July 21, 2021
Fishing Time: 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Weather Conditions: Sunny with Partly Cloudy Skies
Bait: Drop Shot with Poor Boy’s Baits Green Pumpkin Erie Darter and Quick Drop 1/4 ounce weight
Rod: Megabass Orochi XX Whipsnake
Reel: Shimano Sustain
Line: 8-pound Sunline Sniper FC Fluorocarbon
Total Bass Caught: 3
Final Weigh in Weight: 8.05 pounds
Every year, there are one or two bass that really highlight the fishing season. Today, I caught my highlight of 2021.
Arriving at the boat launch, I noticed that the water temperature was around 75 degrees. This, combined with the sun being out, led me to think that the bass would be congregating along main points on the lake, so I decided to start my day out by making the trek over to Luther Burbank Park. This is one of my favorite spots to target aggressive bass because once the water warms up bass will often roam the shallows here in search of baitfish. In an attempt to mimic these baitfish, I started out by using a jerkbait to work the long flat that extends out from the shoreline of the park. I usually would have spent a good chunk of time working the area, but after a few casts made it evident that the flat had become overgrown, I decided to head to the point across the way. This point was much rockier and only had a few patches of isolated vegetation on it, but it too failed to produce any bites.
Thinking that the bass may be hanging out in shady cover instead of actively feeding, I decided to jet over to the I-90 point to do some dock fishing. When I arrived in the area I had a great feeling about the spot. The bottom was rocky and the docks all sat in 10 to 15 feet of water, making them a prime location for monster bass to be nestled up in. On the second dock that I came to – an older wooden one that sat really low to the water – I made a cast over to its left side with my drop shot. Literally two seconds after my weight hit the bottom, I felt a quick tap and then saw my line go totally slack. Surprised to see this, I quickly picked up the slack in my line and then gave a huge hookset to see what had caused that kind of reaction. Right away, I was met with the familiar weight of a fish on the other end of the line and began working it back towards the boat. A couple of rotations into my retrieve, the bass made its first display of power and made a run to deeper water, triggering a whizzing sound from my reel’s drag system as it fought to keep up. As I got further into the retrieve, it became clear that the bass was taking a lot more line than I was picking up, so I quickly reached down to tighten the drag. Feeling it already close to max, my heart instantly began beating a million miles a minute as I realized that I had an absolute monster on the other end of my line. Now being extra cautious, I took my time in working the bass back towards the boat – praying each time it thrashed its head that my hookset would hold. Finally, after one of the best fights of the year, I felt the bass fatigue and breathed a huge sigh of relief as I was able to quickly swing the largemouth into the boat. Rushing to put it on the scale, the bass weighed in at a hefty 3.59 pounds, making this my biggest largemouth to date on Lake Washington.
My day already made after catching such a hawg, I tried a couple of more docks along the I-90 point and then headed under the I-90 bridge to fish some of the docks around there. The water under the bridge was super clear and seeing that the dock closest to the I-90 bridge had the same rocky bottom as the dock that I had caught my previous bass at, I had a rising suspicion that I had just found myself another large bass hideout. Putting this suspicion to the test, I picked up my drop shot and made a cast right in between the dock I had spotted and the jet ski that sat next to it. Within seconds, I felt something pick up my bait and begin swimming off with it. Line already taut, I gave a small, quick hook set and had my second bass of the day on the line. This one also put up a great fight, jumping a few times and making multiple runs to deeper water. When I got it into the boat, the largemouth came in at 2.71 pounds, giving me back-to-back 2.5+ pound largemouth.
With the rocky dock pattern confirmed, I motored over to the docks on the other side of the I-90 bridge to see if I could keep the momentum going. The first handful of docks that I tried cast a little bit of doubt on this, but then I spotted a newly constructed plastic dock that looked intriguing. Believing that there may be a bass under there, I quickly re-positioned the boat and made a long cast to the back edge of the dock. I didn’t feel anything bite on the initial fall, but after a few quick twitches of my worm, I got the bite that I was looking for. This bass didn’t feel quite as big as the other two, but boy was it a fighter. Making three deep runs under the boat, this bass fought like one almost twice its size. After wearing it out and putting it on the scale, it came out to be a 1.75 pound smallmouth.
Daylight starting to fade, I spent 20 minutes fishing the docks next to Newcastle Beach Park and then decided to call it a day.
Observations: The water temperature ranged from 74-76 degrees today, which seems to be the magic temperature that the largemouth in Lake Washington become more active at. The two species of bass seemed to be hanging out in slightly different parts of the water column with the largemouth hanging out in the 10 to 15 foot range and the smallmouth hanging out in the 15 to 25 foot range. They both seemed to be relating to shady cover with docks being the key. I suspect that this will continue to be the case for the next week or so and anticipate some solid fishing moving forward. It’s crazy to think that I’ve spent most of the fishing season looking for 2+ pound largemouth and now I have three of them in my last two outings. With a new personal best largemouth (on Lake Washington) and a quality bass of each species, today was easily a 10 out of 10 day and I can’t wait to get back onto the lake again soon.