I was very psyched about the first National Bass West (NBW) tournament of the season, which was to be held today at Pyramid Lake. Unfortunately, a blast of Winter weather, which was supposed to bring the possibility of snow along with freezing temps and 30+ MPH winds to the lake area this morning , forced a postponement as of yesterday afternoon. I guess that us So Cal anglers just aren’t prepared for the white stuff. Needless to say, I was quite disappointed when I heard the news. So what’s the best way to deal with such a let down (other than Tequila)? Fishing, of course!
I arrived at Lake Sherwood around 1 PM, giving me enough time to get my line wet for a couple of hours. It was sunny, a cool 58°, sustained winds between 17-20 MPH with gusts to 30, yet water temps still in the low 6o’s and quite clear despite the blustery conditions. After a couple of quick goes with a soft jerkbait and flipping a big crawdad imitation, I felt it was just perfect circumstances for a lipless crankbait. My first choice … a Yo-Zuri Rattl’n Vibe in the Ghost pattern.
About halfway home on my very first cast, I ripped it through some grass and immediately had my rod go BENDO! It felt great, not only to get a great battle from this 3 pounder, but also to be right on the lure choice. Because, right after the CPR (Catch, Picture, and Release) I got slammed again by a jumper around 2.5 pounds.
After a couple more unrequited casts, I switched over to a Cave Custom Boogie Bait and nailed another 3 pound class fish. All of them came from nearly the same exact spot, indicating that the fish were holding around that small grass bed. When I couldn’t get any more action, I decided to give the area a rest and moved to the other side of the point I was fishing. But, I couldn’t manage a bump over there no matter what I threw.
Following my 20 minute self-imposed hiatus, I returned to the original spot. Again on the first cast, I was only about 25 feet from shore when my lure bumped off a submerged rock … BOOM! This 3.5 pound chunker attacked my Rattl’n Vibe and battled me before stopping by for this meet & greet.
A few casts later, as the bait approached the far edge of the weed bed, I felt it come to a complete stop like I had hit a brick wall … BAM! I got into it with this 3.5 pounder that decided to give me an arial display after totally inhaling the lure. I completed the Rattl’nVibectomy, took the pic, and made the quick release.
I got a couple more bumps but no more hook-ups there, and time was beginning to run out on me. I headed down the bank to work a flat that still had a little bit of grass on it. I was burning the bait over the top of it when I got bumped hard but didn’t connect. I killed the bait for a second (which is great to do with the Yo-Zuri Rattl’n Vibe because of the way it falls like a dying fish) and then couldn’t even finish the first handle turn before this near-4 pounder crushed my offering. She immediately dove into the grass, but the 12-pound Yo-Zuri Hybrid line held strong and helped me to land my sixth keeper of the day.
After a few more fruitless minutes of trying a couple of other baits. It was time to call “Last cast!”. I love when that works, and sure enough, it did this time! I was about a third of the way into my retrieve when I had a nice 2.5 pounder hammer the rattling lure (one of the things I love about using this type of bait). I got my catch to shore and was reaching for my camera when suddenly the still hot fish jiggled free of the hook. I was able to snap this action shot just before it swam off and ending my day with a baker’s half-dozen (six of them on the Yo-Zuri Rattl’n Vibe).
All in all, it was a great day that truly relieved all of my disappointment over the tournament cancellation. Though, it has left me wondering what might have been, since I had already tied that bait onto my rod the night before in preparation for that tourney. Hmmmmmm … 😉