First up, “Happy Birthday” today to my dad, my fishing partner on the latest outing.
We hit Lake Storey for a traditional fall drawdown trip on what was our first outing together in 2016. Definitely great to have a longtime fishing partner along for the trip in his boat. And speaking of boats, I’ve never been more appreciative of getting on the water and off the bank after being eaten alive by mosquitoes the previous day.
Date: September 19, 2016
Location: Lake Storey
Air Temp: 65-80F
Water Temp: 74F
Totals: 6 bass, 1 walleye
Dad Totals: 3 bass
Troy Totals: 3 bass, 1 walleye
Lures Dad: Strike King Crankbait – 1 bass, Muskrat style creature bait – 1 bass, Strike King Red Eye Shad – 1 bass
Lures Troy: Strike King KVD Rattling Square bill Crankbait (natural pumpkinseed) – 2 bass, Terminator Spinnerbait (firetiger) – 1 bass, Strike King Red Eye Shad (orange craw) – 1 walleye
Top Bass: None weighable
Top 5 Weight: None 12” or better
9:40am First bass and unfortunately they don’t get any bigger the rest of the way.
Notes and Nonsense
Quick Start, Rough Finish – Roughly five minutes into casting we had our first catch in the boat as a short bass struck my crankbait on a reliable spot that produced yet again. Nothing too impressive at 11” but always cool when an “Old Faithful” type of location comes through. Unfortunately, our couple dozen other go to stops pretty much let us down with either no fish or short fish. One notable location though was a winner as well as a testament to perseverance. We camped on the spot for close to fifteen minutes and made at least a couple dozen casts with creature baits before Dad was able to entice (or irritate) one of the residents into cooperating. Again nothing outstanding but certainly reinforced thoroughly working over a solid piece of structure with multiple casts from different angles.
11:36am Dad busted out a new brim on the bass in hopes of bringing some luck. Didn’t work out this time but definitely affords some sunburn protection.
Secret Weapon – As we readied for launch, Dad revealed that he had brought along a “secret weapon” as he donned what he referred to as his “Charlie Daniels hat.” This was not the first of such secret weapons to be offered up over the many years that me, Dad and Brent have joined forces in fooling bass (got it on the blog list for someday). In this case, however, the secret weapon seemed more like some sort of cloak of invisibility inadvertently cast upon the bass as they seemed nearly non-existent. Oh well, fishing has always held a fair amount of superstition in my book so the occasional something different is always worth a shot. And besides, it’s a good look, chinstrap and all on a windy day though we were a bit worried that a gust might lift the owner right out of the boat.
Fooled – Cranking a Strike King Pro Model deep diving crankbait off a large point with a decent drop into about 15’ of water the lure stopped dead and I hit it hard with a pair of hooksets to insure I nailed it. Right on cue the catch started pulling to the right as I held fast, turned it and reeled it towards the boat. Instinctively, and from previous experience thinking it was a nice muskie or solid walleye I began to tell Dad, “Whatever it is, it’s a good one.” However, before I could complete that version of the sentence my catch surfaced and instead my statement turned into “Whatever it is, it’s a log.” We had a good laugh at a snag getting the best of me during that brief shot of adrenaline moment when you are deceived. For the record though, it was a darn good limb, easily in the upper 30” range.
Our lone toothy fish wasn’t much bigger than some muskie baits.
Nearly Toothless – Part of the appeal of fishing the fall drawdown at Lake Storey is the opportunity to cross paths with a toothy fish that makes a late season mistake and eats our bass offerings for lunch. We’ve “lucked into” more than a few darn good accidents involving muskies or walleyes but it wasn’t meant to be this time around. I did pick up a 16” walleye on a lipless crank on an extensive flat with scattered weeds but that was it as we never even managed to see one of Storey’s muskies suddenly appear behind a lure as it reached boatside. Such is the personality of our “home” lake and the toothy potential will keep me coming back regardless of a tough day.
I’ve long enjoyed the challenge of fooling some of Lake Storey’s wary residents and hope to give it at least one more shot before the fishing year draws to a close. It was great to get out in a boat that I didn’t have to row for a change and made even better by the fact that Dad elected to join me as he’s been kind of “down in the back”, so to speak, for several weeks. Talk to you later. Troy