I'm Not A Bass Fisherman, But...

Discussion in 'Warm Water Species' started by Tim Lockhart, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. Tim Lockhart

    Tim Lockhart Working late at The Office

    This happened last night on a local lake. I fished Monday and Tuesday hoping to see some nice trout there. After about 60 fish nothing over 12" had appeared and I was getting rather disappointed. Talked to a few others who complained of exactly the same. Scoured the place in, out, high and low and nothing but pint-sized planters. I observed a number of osprey (and one eagle) that were beating the hell out of this place the entire day, so figured the birds along w/ put-n-take syndrome weren't leaving these poor fish a chance. Thought I'd wait till eve and pound the shoreline...surely this was the last safehaven for these fish. Well, guess not. Found a third culprit which probably made the shallows the least safe place to take refuge.

    I was working a shallow weedy section of shoreline hard-stripping a leech. Pretty fertile spot as 6 or 7 in a row had hit, all of 'em little. Then hit what I thought was a snag. But it began to swim slowly to the right. About the time I figured it out, so did the fish...it broke surface and darted straight for the shore...really hard. Didn't see it but knew it was way too strong to be a trout. Strong enough that it scared the shit outa me. At first I thought I had hit an otter or something...just too heavy and strong to be a fish in this lake. No moving it from the weeds so I followed it in. It just kept thrashing about against the shore. I still couldn't see it so my feet and whatever the hell it was just stirred around till it shot out...again I followed. It was way too heavy to move on 3x and a 5wt so I just chased it around. I was afraid it would run under a snag and I'd never get to see it...it did just that and I thought it had gone free leaving my line wrapped around a log. Pulled from both directions and nothing. Then I grabbed the line by hand and slowly pulled straight up. Must have been a good sized branch but it moved as I pulled and the fish began to swim again. I could tell it was getting tired so I carefully towed it out into the open. At first site I thought I'd hooked the grandaddy of all trout. A little closer and it was too scaley. What the...

    This lake wasn't commonly known to hold bass (largemouth). If you know the place, don't call it out...PM me if you want (happy to say yay or nay)...I respect anyone's good secrets. Did some research last night and saw a pretty obscure reference to it. No reports of any being caught. So I was shocked to see one at all, but one of this size is tough to believe. Length was 2 feet and girth was about 18, real fat. And really heavy to lift. Fish formulas would suggest a wt of ~9 at those measurements. On the one hand that just sounds like bullshit. On the other I couldn't move it in the water and it was surprisingly heavy to lift once landed. But I don't know what to expect since I don't fish for bass and this was quite by accident.

    Some questions for any bass guys: Is one of this size all that unusual? Are they spawning now? Can I draw any conclusions about the bass population in this place...fact that you never catch the biggest fish in a lake has me wondering now (lake is well under 100 acres and loaded w/ small trout; very active bird predation; abundance of shallow cover)??

  2. HauntedByWaters

    HauntedByWaters Active Member

    The reason you can't draw any conclusions is that the bass was likely planted by bass fisherman.

    They fill their live wells on a good producing bass lake and finish up the day by going by a lake like this and dumping their fatties to try and spread the fever.

    I will never forget the day I was chatting with a local fisherman I have run into for years on the banks of the Nooksack. I mentioned how this one oddball lake had suddenly been overcome with fat smallies. His response was, "I have caught every one of those bass and dumped them in there." I was chilled to the bone....
  3. Ethan G.

    Ethan G. I do science.. on fish..

    "Bucket biologists" are responsible for a lot of the warmwater species around here. It can be seen as good or bad, I suppose.

    Bad in the sense that it can wipe out native fish populations and other 'good' fish populations.

    Good in the sense that it increases diversity in lakes and I think it's a lot of fun to catch bass.

    Most (but not all) of the lakes in western Washington were sterile before people started stocking them, so it's just another game fish being stocked in our lakes. As long as it's legal and it's not wiping out populations of coastal cutthroat or rainbow trout that have been there forever, then I don't have a problem with stocking bass. However, I am definitely opposed to unofficial and unapproved stocking of any species.

    Until next time, when fishing that lake you must now wear this...
  4. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

    There are alot of lakes in the Greater Everett area that started out a Trout lake and ended up with Bass in them.

  5. Tim Lockhart

    Tim Lockhart Working late at The Office

    Yeah this place sure seems like a good candidate for that. Hadn't thought of it since my brain just doesn't work that way. I'd otherwise buy that it has a legitimate population of bass but since I saw no other ones and a buttload of small trout it would stand to reason. I'd expect to see a number of little bass and maybe a half-pounder if I got lucky...and only if I fished there a bunch of times, not twice. But fact that I saw nothing in two days, then this comes calling, is a bit strange to say the very least. And at that size it was really outa place.

    :rofl: Fair enough but I'm drawin' the line at wearing stark white tennies and doing Stren commercials.
  6. Brian Miller

    Brian Miller Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout

    I occasionally target bass if I know a lake holds them. It's a thrill when a big hole opens up under a deer hair bug and the subsequnt explosion. Despite the stocking I seem to catch more bass than trout when trolling leeches in Spanaway Lake.
  7. alpinetrout

    alpinetrout Banned or Parked

    The Washington state record largemouth was 11.57lbs, so yes, you got a trophy bass.

    They will generally start spawning when the water temp is between 55 and 65 degrees, so depending where you were fishing, it's a possibility. Water temps seem to lower on average than normal for this time of year, but can also fluctuate a lot from lake to lake.
  8. chromeseeker

    chromeseeker Where's the Bucket?

    Dude, that's a pig of an avocado bass! Even though you weren't targeting bass, that is a beauty. If you were fishing in a tournament, you'd be on cloud nine.


  9. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

    Bass; the other white meat.
  10. Stonefish

    Stonefish Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater

    That is a very nice ditch pickle.

    As far as spawning, I check out a couple of spots this weekend. As Alpine mention, the water is still pretty cool. 50-51 degrees in the lakes I checked out. It will happen any time now if we get some warm weather.
    Some bass gear fisherman I know swear that three days before and after a full moon is money for spawning fish.
  11. Michael Thompson

    Michael Thompson the flavor of BADFISH

    my dad has a five acre pond on his property, we has it stocked with trout, and then one day we started catching crappie and perch like nobodies business. the just showed up on thier own... life was great i could catch big old trout and panfish nonstop, until i caught bass fever and planted some largemouths and blue gill in the pond. thats all that is in there now. 6 trout planting have been completely wiped out. the perch and crappie are long gone as well, all thats left are some stunted bluegill, some hawg bass and my dad pissing and moaning about what i did when i was 12.
  12. Sean Beauchamp

    Sean Beauchamp Hot and Heavy at yer 6

    nice feeesh tim!

    bass are EVERYWHERE. i would be extremely surprised if there was a lake in snohomoish county that DIDNT have largemouth. they are an extremely hardy fish and can survive the road trip easily. what ive notcied (former bass junkie turned to brown troutz) is that the smaller stocker lakes with small populations of bass crank out TOADS. they spend year round dining on crayfish and planter bows and grow accordingly. that is a big female you got there, give her a week or two and she'll be bedded up. this is the time of year when those fat prespawners are more of the norm and less the exception.

    there are lakes around our hood where i expect 4+lb fish. maybe 1, maybe 2 a day. but they WILL NOT be small.

    ive seen bass that size and bigger literally try to eat 14" plants off the end of my line. its fish like that that keep the bass population (they are cannibals) in check and the numbers low but the quality high.

  13. Dan Soltau

    Dan Soltau New Member

    that fish a trophy bass anywhere. that is so awesome, I bet you did have your hands full with that mama on a 5! Where i fish in Texas we are running 8-10 wts, the biggest I have caught is over 9. Never got any that big in washington, but definitely a few in 5-6 lb class. Good job landing that fish on a 5 on 3x that is a serious accomplishment.
    I consider this one below to be my finest fish, not quite 10 lbs but on a popper on the 20th or so pop from the bank. With 10 seconds pauses between each, so i had to wonder how long shed been eyeing it.
  14. Kevin J. Burnham

    Kevin J. Burnham Active Member

    Nice Bass that is a pig !! They are everywhere and need to be caught. That's what I'll be doing this W/E !!!
  15. Daryle Holmstrom

    Daryle Holmstrom retiredfishak

  16. colton rogers

    colton rogers wishin' i was fishin'

    the spawning depends on water temp. but they will be getting ready to in mid-late may.
    that is a HOG for Washington. but if he fought that much they could be getting ready to spawn any time, because in cold water they are just lethargic and don't move around a whole lot. i hope you put it back because it looks like it has good genes, and large-mouth doesn't task that good. they actually have a rib cage. but, smallies are where its at. a small-mouth with taters, onions, and lemon. is the best meal there ever was.
  17. Tim Lockhart

    Tim Lockhart Working late at The Office

    She's still out there, alive and well...

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