Taunted by a Bass

Posted by MNAngler On September - 27 - 2010

After getting back from successful outings in Boulder, I was psyched to find some small lakes or ponds in The Cities to use my float tube on. I spent a goodly amount of time last week doing research and trying to decide where to go for a short outing during the weekend.

Since I had an appointment in the Western suburbs late Sunday morning, I thought I would look for a lake in the area. I found a small lake that would work nicely.

My appointment was at 11:30 so I took my time and got on the lake at 9:30. I was going to spend most of time in a little bay right off the swimming beach. Having had good success finesse fishing with a jig and pig in Boulder, my plan was to jig and pig the whole time I was out there. Unfortunately, that plan didn’t last long.

I put in at the swimming beach and kicked my way out to the middle of the bay. I bottom bounced my jig and pig for a while when I noticed a bunch of lily pads across the bay from the beach. Having had no success with the jig and pig for about 15 minutes, I decided to pull out my scum frog. Being a quiet day, I thought it should make some noise to get some attention.

After a few casts, I happened to be looking to my right (at more lily pads) when I saw a big bass jump out of the water so far it looked like a dolphin doing its tail walking trick for just an instant. I quickly paddled over to the area and started casting into the general vicinity of the acrobatic display, but nothing could be heard except the movement of my scum frog.

Ten to fifteen minutes later, I was ready to give up, but threw one more cast out. Just then, I heard something break the water and a few hundred feet to my left, another bass did the same thing as the previous one! It was about the same size as the first one. Again, it jumped so high, barely the tail was in the water. I quickly paddled back that direction and tried to entice the acrobat, but again, nothing.

Eventually, I decided to try a different bait. I tried a texas rigged (no weight) lizard, a horny toad, and a texas rigged (no weight) speed craw. Still nothing. After attempting these different lures for about 10-15 mins, I heard a splash behind me. I turned to see the remnants of a splash that had to have been made by another decent sized fish. The ripples were making a pretty large oval just a split second after I heard the splash.

The bass (or a bass) was taunting me. I think I might have even heard a faint giggling coming from under the water.

I took this last jump as a sign that I needed to give up on the lily pads and go back to finessing. Looking back, I probably should have dropped a jig and pig into the pads, but I was too chicken. I had a hard enough time getting through the submerged weeds in the open water. I didn’t want to get hung up in the thick stuff under the lily pads.

I paddled back out and went back to the jig and pig. After more time passed with no bites, I decided to switch to a texas rigged worm. I pulled on my fluorocarbon leader to get some slack and my uni-knot failed AGAIN! I was thankful I didn’t have a fish on this time, but that really frustrated me. I had been pulling the leader out on occasion all morning and was tugging on it through the weeds. I guess the wet knots eventually weakened to the point of failure. I guess I’ll have to figure out a better way to attach the leader to the braid.

This time I was more prepared and had brought a knife with me, so I was able to retie my swivel. I put on my texas rigged worm which was on a braided leader and cast that a few times. By now it was getting late and I had to go soon. I was getting desperate. In the last half hour, I tried the worm, the speed craw, a white swim jig with trailer, and even pulled out the bubble gum fluke. Nothing worked.

Although I came away empty handed, I was encouraged that there were fish near by. I just couldn’t figure out what they wanted. It’s better than wondering if you just weren’t near fish, or had the wrong thing on. At least I knew it was the latter.

The lesson I took away from this outing is that I need to be more patient. When I was out in Boulder, I only had a few lure choices while I was out on the ponds. If I had a scum frog or other lures with me, I probably would have tried them out there. But I mainly stuck with a green watermelon jig and pig and it paid off. In my next outing, I think I need to leave some lures behind to keep me from drooling and switching too often.

So what would you have done? What would you have used to try to catch the dolphin-bass? Do you think I switched up too many times? How long do you try a lure before making a switch?


5 Responses to “Taunted by a Bass”

  1. Clif says:

    When you see a bass surface, you know exactly where there used to be a fish.

    I never chase splashing bass, I just take it as a sign the topwater bite is going and I should stick with it.

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  3. BP says:

    Hate to say it, but don’t listen to Cliff. If a bass gives away it’s position it is often still right there. If it is close, go right to the spot ASAP. I have caught dozens of bass that gave their position away.

  4. MNAngler says:

    Thanx for the advice, guys. I don’t figure that same bass is right there, but I figure if there’s one, there’s got to be more. I’m guessing it was the same bass that jumped each time, so he was getting around. I just couldn’t figure out what dolphin-bass or any of his brothers wanted to munch on that day.

  5. bassdem says:

    That is one of my general rules. Never chase after a splash unless it’s within casting distance. Around here, there is a very good chance that the splash was caused by a gar, so that’s one more reason I don’t go chasing anything that breaks the surface.

    You knew bass were around, so you probably should have continued picking apart the area. Having that not so distant appointment probably got you a bit antsy too.

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