The Year Of The Big Bass

GAT

Dumbfounded
Yesterday, I decided to forgo the Memorial Day crowds at the trout lakes and headed back out to the private farm lake 25 minutes from my house.

The weather was warm and the sun was uninhibited by clouds. But things started slow. As usual, I first tied on a popper. I wanted to try a new design so I worked the south side of the lake that is bassy looking as you can get with vegetation and structure. I got one savage strike but I missed the bass. That was it for poppers for the entire day.

Eventually, I ended up on the northern side in the area where I had caught the 6lb bass earlier in the year. As I received no love using surface patterns, I switched to flies meant to resemble baitfish. I started with one made to look like a perch but the results were poor... actually non-existent.

So I added a upper black leach pattern and tied on a more generic looking baitfish fly at point.

That was the ticket. Right off the bat, I started getting hits. I managed to land some small gills that tried to eat the baitfish pattern which was almost the same size as them. But then, as I started casting around the pods of bluegill, I started catching LMB. This tactic has worked for me in the past. The LMB hang around the gills waiting for one to leave the pod and become a target for the bass.

The first LMB I caught and the next three were this size:

P1000217.jpg

Not huge but a nice size just the same.

Then I brought this guy to hand:

first bass web.jpg

If you keep in mind that the yellow tape strip on the rod shaft measures 20-inches from the butt cap of the reel seat, this guy was somewhere around 4lbs. I was going to weigh it with an electronic device I bought for weighing fish but the batteries were dead! Figures. I still don't know if the damned device works.

Then I caught this fellow:

big bass 1 web.jpg

This one was most certainly in the 5lb range. He also jumped like crazy and was a bit tough to get in the boat.

He didn't like me messing with him so he flipped me off:

flub web.jpg

This is the baitfish imitation that was working:

bait fish web size_edited-1.jpg

So, another good day of fishing for LMB. I probably could have switched to gill patterns and caught a lot of those puppies but I was in it for the LMB.

No 6 pounders for me but I did see some bass swimming around that were in that size range and larger. I have no doubt there are 8lb LMB in that lake. I'll be back.
 
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GAT

Dumbfounded
Nice bass! Do you think the action of the rubber legs gave your pattern that extra bit of magic?

I just recently started adding the rubber legs to the tail. As I didn't try one without the rubber leg material I don't know if it made a difference or not...

I do know that you want to use a round, wide gap hook for the flies. My original patterns used a Mustad hook with a O'Shaughnessy type bend and the LMB did stayed pinned nearly as well.

I now use Daiichi 2461 or Owner rubber worm hooks due to their wide gaps and round bends.
Using the different hooks most certainly has made a difference in keeping the bass on the line.
 
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