June 12, 2021
Fishing Time: 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Weather Conditions: Overcast
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: 7-pound Sunline Sniper FC Professional Grade Fluorocarbon Fishing Line
Total Bass Caught: 7
Final Weigh in Weight: 8.77 pounds
Hopeful that the bass would be active after the string of nice weather that we’ve been having, I decided to hit the lake to see what the bass gods had in store. As has become customary as of late, I decided to start out at the canal next to the boat launch. I used my trusty wacky rig to work the reeds and fallen timber along the shoreline of the canal and specifically targeted points that protruded out into deeper water. About 1/4 of the way into the canal, I spotted a set of logs that came together to form a V shape. Thinking that the bass would like this unique piece of cover, I made a cast over to the left edge of the V. Within a couple of seconds, I felt something pick up my worm. I gave a quick hook set and after a solid fight had my first bass of the day – a 0.99 pound smallmouth.
With a shallow water bass in the boat, I decided to head over to the docks by Newcastle Beach Park. These docks are a favorite of mine, as they often help me to confirm whether the bass are shallow or deep. My first handful of casts in the area were pretty uneventful, with the only action being a small 0.5 pound smallmouth that I caught off of the backside of a raised wooden dock. I actually considered leaving the area to try a new spot, when I came upon a rather quirky dock made up of hundreds of old wooden slats. Knowing that this would be the kind of dock to attract a big bass, I cast my wacky rig right up next to it and let my worm fall on slack line. Before my worm even hit the bottom, I saw my line begin moving against the current, so I quickly picked up the slack and gave a big hook set. Right away, I could feel the weight of the fish and knew that it was a decent one. I fought it all the way back to the boat and when I put it on the scale it came out to be a 2.24 pound smallmouth.
After a few more casts in the Newcastle Beach Park area, I decided to mix things up and head to the south side of Mercer Island to see if some of the bigger bass had migrated to deeper water yet. The docks in this area all sit in 20+ feet of water, so instead of using my wacky rig, I opted for a drop shot and a jerkbait. I used my drop shot to work the edges of the docks and my jerkbait to work the areas in between. However, after 20 minutes without so much as a nibble I knew it was time to go back to shallow water fishing, so I packed up and headed over to the V-Mac.
Upon arriving, I noticed a pile of logs and branches near the shoreline that hadn’t been there during my last couple of outings. After a handful of preliminary casts around some deeper pillars, I headed over there to check it out. The wind actually ended up blowing the boat a lot closer to the pile than I would have liked, but making the best of the situation, I simply dropped my wacky rig a few feet from the boat and waited as it slowly made its way to the bottom. Waiting for signs of a bite, I saw my line tighten and then start racing away from the pile of logs that I had dropped my bait next to. Line already taut from the fish swimming away, I gave a quick hook set and had my fourth bass of the day. This one was just a tad smaller than my third and weighed in at 2.12 pounds.
From there, things really started to heat up and I was able to land two more bass in just two casts. The first of those two was a 1.67 pound smallmouth that came on a skip cast under an overhanging tree. The second was a 0.5 pound largemouth that bit at the wooden pillar just left of that overhanging tree.
Satisfied with the number of bass that I had caught during the outing, I decided to finish the day off by targeting largemouth bass. Seeing how well the shallow water pattern was working, the best place that I could think of to do so was at the lillies next to the boat launch.
Using my wacky rig, I worked my way through the lillies, pitching my worm to gaps that I spotted in the thick vegetation. On my ninth cast, I pitched my worm over to some lilies that were noticeably thicker than the other ones I had fished so far. As soon as my worm hit the bottom, I felt something pick it up and, judging from the bite, knew it was a big one. Excitedly, I gave a huge hook set and saw the back of a 4-5 pound largemouth erupt out of the water. Reeling as fast as I could, my heart quickly dropped as the lack of weight on the other side of my pole made me realize that I had set the hook too early and pulled the worm out of the bass’s mouth.
Hoping that the bass would come back around, I let my worm fall back to the bottom and gave a few quick twitches. Almost instantly, I felt some interest. Thinking that today might just be my lucky day, I counted to three and then gave another big hook set. This one took, but right away I knew that this wasn’t the monster that had bit just a few seconds ago. Instead, it ended up being a 0.75 pound largemouth. A little disappointed and running out of daylight, I made a few more casts around the lillies and then decided to call it a day.
Observations: The water temperature ranged from 65-68 degrees today, which is pretty warm for this time of the year. As a result, the bass were really aggressive and seemed to be actively feeding. In terms of the pattern for the day, the key seemed to be shallow water cover with nearby vegetation. This pattern produced almost every single one of my bass during the outing and should continue to be a good approach for the next week or so. Although I would have loved to have landed that monster largemouth at the end of the day, today was still by far my best outing of the year. With more warm weather on the horizon, I suspect that the bite will only improve from here and I look forward to the next time that I am able to get back onto the lake.