Knowing how everyone that has anything that will float will be heading to all the most popular places for the opening day of Bass season here in NY, I decided to head to a smaller less popular lake for my opening day. It has a gravel parking lot for a few trucks and trailers and a primitive but useable concrete and gravel ramp. Launching alone was no problem and beached the Polarkraft on the gravel shore, while I parked the truck. The parking lot was not even half full at 6:30 AM.
Headed down the lake at full throttle it was a cold enough to need a jacket, but with an 80 degree predicted I knew it would warm up quickly. Water temp was in the low 70's. We had a very warm Winter and Spring here in Northern NY so I assumed for this first trip of the year the fish would be in post-spawn and early summer areas. Headed to my favorite starting spot, a small island with a chuck rock point that drops into about 8 feet of water. This little island is ringed by thick milfoil. Tried top water with no takers. Changed over to a jig and got bit by a nice 2 1/2 lber on the second cast. Worked the entire area and not another bite or tap. Hit several more rocky points with no luck at all. Headed out to deeper water along deep weed lines and got my string yanked hard by a Northern Pike that wanted a texas rigged tube. The Northern gave a good fight and I really had the drag on the pitching stick cranked down too tight. The northern almost took the rod out of my hands.
Headed across the lake to a mid lake deep weed line and was amazed to see it was all the was to the surface in 12 to 15 feet of water. This area usually does not grow to the top until mid July and here it is only the middle of June. Tried crankbaits, swimbaits and jigs will no success, went back to a texas rigged 4" tube and started catching small keeper fish that were sitting just inside the deep edge of the weeds. This ended up being the pattern for the rest of the day. Fish were scattered, but when you found one there was usually a small school of them. Hit several small humps in the middle of the lake and found the same thing schools of 12 to 14 inch bass that would nail the tube on the fall if you got it just inside the deep edge of the weeds. I worked deep diving crank baits along deep edges of these humps and points looking for bigger bass but found none willing to bite.
After fishing this small lake for close to 40 years was not surprised not to catch any big ones. I could see big fish on the graph and this lake is also a very good Walleye lake. The bait in this lake was far more plentiful then I have seen in recent years. The big fish have plenty to feed on this time of the year. They move around following the big balls of bait fish and rarely will take a lure. Live bait fisherman do well in deep water for both Walleyes, Smallmouth and Largemouth bass. It will take another few weeks for the big bass to set up on their summer deep water haunts. With the spawn behind them and their bellies full with gorging themselves with bait fish, they will become a little easier to catch with big jigs, worms, and crankbaits in their summer homes.
The tally for the day was two very nice sized Northern Pike, a Mudfish, and about two dozen or more bass from 1 to 2 1/2 lbs and did not have another boat close to me all day long. I will be back to this lake in July and hope to find the bigger fish then.
Hope everyone had a great opening weekend and is catching them well. Please post your reports and pictures of the big ones.