Reaction Bite, Baby!

After a fun but fruitless effort on Monday with UFCer Rick “R2” Raives at Lake Casitas, I was chomping at the bit to shed the skunk stripes I was sporting. So, when another UFCer, Jeremy “JR” Rodda asked me if I was up for a Westlake session on Thursday, I was more agreeable than the welcome line at the Bunny Ranch.
We arrived and it was a beautiful 66° under partly sunny skies with a very slight wind, and the water was still noticeably colder than the 57° I was fishing on Monday. So, I knew the bite would be tough. I started out with some plastics near the docks, but soon realized the best bet would be a reaction strike. So, I put on the Bass Pro Shops XPS Rattle Shad, in Emerald Shiner, I wrote about last week. I casted some docks and a submerged channel with no luck. Then, while fishing an open sloping flat, shortly after catching the first of several plastic bags on the day, I hooked up again. At first, I thought it was another bag, but then it started pulling back … fish on! I got a very nice tussle out of this 4-1 heifer before JR came over and snapped this pic.
4-1 Largemouth Bass

We fished the area for another hour with no love. We headed to the other side of the lake and, again, tried several other baits before picking up the Rattle Shad for another go. After working it over several areas, I hit another sloping flat. About 2/3 of the way in on a cast straight out I get absolutely hammered. BAM!!! This fish is pulling line and dogging me like a pit-bull, I figure it has to be bigger than the first. Suddenly, my anti-reverse gives out on my reel, but I regain control before I got a birds nest on the spool or the fish could shake loose. JR quickly came to my rescue and lipped the pig for me. When I picked her up I could tell she wasn’t going to match the weight of her predecessor, even though she more than exceeded the fight! The scale doesn’t lie, either … she came in at 3-10.
3-10 Largemouth Bass

I got one more bump on the Rattle Shad, but couldn’t find any other serious takers. Shortly after sunset, I switched over to one of my favorite dark-condition baits: a Booyah Boogee Bait that I trick out with a new skirt and customized trailer. I casted it all over and surprisingly couldn’t coax any Bass to play. Then, halfway home on the last cast (amazing how often that works), my bait gets slapped and then inhaled. Let the battle begin! After some line pulls and some hardcore digging, this 5-8 beast finally surrendered. Again, JR lent a helping hand with a lip and pic.
5-8 Largemouth Bass

We called it good then and there. Unfortunately, JR was now sporting the stripes that I had shed. But, that’s okay … because he’s now itching to rid himself of that skunk decoration. Which means we’ll be fishing again very soon! 😉

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