Lakecaster Online

Guides Corner
By John Plumb

 

Trick or treat , as this is written, the white bass are still spawning in some places up the river, but the lack of rain that makes the creeks flow have all but shut down creek action. The instinct to find flowing water is great, that's how you find them. The freshly laid eggs must tumble for at least 30 miles in the flowing water. It keeps the fertile egg supplied with oxygen. Once spawned out, the return journey is back to the lake, stopping along the way to feed.

Going up the creeks in the present conditions would probably not pay off for the white bass guy. If one were to pursue white bass spawners, one should find himself up around Hwy. 7, some few miles below the lock and dam. Look for slower, deeper sections of the river. Deep is 12 - 15 feet. That's deep in that stretch of the river. 0-10 is the norm. Small flat bottom country for sure, one you can wrestle in and out by hand is perfect. But, it needs to be working perfectly. There is little or no help for hapless boaters. I mean, there are no marinas, no gas, only wilderness. If you think you'll need it, take it.

As the main spawn winds down, some fish will begin to filter back into the lake, via the shoreline. The shad will be near shore spawning, and handy for the fish. Really, it could just happen anywhere. There is no predicting white bass until they take up their summer pattern. Looking around points, the mouth of any creek, or any near shore structure you may know will probably be a good thing. That's what I'm going to do. Remember, the whites will remain along the shoreline until the shad move for open water after spawning.

That is what I wait for every year. I love the spring. After a month of basically going unfed, the fish are ravenous, and will to commit suicide to feed. It is at its finest. Nearly nothing can foil these bulletproof fish, not boat noise, pressure, or even some nut trolling through the school in three feet of water. That comes later. Now is a time to watch the big white cranes, not so much the gulls. Loper Lake area is one of the areas they hang out, but again, it could happen anywhere, anytime.

Baits seem to matter little, as the fish are willing. My favorite rig for now is a speck rig with the bottom jig replaced with a slab. The slab works 98 percent of the time, but the jig will bring much fun in doubles. You'll limit quicker, but man, what fun. I like the slab under to make it sink quickly, and I like slabs anyway. Better yet, the white bass like them a lot.

Don't look for big schools. It hasn't happened yet. As the fish enter the lake, they will be in small "pods" instead. A pod may measure 100 fish or more. Perhaps less. They will travel this way until one pod meets up with another, and so on. Eventually, a school. Then things change to a different world of fishing as the fish transit to the open water after the shad. Bigger boat time, if you have one.

Let's talk about boats. I wish I had a dollar for every time someone asked me, "What i the perfect white bass oat?" Same answer every time. "One you can stay on the lake in." Staying on the lake may well be a relative term. I don't want to have to leave active fish because the lake decided to get sloppy. So, I found a boat that can beat up the lake, instead of the reverse. I did bass boats, pontoons, tri-hulls, the works. I settled on the deep V. Of course you're not going to run right out and get one, but do be aware of the limitations of you craft. They all have a limit. Your will reach your's before the boats does, unless you're a nut.

The Penwaugh shoreline usually is the first fishable water, for clarity. The entire shoreline from Penwaugh Marina to Cedar Point is prime hunting grounds. Points, pockets, the drop-off into the slough, all should be looked at several times a day, especially the point. The old railroad grade is a good early spot. Expect a lot of small (10") fish. Be kind de-hooking them. That's what you'll be catching in July and August, but then they'll be legal keepers. Yes, they grow that fast. There average life span is 5-6 years. In that time, conditions being really good, a weight of 5+ pounds is possible. I have caught many over that, and sawed them up with an electric knife. I know they are there. Gear up, get out there and get some, ON THE LAKE.

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