Friday, April 15, 2011

Surface Strikes: Bass Rolling into Spinnerbait Wake

Nearly at sunset, I arrived at Bedminster Pond, another local visit, the surface area about six acres situated in Green Acres park land. A bass made commotion in very shallow water in front of me as soon as I had set down my tackle container and camera bag, so I quickly tossed a 3/8th ounce spinnerbait with a large Colorado blade about 15 feet, and guided it so that the big blade made a wake, but this not the same as buzzing the blade through the surface. The bass came up behind it, engulfed the lead head, and rolled under as I set the hook. About a pound.

Without further action, I moved on down the eastern bank where I could make my way past briars. Again I made a wake with the lure, and a bass sloshed the spinnerbait at the surface, again a pound. I made my way further down, and through my second cast the lure arced over some shrubbery as I told myself, "If it (a lunker) hits now, what am I going to do?" As I had just sized up the situation, it erupted without warning under the wake. I held my rod high over the bush and got around it to continue to struggle with the bass. I just about had it to shore when the hook pulled. The bass, about 17 inches, just lay there in shallow water that barely covered its wide flank. The thought actually occured to me for an instant, "Is it fair to grab this fish? Haven't I lost it rather than landed it?" To step in for it meant covering my boot in water and muck. I did, seizing the bass behind the gills, which almost instantly paralyzed it temporarily. A beautiful fat female, full of eggs, I quickly returned the fish thinking of its contributing to the spawn.

Further down, a big bulge came up behind the spinnerbait, and followed it for nearly five feet like a pickerel, swirled behind it like a pickerel, too. I made another cast beyond where the bass had turned--nothing. So I quickly tied on a Rebel Pop-R. Having tried a number of retrieves through the same area, I casted further. A smaller bass took it hard, but I set the hook too soon. The idea is to let the bass turn with a topwater first, then set the hook. The fish needs no more than a pause, but otherwise a surface lure can be swiped right out of the open jaws of a bass, as it was from the last fish of this evening. 

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