Hey all and welcome back to the fishing report for less than competent anglers. I'm gonna do things a little different this week and try to go trip by trip.
Saturday: Hubs and I took the boat out. It's one of those no-frills 15' flat bottom bass boats with a smallish motor. It's also got a trolling thing and a low-end fish finder thingie. Anyway, it was 42 degrees F when we put in at the lake and putted over to one of the tributaries. The water was 62 degrees F. We went about 2/3rds of the way down to where the creek is stopped at the road. Mostly what we were doing was getting used to the boat and the depths and the trolling. My set up was my largest hook (#2, I think) with a big, fat Canadian nightcrawler. (That's what they sell down here.) No bobber. I put on a medium sized teardrop sinker and dropped it over the side. I let it sink until the line went slack (meaning it was on the bottom), then I reeled it up about a foot. When we started, I think we were in about 9 feet of water. As we trolled/drifted, the water got deeper and at about 15 feet deep, I got my first hits. At about 20 feet, when the water was 63 degrees F, I caught my first fish - a 13" largemouth. Then we drifted to the other side of the creek. No hits deeper. On the other side, I caught my second fish - a 14" largemouth in about 22 feet of water. (Both fish went back, of course. Dang it.) Throughout the morning, we went from deeper to shallower. Hubs had a bass on a white diver lure, but it got off. I had another bass on my worm, but it threw the hook about 4 feet from the boat. Nothing was biting by shortly after noon, so we called it a day. A successful trip all the way around. We're getting the hang of the boat and locating where the fish are. Right now, they're hanging out in 15-23 feet of water to either side of the main creek channel. Which totally explains why I haven't been catching anything from the bank. I can't cast out far enough or go that deep with a bobber.
Tuesday: Bank fishing again. This time I went to a spot on the main channel of TRL in hopes that maybe the last of the cool weather and the morning fog would've driven the bass in shallower. It did. I saw a lot of fish. Didn't catch a danged one, but they were out there. Bass of all sizes - largemouth and spots mostly, but I did see one smallmouth. One big hog of a largemouth jumped right next to my bobber which was about 4' from the boat dock. Dang it. I also saw several schools of 9-13" silver fish feeding along the rocks in the shallows. Research later told me those were gizzard shad (aka skipjacks). There were also tons of 3-4" bluegills in the shallows and a boatload of turtles. I was back to worms again, but since those weren't working, I tried my two spinner baits, my silver/yellow rattletrap(?), a jighead with a blue/gray sparkle grub. Nope to it all. I spoke with an old-timer who was on his way out from the docks. He said the fish in the main channel are biting at 28-36' deep, so right at that spot, I was screwed anyway. Best I can do is like 7' deep with a bobber.
Wednesday: Bank fishing. Another cool and foggy morning. Another morning of not catching fish. I started out fishing around a cove off a creek that feeds into a tributary of the main lake. Recently, Hubs and I discovered a function of the MDC website where it shows exactly where the state has placed what they call 'fish enhancers' - hardwood branches, evergreen trees, etc. One of them happens to be in that cove. I tried all of the lures I'd tried previously with no success. I also tried a fake crawfish. Still nope. Went back to worms and got some serious bites, but no fish. I am suspicious those bites might've been turtles. I fished there from about 8am to 9:15am. Then I went elsewhere. Back to the ledges off the main body of TLR. Back to my old standby spot. I saw a ton of bass jumping. I saw a ton of bass in the water. I saw something BIG that I couldn't identify moving through the shallows. But caught zip. And my pretty pink reel died, which seriously harshed my morning considering I only had the one pole with me. It would cast out, but then it wouldn't reel back in without some serious juju moves. I gave up and went home around 10:15am.
Thursday: No fishing, but I did pick up a new reel at Wallyworld. It's a Shakespeare to replace my other Shakespeare - albeit not the same model. And this one is red, which kinda goes with my pink rod but not quite. Fashion faux pas but the fish won't care. I also picked up several new lures, more hooks, more sinkers... Stuffs for fishing.
Friday: The weather was totally gross - which is supposed to be good for fishing, right? So I went to the place where I had good luck earlier in the year when the weather was gross. This was another spot where a stream comes into a tributary to the main lake. This spot is filled with old dead trees. Perfect bass locale, right? I tried the new lures - a red rattletrap that is painted to look like a crawdad, a diver made to look like a baby shad, and a white buzzbait. I tried old lures. I tried nightcrawlers. The only things I got was wind-blown and cold. (The temp started out at 68F and fell to 56F in the course of an hour with gusts to 50-60 mph. It was harsh out there.) I went home, drank cocoa, ate soup for breakfast, and warmed up. Then I went back out. Tried a different locale, fishing the main channel of a tributary, with worms set about 7' deep then a couple different lures. Yeah, still nothing.
When exactly am I supposed to start experiencing all this awesome 'fall fishing' I keep hearing about? BTW, the new reel is like butter. And Hubs managed to fix the old reel so we now have a backup. Woo.