Another May outing on Whitehall Reservoir with my fishing buddy on his Nitro. The weather was just fantastic ! The forecast called for 60-70 degrees, partly cloudy and breezy. I don’t know what happened but it’s about time the weather forecast was wrong but in my favor as it turned out to be a beautiful, sunny afternoon in the high 70’s with a light breeze… my sunburn is proof of how strong the sun was today.
We had good day out on the water… no big bass to report but we caught a lot of pickerel, the largest of which was about 2 pounds – pretty good for this body of water. We also caught some bass but they were all on the small side. Given the water temps and the time of year, the bigger bass were likely hunkered down on their beds or thinking about getting onto them.
I saw several bass guarding beds in various parts of the pond, although none were of a size that we spent any time trying to catch. There were also a number of other boats on the water that appeared to be fishing the beds in the hopes of finding a lunker. I expect that in a week, or two at the latest, the bass will start biting well and Whitehall will be ready to pop.
Today’s baits were Senkos (Yeah… I know.. but you have to go with what works !), spinner baits, swim baits and creature baits.
Did you also know that fishing makes you hungry ? Well, it does ! It’s a good thing my fishing buddy lives close by the pond and loves to cook ! We filled our bellies with some nice big burgers… and a brew or two after our day on the water… ;^)
All-in-all, it was a really great day to be out on the water not fighting the elements. Good weather, good friends and good food !
Weather: Partly Cloudy, GUSTY winds, cool air, occasional sprinkles, even a brief period of hale…just lovely
Air Temperature: 50 – 55 degrees
Water Temperature: 50 – 52 degrees
I’m convinced that Spring in New England is just something they wrote about in the old books because for the past few years we’ve gone from 4 months of Winter to a day of Spring and then onto Summer.
This year has been no exception… I saw a graphic the other day about the weather and it stated that it had rained for some part of the day for 30 of the past 35 days… and our average daily temperatures were also below normal.
I store my boat outside and it had been sitting in my driveway, under it’s cover, ever since the day I had picked it up nearly a month prior. In order to get ready for this tournament I had to leave work a bit early on Thursday, uncover my boat, setup my rods, baits and other stuff and cover it back up right away as it was going to rain, again, for the next 30 hours…
It finally stopped raining about 5 am on Saturday, the day of the tournament, just as I was going outside to take the cover off of the boat and load up the truck to head out for the tournament.
Ok… so… first club tournament of the year… tough, cold, windy conditions… and guess what… I drew boat #1 … awesome… now the pressure is on ! I headed up towards the north west part of the pond in an effort to run my boat for a more than 10 seconds and also to try to find a spot out of the wind, if that was even possible.
I started tossing my bread and butter bait… the Largemouth magnet… a good ol’ weightless Senko … but, after about a dozen casts I quickly realized two things:
It was too windy to make an accurate, targeted cast with such a light weight bait
It was too windy to work such a light bait, even if I had managed to cast it where I wanted it, for more than a couple of twitches
I then swapped to a swim bait, a jerk bait, a lipless crank bait and lastly a spinner bait… nada… no hits… not even a look.
Ok… what next ? My next go to bait is a Yamamoto creature bait… so I picked up that rod and headed as far to the northwest of the pond as I could. Up in this section of the pond there is some hay-like grass and a small, shallow channel also runs into the pond at this point.
I had been fishing for about an hour by the time I made this move. About 4 casts in I hooked my first Largemouth bass. A solid 2.6 pound keeper.
As I worked my way slowly along the shoreline, battling the wind that was of course blowing directly at me, I landed my second bass of the day about ten minutes later. It was also a nice 2.1 pound keeper…
A few casts later I’d hooked my third bass – but this one was just short of being a keeper… I had to toss it back. I didn’t feel bad about it though because I thought I was onto a good pattern… 3 bass within 20 minutes along the grassy shoreline.
As it turns out… that was the end of that pattern… for the next six hours the only fish I caught was a pesky pickerel.
I moved around… I fished deep and shallow… I threw many different baits… I was talking to myself… I put some country music on… I battled through the wind and the cold… I soldiered on… nothing… nothing at all worked…
I endeavored to fish a bit deeper as I really like fishing drop offs and changes in depths. On this pond, on this day, I just got really frustrated. The wind was blowing so hard that I could not work any bait the way I wanted to. This was mainly due to the fact that I couldn’t keep my boat in one spot very well or for very long. I struggle mightily on windy days and it always seems to be windy when I fish. On my wish list for boat upgrades are a new, stronger trolling motor (the new models are powerful and gps enabled and will keep your boat in a specific spot automatically) and possibly a pair of Talons (which will keep your boat in an exact spot in shallow water).
However, as the saying goes.. f you’re not catching you’re learning… and I can always take that to the bank.
As far as the tournament goes, and although I only brought two fish to the scales, I managed a 7th place finish.
As stated, conditions were tough and only 2 of the 15 contenders managed a 5 fish limit. Several even zeroed (as I did last year).
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