Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Round Valley Reservoir Annual Bass-by-Boat

Sounded like we would be in trouble if we stayed out, but once the clouds crowded close, the thunder ceased. Very little rain ensued, and we motored back to the spot in minutes.

I remember a camping/boating/fishing trip here in 1978 with my brother Rick. We caught a lot of bass--all largemouths, all two to three pounds. In 2013, I caught a smallmouth from Fred's boat over two pounds, and I've caught a number of largemouths over three from shore, including one over five. But mostly, it's 10-inch bass, quite a few 12 to 14 inches, but not very inspiring size compared to the standard in memory going back almost 40 years.

I can be critical and still appreciate this reservoir greatly, as any readers of the book I'm writing will have no doubt. In this book, I don't quibble much about the size of bass. This blog post is just a passing take on what's going down. We caught a lot of bass yesterday, but none that weighed as much as a pound. The photograph below makes the bass look big, one of two I caught on the Chompers worm.

Otherwise, jigs did the trick, graced with four-inch twister tail worms and fat bodied four-inch twister grubs. A lot of rock bass, too. And I caught the first crappie either of us have seen in all these years fishing the reservoir. Fred's been out every year for the past 30. Topwaters caught only rock bass, though we had a lot of shifting light to make the lures seem auspicious. Besides the biggest smallmouth snatching a Chompers on descent to about 24 feet, bass hit in five to 10 feet of boulder strewn water, three of them largemouths.

I hoped for a big one while fishing 20-40 feet deep, but nothing happened. I even tried a Mann's Little George tailspinner, and though a small bass struck, leapt, and threw the treble, this happened in about eight feet of water among rocks.

Fred tried his new electronics, a real sweet graph of some sort I could have paid keener attention to, such as getting the name. I brought along my Round Valley Reservoir topographic map, and though the name of that escapes me, I can tell you Efinger Sporting Goods sells them for $10.00. Very detailed, complete with a map legend with half-a-dozen or so selections, including whereabouts of stumps, timber, roadbeds, building foundations, and creek channels. But it doesn't explain the creek channels--no streams feed Round Valley Reservoir--though it does explain some of the factors influencing the whereabouts of the gamefish species. It says, for example, that during winter the lake trout settle in the deepest water they inhabit all year. A number of us catch them from shore 15 feet deep. Not any 18-pounders, though.

All told, a real nice late afternoon and evening on the water.

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