Date: July 7-13, 2018
Air Temperature: 80’s and low 90’s
Water Temperature: 76-80
My family’s big vacation this year was a week on Belleua Lake in WakeField, NH.
We took the kayaks as well as the Nitro Z-18 bass boat to switch things up a bit. As this was a family vacation and not week away for me to just fish all day I wasn’t able to fish every day or for more than a few hours when I did get the chance to go out and fish.
I had never been to Belleau Lake before so I did some research about it. You can find some of my information about it here. The information I could find was scant and mostly targeted towards real estate and home ownership on the lake. The fishing reports stated Largemouth bass, Smallmouth bass, Pickerel etc..
And, according to a couple of the locals I spoke with on the lake, there are BIG fish in this lake… of course there are ….
I found the lake to be shallow in a lot of places. The water also seemed to dark/muddy/very stained… it left a very grody scum ring around the waterline of my boat.
I even managed to find a rock that wasn’t marked in any way. Luckily, I was just cruising around mapping some sections at barely more than idle speed when I looked down my electronics and noticed the depth rapidly rising from 6 feet to 5 to 3 to… clunk ! WTF !
I didn’t find a lot of underwater structure or weeds either. On the North-Eastern part of the lake, I motored through some shallow water and into a small cove area. The center of the cove did have some fairly deep water which I found interesting. There was also a very nice stretch of lily pads along the undeveloped side of the cove. My first day through here, I didn’t catch any fish although the water was the most promising I had seen here on the lake thus far. I worked the middle of this cove as well as there seemed to be a hump of some sort there. Nothing. For the first few days, I spent my fishing time on the north/top part of the lake. I hadn’t caught any fish…
Later in the week, I decided to try the southern end of the lake and see if anything was biting down that way. At the southernmost part of the lake, I found some promising water… there was what looked like a very large floating bog of some sort… lots of lily pads and little islands of sticks & grass. I felt hopeful… I worked the outer edges of this bog mass as well as every off shore lily pad island… An hour later I was very frustrated… I started talking to myself… if this lake has Largemouth bass in it then they should be here… RIGHT HERE…
At that time, I was almost to the end of the main bog mass. I made a deal with myself that I would fish the next 90 feet of so of water and then pack up and head back to the dock.
I casted my Senko to a very loosely put together area of smaller lily pads… not the mat but a larger area with a lot of smaller lily pads close together… now, I hadn’t had a bite nor so much as a nibble in days… when it finally came on this cast… I was a bit late with the hook set as I had mentally checked out… I lost the fish… it’s a good thing that nobody was recording me right then… Again, I had a chat with myself and got my head back into the game…
Another cast of the Senko to the same general area… wait… wait… nothing… twitch… twitch.. nothing… curses begin forming at the back of my brain… reel up some slack… hmm… that feels … H E A V Y… time to SET THE HOOK !
Got him… landed a beautiful 3 pound Largemouth bass
I would end up catching THREE, count ’em THREE, Largemouth over that last 90 feet of bog mass… zero fish over the prior tens of acres of water yet three within an area that could be covered by a long cast… not complaining but this place is hard to figure out 🙂
In this same general area, I came across another local who had lived on the lake for many years. He too stated that there are lots of nice fish in the lake. I asked him what he generally catches. He said he always catches Largemouth. He’d never caught or seen a Smallmouth in the lake but they are supposed to be in there. He was shocked when I told him that I was just blindly casting off of the boat dock the day before and had lost a Smallmouth bass when it jumped and tossed my swim bait before I could reel it all the way in.
The last day, I went back to the bog area… I only managed to land a single Largemouth in the 1-2 pound range. BUT, I did catch one of those elusive Smallmouth bass too…
Pretty fish and a mad fighter even at that small size…