When we got a couple of bass on the upper pond last weekend, I thought that one more week might really turn on the fish. I've been pretty busy all week, and haven't been able to get out to check it out. Then, I watched the weather forecast last night - rain from Friday thru Monday, starting Friday early afternoon. I figured my best chance was to take an early lunch on Friday and head straight for the ponds. I got there a little after 11AM.
Good Spring bass cover
The bass just started moving in shallow last weekend, and wanted a slow retrieve on a small spinnerbait. When they get really aggressive in pre-spawn, they'll crush topwaters and big spinnerbaits. I figured that the best way to see if they were up and aggressive was to tie on a buzzbait and bring it back tight against the rock edges, casting parallel to the shoreline. It took 3 casts to find out if they were going to be aggressive. I got 4 hits on about 15 casts and landed 2 nice largemouth right away. A great way to start, but they were still not crazy turned on. When they are, the strikes are more frequent. So, I switched out to a 1/4 oz. double willow Strike King spinnerbait. Now we were cooking! They hammered the spinnerbait with much more frequency. I lost track of the number of hits and fish landed, but it was GOOD!
A buzzbait bass
This one fell for a spinnerbait
One of the things I frequently do, which a lot of people find ridiculous, is change baits even when I'm on a great pattern. Remember - I'm not in a tournament - just having some fun. So, off came the spinnerbait. I tied on a 3/0 wide gap worm hook and put on a Zoom fluke. I also put a handful of Tiki Stiks and Kinami's in my pocket. Amazingly, the fluke did next to nothing - one hit. I replaced it with a wacky-rigged worm. While it certainly means slower fishing than fishing a spinnerbait, the worm cleans up on these ponds. I pretty much caught fish everywhere I cast as I worked my way back to the car. I caught a bunch of fish in 45 minutes, and I still had about 10 minutes left. NOTE - the reason the pictures are all from the same place is that I had to use the self timer (fishing alone) and the only level place was the roof of my car!
This one fell for a worm
Another nice pre-spawn bass
I got down to the lower pond and pulled out an UL spin rod and a 1/24 oz. jighead / 2" grub combo. It was just as good down there. Crappies were everywhere, I got my biggest walleye ever from the pond - a little over 16", and a few 'gils. Time to go back to work.
I expected to get a bunch of fish on this short trip. There was a big front approaching (the rain started about 5 minutes before I quit) and the time of year is perfect. I've always done well in front of approaching fronts and rain. I really wanted to put the fish on patterns so I could bring kids and newcomers back here in the next couple weeks and have them catch fish. And they will.
Finally, I want to make sure people understand why I make these posts. It's not so people comment and say "Nice Fish". I love to fish just as much if I DON'T post stories and pictures. Use the information you find in these stories, from me and the others who post. If you're anywhere close to the northern Illinois latitude, your ponds are heating up right now, too, and you might catch the biggest fish in your body of water in the near future. Get out and enjoy the feeding frenzy!!
A woodland flower - no idea what it is. Any thoughts, Owl???