Monday, September 03, 2007

Retro bass fishing

I really like fishing for largemouth bass but in the summer, it can be a little tougher to catch fish on the lake with fly fishing tackle. I reserve the fly tackle for night fishing where the target is lit and doesn't involve lots of casts to search for fish. I find I am also more successful when fishing rivers with fly tackle. Anyways, I thought I would go "retro" this morning.

So out came my seven foot medium action baitcasting tackle. My wife asked me when did I buy the rod since she hadn't seen it before. I told her I've had it for years except because I tend to now lean towards the fly rod, she just hasn't seen it in a long while. I got all the stuff together and took my 6wt with me for "backup".

I started off casting some medium diving crankbait plugs along ledges and also tried a hard plastic jerkbait and I had a couple of small bass chase it with one little one taking a nip at it right at the kayak but not hookups.

The water conditions were OK, clarity to maybe four feet which may be fine is some lakes but in Travis it should be better than that. Seeing as things were going fairly slow, I switched to a soft plastic worm, the trusty Gary Yamamoto 5" Senko in watermelon red rigged weightless Texas style on a 3/0 wide gap hook. Now I was ready!

The Senko is a magnificent lure. It has been my favorite soft plastic for bass fishing and also a very successful one. I've even tried some in saltwater for the heck of it though not enough times. The lure has a wiggle to it and a can be rigged to drop nose down or horizontal with that enticing wiggle or pulled through the water like a fluke jerkbait. Lots of possible techniques and riggings work wonders with this lure.

I was casting to a ledge in an area between diving platforms that I haven't ever really consider and as I was bringing the Senko back, out came a flash and hit that Senko hard! At first I thought it was a white bass from the flash but it turned out to be a nice largemouth!

I had almost forgotten how nice a good size largemouth can pull when it wants to dive deep. Really good feeling. The hook was right in the corner of the lower lip so the bass wasn't going anywhere. I finally lipped the bass and brought him in the kayak for a photo. It measured about 16 3/4 " long and weighed about 2 1/2 pounds. Nice!

I had one "tap tap" after that bass but no further hookups. With all the ski boats and jet skiers on the lake, I decided to leave at 10:30am.

If I get out to the lake again soon, I will try the Senko one more time for that "retro" feeling of catching bass on conventional tackle.

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