While the bruises were still fresh from kicking myself over the previous week's trip, I decided to head back to try again. In the meantime, the weather had gone from highs around 80, to highs in the lower 50s with rain and snow. The weather had rebounded slightly, but it was still a cloudy, cool, blustery day. I had the day off, so I tried it anyway.
When I arrived, I couldn't spot any fish from shore. I got out in my tube and wasn't surprised in the least to find the water temp had plummeted seven degrees down to 54. I tried looking for a drop off where I could fish a crank or jerkbait, but it was more of a gradual slope in this area, and I found no fish. I tried fishing the outside edge of the brush with plastics, but the wind was getting worse and it was an exercise in futility. I was getting cold and was sick of being battered by the waves, so I went in to shore. I was contemplating fishing The Bear for smallies, but I decided to toss a fluke against the inside edge of the brush while my tube deflated. I felt a little tick, but swung and missed. It happened a couple more times before I finally saw the culprits, a wolf pack of little 8" bass. Well, I hate getting skunked, so I switched over to a smaller 3.75" jerkbait. Of course once I did that, the little fellers were gone. Out of curiosity I decided to explore further. I packed up the car and switched over to a little 6' rod I got over the winter just for this sort of jungle warfare fishing. With a pocket full of jerks, I moved on.
The fish certainly weren't thick, but I did manage several. There were a couple of total dinks, but most looked like this.
Still pretty dinky, but better than being skunked, and they fought surprisingly well. I continued on and found more of the same.
The waves were getting large enough that they were rolling through the trees. I couldn't wade as deep as I would have liked because I ran the risk of them going over the top of my waders. The fish didn't seem to like it either and I hadn't had a strike in some time. I had switched to a more subtle bait in green pumpkin hoping that would entice a strike, but nothing. Just when I was about to switch back to my spring special color, the line twitched. I saw the fish turn sideways, it's green flank magnified by the crystal clear water. She looked bigger than she was under the water, but she was still a much better fish than what I'd been finding.
I was feeling optimistic, but that was all I found in the area. I decided to head back to my car and fish just down from where I had started. I found and area of really dense cover, and quickly caught a typical little guy. On the next cast, second best for the day absolutely hammered it.
I fished a while longer, but that was it for the day. It wasn't enough to make me feel much better about the previous week, but I'm glad I was able to salvage the day and get some action.
Total for trip: 12 largemouth
Total for year: 278 fish