With a fairly stiff southerly breeze blowing for the first time since the last cold front’s passage, I was anticipating good fishing this morning.
I headed out and specifically looked for birds but found no bird activity whatsoever. So, the options then are to use past experience and sonar to grind it out and hunt the fish down. This time of year is typically tougher than at other times because fish hold so close to the bottom when they are not actively feeding. As the sonar screen shot below shows, there is just not much there to go on, and, if you add wave action, even high resolution colored sonar can miss such fish.
This Lowrance HDS 10 sonar screen shot shows white bass hold extremely close to the bottom. The sliver of yellow (produced by sound bouncing off of the air bubble in the fishes’ swim bladders) is the only thing that distinguishes these fish from the bottom.
Regardless, I found fish in three areas and caught fish consistently at each of them. At Area 537/545 I found the most active white bass of the trip in 18-22 feet of water and they responded well to a smoking tactic once I got the first few stirred up via a jigging approach. I boated 30 fish here and left these fish biting while still inside the feeding window so I could get a fair read on other locations.
I found suspended, smallish white bass holding over the feature at Area 148 and boated 10, and then left to find other fish.
At ARea 067/073 I again found bottom hugging fish, got them stirred up with a jigging tactic, then cleaned up with a smoking tactic, putting exactly 25 in the boat here before the bite began to die off quickly.
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, here’s something to take serious note of: Fish only have short feeding windows over the course of a given day. Wind, light, pressure and other variables serve to shorten or lengthen that window. If you ever hope to find new, fish holding areas that will produce for you in the future, you MUST EXPLORE THESE NEW AREAS WHILE FISH ARE IN A FEEDING MODE. This means leaving biting fish to gamble on finding other fish that you’re not as certain about. That takes a bit of discipline.
Obviously, I’d never do this with clients on board, but do this very regularly when fishing scouting trips by myself.
The average angler’s tendency is to stay on top of biting fish as long as he can, then, look for more biting fish once those fish he’s located stop biting. However, it is probable that the whole population of fish in a lake is behaving in a similar manner at a given time. That makes it very tough to find “new areas” if the only time you hunt for them is when fish have already turned off.
On my way back to the dock I stopped briefly at Area 567 looking for white bass in deeper water. I found bait here, so, I dropped a slab and came up with a drum. No white bass were apparent, so, I wrapped it up at that point.
TALLY = 66 FISH, all caught and released
Start Time: 7:45a
End Time: 11:00a
Air Temp: 72F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: ~65.4F
Wind: Winds were S13 and humid.
Skies: Skies were ~80% cloudy and there was a balmy feel to the morning.