Friday, October 24, 2014

Where the Small Bass, I Wonder

This skinny bass with a bad eye but a big mouth struck on my first cast. With wind, it was chilly, 54 degrees, although temperature warmed to 69 in the afternoon. If enough cloud cover justified using a black spinnerbait, enough sunlight struck water to prompt switching to a white-headed spinnerbait with a green and yellow soft plastic frog for a trailer and large Colorado blade. This lure tracked very slowly with the wind action, too slow, although it didn't take long to feel a jab and miss the short hit, yet two seconds later get slammed. I had the bass on, maybe a three-pounder, but lost it after a couple of throbbing seconds.

This pond makes me wonder what all the small bass inhabit. I've caught one nine-incher, a 13 1/2, a 14 and some, and all the rest have been two pounds to more than three-and-a-half. Doesn't it make sense that the number of smaller bass would exceed the larger? Lake Musconetcong is similar. Most of the bass have been 15 and 16 inches, if most of them get wiped out with the chemical eradication of weed habitat until the water chestnut problem is solved. If it is ever is solved. The pickerel averaged 20 inches and now prove all but absent.

We fished the lake for years and caught dozens of three-pound-plus pickerel about 23 inches long, thick bodied fish, and yet not one more than three-and-a-half pounds. No bass more than that weight, either, although I've heard of a number of seven-pounders caught in the thickest of summer vegetation. I hope I get a really big bass in this pond, meaning more than five pounds, but I think Round Valley Reservoir, where I landed one that big in May, is the likelier place for fish like this, even though average size there is a little under a foot long.

Guess these afterthoughts foreshadow the end of bass fishing this year, but I may get out a couple or a few more times this fall.

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