For the first time, I crossed the rocks at the spillway, trudged across the trucked-in sand of the beach, and took the trail to the other side. A shallow flat in the corner surprised me. Although it isn't very extensive, it reached to where I met water's edge, and noticed a bass stalking its drop-off. I simply tossed my Chompers a few feet ahead of it, and it rushed and took the worm whole as if on command. Bass can appear very, very stupid at times. About a pound.
Next, I casted to my left, and then again, in very close this time. From right against the bank, literally right there, but in overhanging brush, a wake rose and I felt the take, the drop, I twitched slightly twice, the bass took the worm again, I set the hook--you see the photo, two and a half pounds.
So, I wondered, what will the far side yield? It proved a lot more bassy than the side along the road. In fact, it looks like smallmouth water with its clarity and large, submerged boulders. Plenty of overhanging brush, sunken logs, and leaning trees must mean bass frequent here. But today, those two first bass, right away, were all the far side gave up--I fished it all the way down and across to where I usually fish.
This made me wonder if the "other side" of Mt. Hope Pond story is that most of the bass spend most of the time down on the bottom of the drop off, out of sight, and essentially out of the fisherman's way (unless ice fishing). I made plenty of casts, had more time to, into water as deep as 12 feet. But it's one thing to cast a worm into so many square yards of shallows, and quite another into so many of dark depths. In the first case, any bass nearby is alerted by the splash alone, and in the second, less is noticeable. The slow sinking finesse of a Chompers becomes ineffective, although I never switched to my wacky Senco. (At least on a rainy summer day, better yet, fall, crankbaits could be effective.)
I did see a single bass, about 13 inches, in the middle of the far side, and dropped my Chompers to it--it lipped in the middle of the worm for a split second, expelled it, then slowly swam off. With that I lost some faith in my (very last) Chompers, although I ordered more from Bass Pro tonight. I switched to a Culprit twister tail, 7 1/2 inches. That worked in one of my regular spots. Again, the bass rushed the worm with a wake from directly against the bank, out of some brush. This was a malformed bass, not only with its misshapen body, but a tail with a good portion lost somehow. Nice size, two pounds, maybe an ounce or two more.
Again, I have little doubt six pound bass, one or two, more around five pounds, swim in Mt. Hope. But I might catch 50 three pounders to one over five for all I know. I bet they are wary and elusive as can be, all but completely staying deep and out of sight, not at all hanging in brush right against the bank as these two good bass did today.