A Tough Landing Ratio
July 4, 2009
Sam & Danny joined me today on another lake for some smallmouth bass action. We got a little later start than usual and only managed to get on the water after 9:30 but wasted no time on the fish. The weather wasn’t picture perfect to say the least with overcast skies and light drizzle on & off all day. Air temps took a dive and topped out only in the upper 60’s as did the water at 65 degrees. The biggest headache today though was the winds. They were blowing at 15 to 20 knots with stronger gusts from the W/SW and had us bouncing around all day. They really made for tough line control when trying to detect any strikes! Danny got on the board first with a few smaller bass in the 2 to 3 pound range on a spinnerbait, but Sam was soon to follow. He missed a few pick ups on soft plastics by striking too soon but eventually managed to land a couple of his own. We had fish on every spot we stopped, but it was difficult to hold in the right position with the heavy winds and most likely didn’t fish at 100%. Danny had the best fish of the morning when he hooked up on a long cast almost immediately. The spinnerbait barely hit the water and the smallie was all over it, leaping all the way back to the boat. A quick pick of the 4 pounder and back she went right after. Some of the fish may have still been on their beds protecting, but the ones we were getting into today were fat & healthy. While Danny & Sam were taking a break and having lunch, I made a few casts with a tiny crankbait and soon regretted the decision. Almost instantly, a huge smallie locked on to the lure and I knew it was a good one. When it went to the air I realized that it was well over 5 pounds and backed off on the drag because of the small hooks. When we finally got her in the net, the lure fell out and she was loose. For whatever reason, the tiny trebles almost never seem to stay pinned and even the least amount of pressure can end in disappointment. I didn’t bother to weigh her, as I didn’t want to hang her on a scale just for an exact weight. I did however measure the fish and was amazed to see that she was just barely over 21 inches. With the fatness and this length I would have put her somewhere around the mid 5 pound range. Well it didn’t take long before both guys inhaled the rest of their lunch and were back casting again. This time however, Sam was throwing the crankbait and soon locked up on one of his own. Unfortunately it ended in disappointment as the fish came unpinned when it took to the air. Too much pressure on the little hooks! After losing a few fish on the lure, he finally managed to keep one on all the way to the net and it was a good one too. This fish was also over 4 pounds but slightly smaller than the one that came off minutes before. The lure was definitely getting the fish to bite but keeping them on was a different story! I eventually gave Danny another crankbait like the one Sam was using and he also had the same luck, losing his first fish. We spent a few more hours jumping from one spot to another all the while locating some very impressive bass in the process. By the time the day was done, they had landed maybe 25% of the fish they had contacted and some of the ones lost were in the 4 to 5 pound range too. I think they were fortunate to have caught what they had due to the weather & winds. It wasn’t easy trying to cast light lures into a crosswind and actually feel the strikes effectively. Floating weeds were also a problem as they managed to have them attached on almost every cast they made. I guess overall, it was a decent day despite the weather and several really good quality fish came aboard making it all worth while. Oh yeah and nobody got hurt!!