I’ve been derelict in my posting lately… I figure I’ve not much to add with my version of “Hey, I dun catched a nudder hundert white bass!” Since a few others feel differently, I’ll do some catching up on some recent trips to Utah Lake. One might believe that unless a report is extremely recent it is not very useful. However, for me the fishing at Utah Lake has remained about the same for the last month. Even with the drop in temps recently, every trip has been a 100+ fish day.
I was hoping to pick up where I left off last Summer and I could go for cats outside the reeds on the North East end with some confidence. But… the cats have proved elusive for me throwing bait under a bobber in the shallow water. (Oh wait, even shallow water has been harder to find this summer! ) Each time I’d hope to catch cats, I’d catch bass… “When in Rome” I suppose, glad to go with the flow.
Each trip I’ve tried to take a young boy – or someone not so young - that had never experienced the thrill of catching fish in such numbers. We’d usually catch our first slow electric trolling with some kind of spinner before we got 20 yards out of the Lindon Marina. I’m not sure if it gives the parents or the child the bigger smiles. (Talk amongst yourselves and get back with me.)
We’d then head along the edge of the reeds bordering the lake proper, and if I found a little “bay” of reeds where there was some protection from the wind, I’d usually find fish. If one was caught, others of us would cast in the same spot and eventually we’d be lucky enough to find a school. It never ceases to amaze me how large numbers of bass will be bunched up in a 10 square foot area, but cast two feet away from that there would be zilch!
Interestingly, while I’d often see bank tanglers catch fish, it sure seemed to me that the schools were just out of reach where a boat was needed. As we’d have triples, one good natured tangler was heard to shout “You’re screwing your kids up you know. They’ll think it’s like this all the time!” But I think we are all due for some spoiling once in a while with stellar fishing conditions.
Staying in one spot and waiting for the fish to come to me doesn’t make much sense. Or maybe that’s not my fishing sense but a rationalization for my attention deficit. However, once the boat was anchored over a school, the fish seem to take shelter under the boat. No casting in those situations was needed – or even reeling in! My brother remarked "This is like fishing in a bath tub..." Maybe the fishies would think twice if they were smart enough to realize that it was causing their friends to disappear, or, maybe they could tell of their survival story of a harrowing experience when we returned so many back to their schoolmates.
It's gratifying to see brothers cooperating and helping each other on a great fishing day.
On sunny days and clearer water, I’ve tended to go with a white lure. Curly tail grubs have been a good choice along with spinners. But given that some afternoons have had some monster high winds the water has been as murky as I’ve ever seen it. Then I’d go with red and chartreuse. Also in murky situations, sometimes the bass hug the bottom, and bouncing my lure off the bottom back to the boat is what wakes ‘em up.
If the previous days have had calm weather, a few cats could be had in the same areas. Nobody will ever convince me that cats only go for horrifyingly smelly things soaking on the bottom. I have several busted spinners with bent hooks reeled in at a fair pace that have fooled some channels
OK, anyone that’s ever been to a rock concert knows that there is one thing that is inevitable. It’s never a matter of if, but when a drum solo WILL happen. The same thing goes with young boys and a dip in the lake when there’s a lull in the fish action.
Once the school thinned out or skedaddle elsewhere we’d move on and troll again. One time a cloud cover set in and the wind kicked up and my pole bent like I just hooked a log. “Back up the boat!” I shouted to my brother quickly loosening my drag so my line didn’t break. He said “It’s just a snag,” but I knew otherwise. I was fortunate to bring in this nice 24” walleye.
I tell ya, these little homemade pony head lures can catch anything. The flash and the vibration make it my go to lure quite often.
I wonder, would you kiss your mother if you had a mug like this? (Boy, someday I hope to catch a musky and see firsthand how their teeth compare. But I digress…)
On the cuter side, cats to me are the “Barney the Dinosaur” of fresh water. “I love them… they love me…” I might find myself singing as I fill up the smoker… (Hmmmm, what rhymes with smoker?)
One afternoon my brother and I found a spot that I’ve never experienced fish so numerous or ravenous. I felt like we were fishing for piranhas. It didn’t feel very sporting, so we’d cast out and as soon as the lure hit the water we’d reel in as fast as we could to try NOT to catch a fish. Man, it was hard! So, we did our own “Mythbusters” test, and yep – we both caught bass on bare hooks. Yes, really! The ONLY thing that didn’t catch fish was to hold the lure out of the water and try to get the fish to jump for them.
Each trip I’d head out and I would wonder how lightning could possibly strike yet again and have another good white bass trip. I’d hope for the best for my fishing guests and feel some internal pressure not to disappoint, but still preparing them for anything. It takes some hunting, but fortunately we haven’t been let down yet. The only question was if there would be cats that wanted to play too. This time they did.
Funny how in any group there is an oddball, (I’ve oft been accused of being one myself), and amidst the bass this rebel individual allowed my oldest son to finally catch his first bluegill.
Most trips have provided enough fun that we’ve been off the water before rush hour, but a few days ago my youngest son was also experiencing his best catching day ever, so we stayed till later. But once the sun went behind the West mountains it was like someone turned on a switch and as well as the tables. We went from predators to prey. Aaaaaaaugh!!!! I’m so allergic to mosquitoes!!!! (Note to self, pack extra clothing for the boys that provide mosquito protection cuz they don’t always remember to do what I tell them. However, it did provide for some interesting and creative fashion options with a flannel checkered shirt. Doubtful this will become a hot trend, unless it’s by Lady Ga Ga.)
Lastly, another thing that never ceases to amaze me is how very small bass go for very large lures… Maybe the desire to over achieve spans across species and at times we are not so different...