A little vibration gets the bass biting on the lake
“Here we go,” said my brother as I saw him set the hook on a little chunk bass.
He proceeded to haul it in with a pole heavier than was needed, making it short work. We finally found something that something would pick up on.
And since this fish hit the bait well past the cover — about 2 feet down in 12 feet of water — it actually pursued the lure. The green-stained water hid the fish until it was about a foot below the surface. How deep the algae went below the surface I couldn’t tell you, but the water wasn’t clear, making it difficult for sight baits.
We had tried a lot of presentations for a lot of species. We started out looking for panfish, but found nothing but a dead sea. Other anglers were finding the same. I had something mouth my bait a couple of times, but no hook set.
After a spell of that, my brother tied on an inline spinner and started working that for northern or bass. I started doing the same. We had covered the lake once, going through our list of old faithfuls. The only thing I didn’t tie on the line was a surface bait, but I figured nothing could see it anyway.
“Maybe we need more vibration,” I said. “The visibility’s low; maybe we need more vibration for the fish to find the lure.”
Kelly pulled out buzz bait designed more for musky than bass, and I tied on an inline for northern that churns five spinner blades. Ten casts later, a bass hit his lure. We continued to work and he met with the same results. I went with a smaller Mr. Twister for a bit but those little bass continued to pop at the much larger bait.
I’m not a fan of buzz baits. I’ve never had a lot of luck. Maybe I just never gave enough of them a chance, but that day they were the bomb.
The original plan was to float from Merrill to Brokaw but time restraints forced us to switch to a day of lake fishing. The standard 2020 summer forecast calls for winds of 10 to 15 mph. Seems like anytime I can fish, that’s been the forecast. So we had to switch to a smaller lake that might offer some wind protection.
We decided we weren’t going to cancel even if it meant sitting on the bank of a small creek fishing chubs because it had been too many years since we had been able to fish together. Last summer, we even had a fish camp planned that got cancelled the day before because their dog got sick and had to be put down. The summer before that, someone’s work schedule changed at the last moment and we had to cancel that. I believe it’s one of the reasons that we all cherish our deer camp so much. It seems that it’s the one time a year we can all line up just a few days to spend some time together doing what we did as kids.
We even cracked a beer on water and I’m not much of a beer drinker. But in the bright sun and perfect temperature it tasted good. The beer helped remind me this wasn’t a super-serious fishing trip.
I needed that, since I couldn’t get the bow mounted trolling motor to fire up. A quick inspection found a broken wire by the battery. I didn’t have the tools to fix it, so we had to make do with that trolling motor on the transom of the boat, which works well for things like backing away from the dock or pushing up close to shore to retrieve a lure stuck in a tree. And, occasionally, trolling for crappie.
But you recall the 10 to 15 mph wind forecast. What a transom mounted trolling motor doesn’t do well is position and control the boat in 10-15 mph wind. After about five hours on the water, and the wind reaching its predicted velocity, controlling the boat become a full time job.
We decided we had a good day and headed back to the launch to land the boat. We didn’t catch any trophy bass but we caught enough. It was a beautiful day on the water which always beats a day at work.
CHUCK K OLAR LOCAL OUTDOORSMAN