less than two minutes, things cooled off and I went without a bite until I came to an old wooden dock with a deep boat slip. Trying to get my worm into un-fished territory, I cast my wacky worm all the way to the back of the boat slip and let it slowly fall to the bottom. Once it hit the bottom I gave a few twitches and then felt something pick my worm up. I waited a few seconds to make sure the bass had it and then gave a big hook set. The bass put up a great fight and ended up being a 1.25 pound smallmouth. A few docks later I came to a long dock that extended into 25+ feet of water. Since it was a deeper dock, I switched to my drop shot and made a long cast to the far end of the dock. Almost immediately after my weight hit the bottom, I felt my line get heavy. I gave a quick hook set and knew that I had a good bass on. It took me a while to bring the bass up from the deeper water, but eventually I was able to get it into the boat. When I put it on the scale it came out to be a 2.30 pound smallmouth. After that, the docks got really shallow and weedy, so I decided to head in and call it a day.
Observations: The water temperature ranged from 79-82 degrees, which is what I was expecting heading into the day. As a result of this warmer water, the bass were pretty deep and I caught all of my fish in 15+ feet of water. The bass in Lake Washington are definitely growing, as all of the bass I caught were very long and skinny. In order to sustain this growth, the bass were actively feeding and I found that almost every single one of the bass I caught swallowed the worm. I suspect that there is a lot of competition for food in the lake because there were multiple times where I had fish follow my hooked bass back to the boat. In terms of structure, I think that the bass are keyed in on drop offs and weed lines and are beginning to school up in those areas. I believe that they are using these locations to ambush unsuspecting prey and to prepare for the upcoming fall and winter months. All in all, I was very happy with the way the day went and I can’t wait for the bass to continue to get bigger.