Friday, September 2, 2011

Wawayanda Lake is a Sweet Spot

We got up to Wawayanda Lake after all, arriving
at about 2:30 and getting back to the rentals dock at about 6:00 as required. I bought a dozen-and-a-half live herring at Frank's Bait and Tackle along with a Bubble Box aerator since I had forgotten to pack mine. Since the boat trek west and southbound down lake to the deep water supposedly holding lakers covers distance, we rented an electric motor.

We passed through the deepest water, and circled the area spotting only a few trout on the graph recorder, rainbows or browns associated with fairly small herring schools about 20 feet deep. We took a great drift speed, very slow and right up the middle. And we put two lines on the bottom and two about 20 feet down to find ourselves quite bored by the time depths started coming up again into relative shallows. So I suggested we use herring on some pickerel and headed towards shore.

The south side drops very fast, and having done some scouting, we found a small point with a virtual cliff face for a drop off and a huge mass of herring near bottom in 48 to 40 feet of water. Only a few predators seemed associated. But we kept coming across more fish associated with a smaller, thinner herring school 17-20 feet down. One of those fish took Matt's bait, and I felt surprised at how large a fish; whether it was a bass or trout, it went at least three pounds, maybe more, throbbing the rod double over before pulling the hook.

Anyhow, today herring associated with drop offs much more than depths out in open water. It came as a surprise to find the herring bait that we dragged over bottom came up stone dead after our drift, as if no oxygen is present in 80 or 90 feet of water. But we did mark a smaller-sized fish at 66 feet.

Between the islands, some really nice drop-offs from six feet down to 26, for instance, exist just beyond massive weedbeds. Next time we come, if we do, we will surely explore these areas for bass. 

This was our first time on Wawayanda, and it's a nice lake, 230 aces I think the number is, with stocked salmon (Atlantic) present as well. But I prefer Shepherd Lake. Even though Shepherd is much smaller and less scenic, I like the clarity of its water without the tannic tinge, and mostly I'm very motivated after losing that big fish our first day on it.

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