May 5, 2020
Fishing Time: 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Weather Conditions: Sunny with clear skies
Bait: 1/4 ounce Strike King Tour Grade Bluegill Swim Jig with 3.8″ Keitech Pro Blue Red Pearl FAT Swing Impact Swimbait
Rod: Abu Garcia Veritas Winch Crankbait Rod
Reel: Shimano Curado Casting Reel
Line: 12-pound Yo-Zuri Hybrid Fishing Line
Total Bass Caught: 1
Final Weigh in Weight: 0.75 pounds
Fishing is back! With the COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home orders in place, today marked the first day that Washington State anglers were allowed to resume fishing. Believing that the evening bite would produce more bass, I waited until 6:00 pm to hit the lake. As soon as I launched, I noticed that the water temperature was already 60 degrees, a temperature that usually indicates that the bass are in the middle of the spawn. With this in mind, I headed straight for the protected cove located just left of the boat launch to see if I could spot any bedding bass. I worked my way around the cove with a swim jig and a wacky rig, but after going half an hour without a bite, it became clear that I needed to switch spots.
The next spot that I could think of that could hold bedding bass was the area around Newcastle Beach Park. I fished the whole stretch of docks all the way from the point to the park, working the docks with my wacky rig and the flats in between them with my swim jig. However, this also proved to unproductive.
After failing to spot a single bed at either of those two locations, I decided to try some deeper water at the I-90 bridge. I fished the pilings of the bridge, as well as the rocky flats under the bridge, all without success. Seeing as rocky bottomed areas weren’t producing, I decided to try some weedier areas and fish the docks next to the bridge. The first few docks that I tried all left me empty-handed. However, I eventually came upon a wooden dock that had an isolated piling located right next to it. I cast my swim jig right in between the piling and dock and began to slow roll my bait through the underwater vegetation. As soon as my lure passed the piling, I felt something grab my swim jig. I gave a huge hook set and after a solid fight had my first bass of the year in the boat. It wasn’t the biggest of bass, but it had a pretty big gut on it and came in at 0.75 pounds. Excited to finally have one in the boat, I continued fishing the docks next to the bridge until heavy rain finally forced me to call it a day.
Observations: The water temperature ranged from 57-62 degrees today, which was right about where I was expecting it to be during this time of the year. Despite this water temperature, the bass did not seem to be in spawning mode, as I was unable to spot a single bed during my outing. The one bass that I did catch was in 7 feet of water and was located in heavy vegetation. It was pretty fat for its size and hit really aggressively, which leads me to believe that the bass could still be in pre-spawn mode. I also was that the water was a lot murkier today. All in all, it was nice to get a bass during my first outing of the year and I am looking forward to see what the rest of the season brings.