It doesn’t seem possible, having spent all but the first nine of my years in So Cal, that I had never been to Pyramid Lake. Well, that all changed when my new tournament teammate, Jeff Grossman, and I hit the beautiful impoundment for some very early pre-fishing for the season opener coming up November 10th.
We were one of the first on the lake, on a day that proved to have very light pressure. Staring out with some topwater baits in a cove flat filled with grass, it didn’t take long to see some action. On just my second cast with a Yo-Zuri Sashimi Pencil, a monstrous 6+ pounder came completely out of the water in a vain attempt to destroy the artificial prey. Instead of finding the hook, she knocked it 3 feet into the air. 👿 A short while later, while working a frog on top of a weed canopy, I had another nice Bass try to slurp it down, only to have yet another fish whiff.
Then, when we heard a huge ruckus in the water behind us. I had my new favorite hardbait in my hands – a Yo-Zuri Sashimi Suspending Jerkbait. Threw it past the boils and quickly worked it into the strike zone. BAM! The rod goes bendo, and I soon realize that it’s “only” a Striper. I didn’t have my fillet knife with me, so it was only a quick pic and release instead of fish tacos for the Caveclan.
We worked that area a while longer for no love, so we moved locales to a steeper and deeper cove. I threw cranks and Senkos, while Jeff worked it with some soft plastics and a small swimbait. It didn’t take long for him to hook up on the former. He battled this sweet 3.5 pounder perfectly on the 6# test until I could get the net under him. He managed another rat on the same bait before switching over to a Senko and nailing a Striper of his own (neither of us had ever seen one caught on a Senko before).
I missed a couple of opportunities in that same cove before we headed to another area. As we moved back onto the main lake we realized that the wind had really begun to pick up, and it wasn’t even 10 o’clock! We powered on, nonetheless. I ended up hooking into a nice fish on a deep diving crankbait, only to have it come undone in the grass. While Jeff had a couple of nice misses on a small swimbait … including a chunky Smallmouth. By 11am the wind was gusting 30+ MPH, forcing us to find areas that afforded some protection from the wind. As we were fishing a rock wall in a corner, we heard a loud roar like a rocket overhead. Looking up, we saw that it was, in fact, a huge landslide! Beachball-sized rocks were shooting down the sheer mountainside. Suddenly, we saw two young Deer running and jumping 30-40 feet at a time in an effort to outrun the slide and avoid the hurling boulders. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the slide subsided and the Deer made it to safe ground – ending our impromptu National Geographic moment.
We got a few more short bites before Jeff got another keeper in the boat on his small swimmie. He didn’t want to take a pic of this diminutive Largemouth, but I insisted that I needed one for this report … besides it was a “keeper”! 😉 Good thing we did get the shot, because it was the last one we would get on the day. When we called it quits, we discovered from some of the others at the ramp that we actually did rather well. Between the wind and the low pressure ridge settling into the area, the bite was quite difficult for everyone. Hopefully, we’ll have some better conditions for the season opener, as well as for our next prefish.