Friday, April 23, 2010

Trying to beat the rain over lunch

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???


The Fisherbabe said...

It is so great to get out fishing again!!! Great bass from your local waters, too!!

I hope to get out maybe on Sunday for a few blue gills but rain is in the forecast so we will see :)


Anonymous said...

Hey Wolfy! I have just found a pond not too far from me that I thought was a private farm pond. Come to find out the DNR stocks it, so public fishing it is! Hopefully it will be warming up good after this rainy system moves through. So thanks for the info. I'm actually thinking about using the wacky rig this year. Never done it. Hearing a lot about circle hooks, too. OK for wacky rigs?

So thanks for the updates! And that flower is a violet - post coming soon over at my site - it's usable.

Anonymous said...

You are fortunate to have access to ponds close to work that provide such a healthy fishery, and, loads of fun during a lunch break. Thanks for sharing your lunch with us!

Dennis said...

I was gonna say "Nice Fish" but...;)

What a spot to be able to hit at lunch time, and have that type of action...awesome!!

Our weather has been up/down/allaround...I'm up early to see what's what and it's cold again and the cold rain looks about to start...things should level off soon for us.

I enjoy your posts Wolfy, very informative, and easy to read...nice work

Shoreman said...

Hey Joe. I read some where that fishing prior to a low is always good. I know, I've fished then on many occasions and struck gold. On the other hand, I realy would like to winter rains (and snow) to go away. We seem to be on a flip flop pattern with you. This weekend we have sunshine, blue skies, and 80 degrees. next week, rain and snow.


Murphyfish said...

Evening Wolfy,
Just a tad envious on your catches there old lad. seriously though at some point in the distant future I think that I'd really ought to try fishing for for some of those Bass of your across the pond, just have to add it to my Bucket list I guess1
Best regards,

Tovar Cerulli said...

Good fishing!

Owl, on either side of that violet, is that toothwort?

Wolfy said...

John - you get overhere and I PROMISE I'll put you on fish!!


Murphyfish said...

Hey Wolfy,
Maybe one day I just might hold you to that. Take care my good man.

Bill said...

I like to change up my presentation too from time to time and it's easier to do after you've landed a few fish. Sometimes though, like today, I'll just stick with what's working.

Anonymous said...

Common woodland violet. They are edible and tasty peppery.

Rebecca said...

Well...I'm not expert on Bass, but those look like nice happy big boys. Your posts about the ponds has me now curious about the ponds in my little city.
I'm usually a river gal, but with all the rivers closed in my State until the end of May, I'm getting desperate.


Wolfy said...

It's all about water temp on the ponds, Rebecca. Once some good sunshine starts beating down on the water, the mud bottomed shallows heat up quickly, and the fish follow the warmer water. Good luck