Saturday, June 13, 2015
Hybrid Striped Bass Off-Structure and Mid-Lake
We began at Sharp's Rock and drifted at about a 45-degree angle back into the condos. I've heard that softly sloping drop-off where Bertrand's Island Amusement Park used to thrive on days like this is good fishing, and we did mark fish on the graph.
In Davis Cove, I caught a crappie. Joe tied on a jig and fished that for a short time. Otherwise, all day we fished herring. I caught a white perch, also, at the end of a drift from Nolan's Point right to about where weeds begin across Great Cove.
I would have fished closer to the drops, closer to shore, the points, shelves. But not only have Joe and his brother Jimmy caught hybrid striped bass mid-lake from June through August--if not right out in the middle, well out from the bottom edges of drop-offs--I've seen the fish out there in July. My son and I once fished Pickerel Point in about 35 feet of water, casting into about 25 feet and allowing un-weighted herring to suspend over wherever the oxygen line ends everything in the summer. I heard a sound like horse hooves on concrete, swung around and saw hybrids busting herring right at the surface, way out there far beyond casting range.
So I had some faith in what we did, but it yielded not a hit from a hybrid. Fishing two rods apiece, the three of us set herring from 12-25-feet deep in the water column, weighted by egg sinkers, and let one of the rods present an un-weighted herring at the surface. Last I fished with Joe, Jimmy came along also, and though we fished on the drop in late September, the hybrid we caught (I lost a real big one), hit an un-weighted herring swimming over about 30 feet of water.
Come October, we'll surely get them. My son and I never get skunked. And it's not only Joe & Jimmy's word that that's when the hybrids come in and hug the drop-off's of points and shelves, where--for whatever reason--herring bunch that time of year. Lots of people know this and it's been written about by some. My son and I have been on the bass for years.
I felt today as if held in suspense. After Sharp's Rock, I felt we'd never get a hit, but also that if we did, then I'd get a direct glimpse into another way of fishing hybrids Joe & Jimmy have succeeded at, the possibility I saw with my son that day in July.