September 15, 2011
Hugues & Steven were looking for big bass and I had just the place for them to catch. We hooked up shortly after 8:00 and hit the water almost immediately. Although the weather was a little sketchy with overcast skies and showers expected, we were optimistic. Water temps were around 68 degrees and the air temps were about the same when they made their first casts. I had one guy covering water with a blade bait and the other working a jig slowly over the area, just to see what they wanted. Nothing seemed to be working but Steven did have a follower with the spinnerbait that didn’t really want to commit. We shifted gears and tried another similar location with the same results before opting for deeper water nearby. By the looks of the sonar, there were fish all over the bottom in 20 to 30 feet and we dropped the lines down expecting to get bit. All they hooked up with however were plenty of rocks and I soon pulled the plug, but not before hooking up myself. Ironically, I had foul hooked a walleye of close to 4 pounds and it fought like a champ. It just goes to show you that when they don’t want to eat, they just shut down. We were on plenty of fish but it seemed like they were all tight lipped down there. The next move had me positioning the boat on a really deep breakline, with one guy on a jerkbait and the other on a jig. Steven wasted no time contacting the first bass of the day when the lure was crushed on a long pause. I expected other followers but was surprised to see that she was alone. I slid the net under a fat four pounder, shot a few pics and released her back to the water unharmed. Amazingly, this was to be the only fish caught from this area and we moved on once again. The next place had several fish fall victim to the presentations, but they were all on the smaller size. Several of them were even green bass and not the jumbo smallies we were after. By moving around slightly and adjusting the offerings, I was able to hit a pattern that did get their attention however and now they were hooking up. Unfortunately Murphy was by our side and almost everything went wrong! By slowly working worms they managed to get bit but between slack line hook sets and tangles, they all got off. A couple of them were in the five plus range and it was really getting frustrating. When you’re searching for big smallies, multiple shots at these giants aren’t plentiful and you really need to take advantage of every chance you get. I gave an example cast, instructed them on how to be patient and got picked up. I explained that the current might have a bow in their line and all slack needed to be removed and then set the hook. I knew this was a big fish and passed the rod to Steven immediately. He got to feel the raw power of these smallies in current and struggled to get her to the net several times. Eventually I was able to get this fish of over 5 pounds aboard and felt relieved that we finally had one. Several pics later, she was released and we went right back to the fishing. Conditions weren’t exactly perfect with winds and rain but we somehow managed to get right back on the horse and it didn’t take long before the next bite. This time Hugues was ready and patiently waited before setting the hook. Finally, a solid hook set! He was officially locked up as a four pounder went sky rocketing, totally pissed off. This time he would be landing the fish and a relief fell over him as he saw it in the net. Another photo shoot and then right back to the lake with her before we repositioned and started all over once more. Although there were still fish in the area, this was to be the last one landed and eventually we pulled the plug and called it a day. Tough fishing to say the least but now they have a better understanding of what hunting is all about. These trophies require a finesse approach when they aren’t feeding and today was a perfect example. Both Hugues & Steven saw the results and although they had several missed chances, they were still happy with their results. Overall a tough day at best but one that held many shots at the monsters!!