After last weekends outing on Deer & Wapogasset, I feel like I have a pretty good idea of what to do for the staging pre-spawn fish. My plan is to try to get out of work early and head over to Deer Lake to cruise around the shallows and get a feel for how far the fish have progressed since last weekend.
Because we are fishing these two tournaments “No Cull”, it changes how I may go about things. I feel pretty confident I could start out with Jerkbaits & lipless cranks and get a limit in the morning. If I do that and females make themselves easy pickings in the afternoon, then I am hosed because I am stuck with a livewell full and I cannot cull them out. So if the water looks right, I may just start the morning looking for bigger fish.
Although traditionally our May club tournaments are pretty stingy, so I may put the first few keepers in the box regardless of size. I have been burned before by throwing keepers back. I feel there is a pretty solid chance there will be some fish ready to spawn by tomorrow afternoon. I think it got warm enough 2 weeks ago that they are itching to get’r done. Plus I think the water actually may be a coulple feet down then our surface temp’s are telling us.
Check back early next week for results & details as I will not have internet to doing any Blogging this weekend.
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Well I had so much fun fishing on Saturday in the cold rain that my partner & I headed for Wapogasset. We were on the lake a little earlier, probably around 7:30am. Only 3 boats at the access, not much for company on the lake. Once again, I was too lazy to study the map, we started off cruising around the lake. The water was 52-53 degrees in the morning. The biggest difference from Deer Lake was the greater presence of cabbage and other submergent vegetation.
The first place we actually put the trolling motor down was in a little boat channel on the east side of the lake. It was pretty shallow and actually colder than the main lake. It was chock full of small bluegills, crappie, and fingerling bass. Also there were a few pike and I did spot one loner keeper bass in there. Not very promising, but could have some merit next weekend if the weather warms, i just wished it were a little deeper.
We started covering more water with the outboard and headed for BearTrap Lake which is connected by a channel to Wappo. On average the water was about 1 degree warmer in Bear Trap. We hit a few docks with plastics and I fished a Perch colored Husky Jerk between them and over the inside weed edge., not much luck just a few short bass on a Lake Fork Baby Ring Fry. I then hit a shallow main lake shoal on the outside of a cove with a Husky Jerk & Glass Shad Rap (Perch) but has no action. We then stopped at some docks farther in the pocket, I saw one nice bass cruising and several empty beds. Not sure if fish had moved up and then pulled off because of the cold snap or if some fish had already spawned. I did not really notice any empty beds on Deer Lake. In the back of the cove I picked a nice keeper on the Baby Ring Fry off a dock. We had seen enough of Bear Trap so we went back to Wappogasset.
We started in a pocket on the east side that we had liked the looks of earlier when we were driving around. We backed off and fished the cabbage edges in 4-7 feet, we caught several keepers on spinnerbaits (chart) & lipless cranks (crawdad). I caught 3 bass in 4 casts with my crankbait and then a northern at it Rather than beat on those fish we headed to the far north end, we saw about a 3lb bass locked on a nest, I made a few pitches just to get a feel for her attitude, she was definitely catchable, but figured it did no good to catch her today and that she would be gone by next weekend. We then moved out to the weed edge in this area and replicated our success from the previous cove on a 1/4oz Rat-L-Trap (chart crawdad) and the double willow spinnerbait.
We also idled up the inlet on the NW corner, it did not look very promising so we checked one more cover before we had to head home early for Mother’s Day events. I came away pretty confident in the weed areas that we found and I have a pretty solid idea of what shallow areas will produce if the weather warms the water enough. Based on what the fish are doing on Saturday at Deer Lake, I will determine where I will start and what fish I will target.
My partner & I braved the cold & rainy weather today so we would not be completely unprepared for our club tournament next weekend. We arrived at Deer Lake at about 7:45am and were on the lake by 8am. Unfortunately I did not put any map study time into this trip and never had been on Deer before. So the first bit of agenda was to take a cruise around the lake and get the lay of the land. Main lake water temps were about 51-52F, which dropped from the reported 55-57 last weekend.
So I cruised around the lake, map in hand, slowed down in a few places and circled a few areas that good looking depth changes and contours. I did notice that there is not a lot of early weed growth on this lake. So we started in area outside of a shallow spawning area that some good weed growth. I caught a quick fish on a Rapala Glass Shad Rap (Perch) and then hat a few hits on my Husky Jerk . My partner had several hits on a Rattlin Rogue but nothing hooked up. We tried some chatterbaits, lipless cranks, shakey heads, mojo rigs, and Gambler Swim Blades in this area as well, no more fish.
I went up into the shallow area to look it over, banking that it will be warmer next weekend and figured the fish would be using it then. We were surprised to see some nice bass relating to wood in very shallow water. We then covered the weed flat with Swim Jigs & Chatterbaits, I caught a few small bass & a northern, while my partner lost his $10 Chatterbait to a 3ft Musky
We followed the weed edge out of the cove and I picked up a keeper fish on a XR-10 Rapala X-Rap in a clown color. Though he only had the very rear hook, which leads me to believe he really did not want it that bad. We then shifted in to fish some wood where I got a 12″ bass on a texas rigged green pumpkin Baby Brush Hog . We continued the day fishing in & out in areas that looked to have the most potential for next weekend. We picked up a fish here and there on soft plastics and X-raps, most of my bites came on a Pumpkin Melon Lake Fork Baby Ring Fry Side Note: the shallow boat canal on the far east end of the lake was loaded with nice crappie & gills. People were getting nice 10-12″ crappies from there docks. Tomorrow, my partner for Wapogasset will head over there to practice up for Sunday’s tournament.