I recently took a Monday off work giving me the opportunity for back to back fishing trips with the Sunday report already submitted last week. For the second leg of my fishing adventure I was flying solo and enjoying a day on the water while normal people were at work. For the last couple years I have had a Monday-Friday job after about twenty five years of oddball hours. There are a number of benefits to my regular schedule but weekday fishing ain’t one of them and I must admit it is still tough to get used to. Too bad that on this day the bass seemed to be in a Monday sort of mood so it took some work to fool what I could.
Date: April 18, 2016
Location: Knox County strip mines (5 lakes – 3 public, 2 private)
Time: 6:15am-5:20pm (6.50 hours fishing, the rest walking/driving)
Weather: Sunny to partly cloudy/windy
Air Temp: 54-81F
Water Temp: 64-66F
Totals: 11 bass
Lures: Strike King Red Eye Shad (sexy shad) – 8 bass, Senko weighted wacky rig (baby bass) – 2 bass, Booyah Buzzbait (white) – 1 bass
Top Bass: Troy 3-6 (Red Eye Shad)
Weight (only 4 bass 12” or better): 7-12 (3-6,1-13,1-7,1-2)
6:31am First Bass 11” Buzzbait, Gotta start somewhere right to avoid the shutout?
Notes & Nonsense
Kiss of Death – On occasion something can happen on the water that gets me sucked into a presentation and then winds up throwing me off kilter for a fair chunk of the day. On this day it was a major blowup on a buzzbait at about 6:20am, my first strike only mere minutes into casting. While the bass had poor aim it sure gave me a confidence boost that buzzbait season had started a little earlier than normal with the warm, stable conditions. About ten minutes later a short bass found my bait as it was worked across a point. I was on a roll with visions of a bonus mid-April lunker or two dancing in my head. Wrong, as I worked that bait off and on for most of the morning around a bunch of prime buzzbait territory without so much as a ripple from another interested fish.
7:19am Second Bass (Top Bass) 18.5” 3-6 Red Eye Shad Getting bigger in a hurry but wouldn’t get any bigger for the rest of the day.
Excuse 1 – The outstanding and consistent weather we experienced locally for the week leading up to my back to back trips (see April 17 report also) really had me thinking I would knock ‘em dead. The bass had other ideas and I struggled in coaxing a bite for several extended time periods. The best I could come up with for an excuse was that it was just too nice of a day, so warm that I wore short sleeves at 6:00am and so sunny that I brought sunscreen. Even though I had some welcome chop on the surface on the first three clear water lakes I fished, I sure could have used some cloud cover. That, and I probably should’ve slowed down and toned down my approach…like that’s gonna happen.
11:18am 14.5” 1-2 Red Eye Shad
11:33am Honestly the majority of my bass were in this range. How in the world does one this size get all three hooks on a treble in its lip?
Excuse 2 – Another effect of our fantastic weather was what I gauged to be some confusion amongst my quarry. On one lake in particular I saw at least a couple dozen 1.5 to 3 pound bass lingering in the shallows that were rather skittish as I approached yet came right back after I moved a safe distance away. In addition, they paid no attention whatsoever to my offerings, even a tantalizing Senko wacky rig. I think those darn bass are already thinking about something more than eating my lures with water temps already climbing into the mid-60’s. Sounds good at least, and makes me feel a little better.
Culls – Even though I struggled at times and felt that I did not execute particularly well, I did manage to post a pair of early season culls on my Top 5. The previous day my brother had left me in the dust posting a 13-2 limit his first time out so I guess I had some incentive to up my weight a bit. Courtesy of the 3-6 and 1-13 on this trip I was able to add two and a half pounds and bump my 2016 total to 14-0, thus reclaiming the upper hand on what’s not really a sibling rivalry but fun anyway. The good thing is that my early season limit still leaves plenty of room for improvement with anything in the two pound or better category bumping three of my fish. Sure, it would be cool to have a bag of four pounders but I enjoy the prospect of a couple good bites giving my limit a real boost
Outdoor Workout – The kind of trips I took on these back to back adventures are kind of like some sort of fishing pentathlon that starts with a 4:00am wakeup call and ends back in the driveway around 7 or 8:00pm. The events would include driving (100 mile roundtrip), walking (at least 3 miles each day), dragging a boat (?), rowing (several miles) and casting (who knows). No gold medal awaited upon completion but over forty bass over two days (including my brothers) was a solid reward. In addition, there were sore hands, a sore neck and a sore back along with sunburnt hands, nose and neck. But still not too old for such fun all in the pursuit of an entertaining green fish.
2:51 pm 14” 1-3 Senko wacky rig
3:07pm 16” 1-13 Senko wacky rig, Julie says these selfies could use some work, I think the bass looks just fine.
So, lots of exercise, a fair amount of bass and a bit of an escape from the important stuff that comprises a busy life. Thanks go out to my family for getting rid of me for the bulk of two days to recharge the batteries a bit, I think a couple of them may have actually even missed me. But after two days of high impact bassin’ it was time to get back to being husband and dad in an even more demanding, high impact sort of environment. Talk to you later. Troy