May 13, 2020
Fishing Time: 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Weather Conditions: Sunny with clear skies
Bait: Gary Yamamoto 5″ Green Pumpkin/Watermelon Senko with 1/0 Gamakatsu Wacky Worm Hook
Rod: G-Loomis GX2 Jig and Worm Rod
Reel: Quantum Catalyst PT
Line: 8-pound Seaguar InvizX Fluorocarbon
Total Bass Caught: 1
Final Weigh in Weight: 3.21 pounds
This week was forecasted to be a pretty cold and rainy week, so when I saw that the sun was going to be out for a few hours, I jumped at the opportunity to hit the lake. I arrived at 7:00 p.m. and, believing that the bass would probably be hanging around rocky areas, headed to the docks on the southern tip of Mercer Island. When I arrived there, the conditions were picture perfect. The lake was glass, the water temperature was 60 degrees, and there was a nice, rocky bottom. However, despite these perfect conditions, the bass were nowhere to be found. I worked the docks with a wacky rig, the flats with a swim jig, and the drop offs with a drop shot, but no matter what I threw at them, the bass simply refused to bite.
Disappointed, I decided to try the other end of the spectrum and head over to the V-Mac to target bass in shallow, weedy waters. In the hopes that the bass there would be in feeding mode, I started out by working a swim jig over the top of the underwater vegetation. This allowed me to cover a lot of water in a short amount of time, but also failed to produce any bites. With daylight quickly evaporating, I decided to slow down, commit to my spot, and carefully work each pillar at the V-Mac.
The first ten or so pillars that I tried didn’t offer any signs of life, but eventually I came upon a set of pillars resembling a wooden dam. I cast right behind the dam and let my wacky-rigged worm fall on slack line. Before it even hit the bottom, I saw my line begin rapidly swimming off in the other direction. Careful to avoid letting the bass wrap my line around the pilings, I gave a huge hook set and then began urgently trying to get the bass back into the boat. As soon as I began reeling, I knew that it was a good one. I could feel the bass shaking it’s head and thrashing around as it fought to dive back towards the pilings that it had come from. After a fantastic fight, I was eventually able to wrangle the bass into the boat. When I put it on the scale it came out to be a monster 3.21 pound smallmouth. Elated to have caught such a great fish, I quickly released it and decided to call it day.
Observations: The water temperature ranged from 58-62 degrees today, which is right about where I was expecting it to be given the recent weather that we have been having. The bass that I caught came in less than five feet of water and, given its profile, could have definitely been in the middle of the spawn. This supports my hypothesis from last week in that we are in the later phases of the spawn. Because of this, the bass seem to be hanging out in shallower water with good sun exposure and do not yet seem to be migrating towards docks or other shade-providing structures. Overall, it was great to catch my first 3+ pounder of the season and I look forward to getting out onto the lake again soon.