Discussion in 'Warm Water Species' started by dominic7471, Feb 14, 2007.
I have had success with bass year round here in western Washington. As I recall the coldest water that I successfully caught fish was 36 degrees. I have found that whether the water temperature was stable or even better increasing was more important than the actual temperature.
Interestly during the late winter and early spring prior to the spawning virtually all the bass that I have caught have been adult fish (say a pound and larger) and depending on the lake averaging several pounds. While I could catch the occassional fish during the winter what I term consistently fishing (several fish/outing) came as the temperature climbed pass a certain point. With favorable conditions that threshold seemed to be in the low-/mid- 40s for smallmouth and low 50s for largemouth. During those earlier periods often specific lake areas and times of day were often the most productive. For largemouth northern shallow bays with good cover were often the best and late morning to mid-afternoon the best. For smallies the first modreately shallow feeding flats (12 to 20 feet deep) off points were the best; esepcially if nearby to the later spawning flats. The fish would be out on the flats crusing under good conditions and holding tight in the in "inside" turns during tough times. Again the afternoons were often the best and I like sunny skies with a light wind chop.
For true hawgs the best time for me was that pre-spawn period on the front of a storm with cloudy/windy conditions. Very tough fishing conditions and a low percentage game but as near to money as I know for those true gaints in any give lake.
As with Steelhead prehaps the best way to quickly to learn how to catch bass is to do so with gear and then move to fly gear as you begin to understand critter and its habitats.
All the above aside as Kerry implied there probably that says bass than a summer evening with a sitting sun, active swallows and poppers fished along a field of lilly pads.
Big lake has always been good to me for spawn raping with barbed hooks
MMMMMMMMM.....Bass, Can't wait. This bad girl was caught in late May, off a bed and promptly released after the picture. Looked like she had been hooked before by the scars in her mouth.
Caught on an articulated leech.
I have caughty a lot of bass on all types of gear in a lot of places.....Look at my avatar. This early in the year if you want a chance I wouldn't waste my time with flies. Spinner baits will be the ticket. You need something big with a flasher and you may hook a MONSTER!!!
It is alright to take a break from fly fishing guys. I went 6 years without picking up a spinning rod and when I did it was, surprise, A LOT OF FUN! I consider the height of summer around here, when every body of water is really warm, prime "bass vacation" time. Sit back with some beer in a boat, tie somethin on and wing it out there. Fly fishing is my passion but I learned on a spinning rod when I was 5 and it still feels good to be fishing no matter how.
Get ready, they will be sitting on the deep side of dropoffs below their spawning locations. Find a spot that looks like a good spawn site and head to the nearest dropoff. :thumb: You'll be money there. I haven't checked the water temps lately but usually between "early march" and mid may, that is where I find them.
The best bass fishing in western washington In my humble opinion is Lake Washington. And I've fished a lot of lakes around here for bass.
As for the ethics of ripping smallies off a bed, I though bass were planted as a game fish? I'm not saying I approve of catchinig one and smashing it off of your gunwalls or the like, but I'm damn sure not going to feel bad about site fishing them off of a bed.
You said it Curt. I can't think of a better way to unwind from a stressful day then a summer evening spent on a small lake fishing. The bass are the icing on the cake. The bass in our western lakes are likely illegal aliens smuggled in via buckets, coolers and other vessels. Maybe someone should notify Immigrations. The Bush administration could build fences around the lakes and have the National Guard patrol them. At any rate there are now naturally reproducing fish with all the survival instincts that associated with wild fish and as such provide far better sport then the concrete pond reared, pellet eating, rainbow drones dumped into these lakes by WDFW which by the way are not native to most of the lakes either.
nice post kerry!
Be Jofus G- i tried the ship canal last may with my flyrod during the smolt outmigration without any luck...any insights?
What part of the ship canal? It's kind of trickey to catch a fish that is already gorged on sockeye. Better bet is picking a bay and throwing near the docks. Always throw to the shadow side first.
I was fishing near the UW hatchery outlet, 400 ft away to be legal, and near some docks....i also tried by foster island...i was throwing clousers on an intermediate clear sinking line with a 10ft type 4 looped on so i was probably fishing between 4 and 8 or so feet deep. Im sure its a possibility that they just werent hungry or i got unlucky but I was a little suprised i didnt get a bump at the time.
Phantom Lake. Big SOBs in there. April - May. Anything works while they are on their spawning beds. Caught this one on a small bhpt.
Bass wills tart staging in the low 50s which is the earliest time to fish for them. So the first warm spring in april in ususally wihen the good spawn fishing starts. Some notable lakes, Gissburg Ponds(has very large but hard to catch fish, some up to 25"). Lake sammamish and Washington, Lake Alice, Beaver Lake, Lake Goodwin, Rutherford Slough, and Ravensdale Lake.
GCB - Nice Smallie :thumb:
It wouldn't suprise me with that much food in the water to not get a bump. I was hanging out on a buddies dock near yarrow bay and watched a 2 - 3 pound smallie with a tail of a 10 inch(guestimate) trout sticking out of it's mouth for around 4 hours. If there is big bait in the water, they'll take the biggest they can fit in their mouth and hunker down for a while.
Tom - you were in a good area. When I was an undergrad at UW I fished there with spinning gear and used to get some nice smallies on jigs. First light was the ticket. The show was over by 7:30 or 8am.
Lake Loma in the Seven Lakes area is good for large mouths. I live on it and about 15 years ago someone introduced them into the lake. Since then the population of frogs, crawdads and even baby ducks has declined. The north end of the lake is shallow with lots of water lilies and warms up earlier than the rest of the lake. Loma is only 21 acres and is just right for float tubes and pontoons. No gas motors. It is also opened year round. There are other lakes in the area that hold bass you just have to do a little research. If you fish Loma be sure to tie weedless flies. If you are not in the weeds you will be wasting your time. I like poppers and hair flies on the surface. If this will not work then I go wet. Jim.
Loma is one of my favorite lakes to bass fish around here. Last year, me and HogWrangler went there almost every day and did awesome. Perch clousers and wooly buggers did good, especially with a super fast retrieve.
You could probably pick almost any lake on a map and their would be a pretty high percent chance of their being bass in it. I know of some alpine lakes that even have them....