August 13, 2019
Fishing Time: 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Weather Conditions: Sunny with clear skies
Bait: Lucky Craft Pointer XD Chartreuse Shad Jerkbait; 1/4 ounce Strike King KVD Bluegill Swim Jig with 4.5″ Rainbow Trout Lake Fork Live Magic Shad Swimbait
Rod: Abu Garcia Veritas Winch Crankbait Rod
Reel: Shimano Curado Casting Reel
Line: 12-pound Yo-Zuri Hybrid Fishing Line
Total Bass Caught: 3
Final Weigh in Weight: 3.14 pounds
With summer break coming to an end, I knew that I had to get back out onto the water one more time before heading back to college. I arrived at the boat launch around 5:00 p.m. and started the day off by working the Newcastle Shores Point with a deep diving jerkbait. I had a lot of success at this location during my last outing, but today proved to be a different story. After fishing both sides of the point without a bite, I figured that I should move on and try some deeper water. The first spot that came to mind was the deep docks located on the east side of Mercer Island. My initial plan was to target suspended bass with a drop shot. However, when I saw how much vegetation had grown in near the docks, I decided to opt for a jerkbait instead. I wanted to make sure my jerkbait would only go deep enough to nick the top of the vegetation, so I tried a few different lures and eventually settled in on my Lucky Craft Pointer XD. I cast it well past the corner of an old wooden dock and slowly worked the jerkbait back with a twitch-pause-twitch-twitch-pause retrieve. As soon as I saw my lure approach the piling of the dock, I gave it a big twitch and instantly felt my rod load up. I quickly set the hook and before I knew it, had my first bass of the day. This one came in as a 0.5 pound smallmouth. Knowing that this bass had come in over 20 feet of water, I decided to abandon the docks and fish the edge of deeper weedlines. This decision was rewarded almost instantly, as five casts later I caught another smallmouth bass. This one was slightly bigger and weighed in at 0.75 pounds.
After releasing the bass, I decided to move spots and head over to the V-Mac. The water level at the V-Mac has been way down this year and, as a result, has turned into an overgrown grassy flat. With very few options to fish in the shallow vegetation, I decided to tie on my trusty swim jig. For my first cast, I cast out to a deep, isolated piling and slow-rolled my bait back to the boat. Literally seconds before I was about to pull my lure out of the water, I saw a dark shadow explode out of the thick vegetation below. Shocked, I gave a big hookset and was met with the reassuring weight of a bass on the other side of the line. I could see the bass making a beeline back towards the vegetation it had come from and could hear my drag working to hold it back. It was an epic back and forth, but eventually I was able to tire the bass out and bring it into the boat. When I put it on the scale it came out to be a solid 1.89 pound largemouth. Thrilled to have been able to see the whole process, from the initial bite to the bass fighting in the water, I decided to end on a high note and call it a day.
Observations: The water temperature ranged from 75-77 degrees, which is much warmer than what it was during my last outing. This forced the smallmouth a lot deeper, as I caught both of mine in 20+ feet of water. The largemouth that I caught came in three feet of water, but the common denominator between all of the bass that I caught was that they were all holding tight to vegetation and willing to bite a moving bait. This tells me that the bass are currently in ambush mode. All in all, it was great to end the summer with a quality largemouth bass and I look forward to my next opportunity to get back on the water.