The bass fishing was good again yesterday. I caught 20 bass, although I have to admit that it did take 10 1/2 hours. Really 9 hours since I did spend 1 1/2 hours not catch sturgeon
The bite started out great. The river as really calm and quiet as I started fishing around 7:30AM. I was trying to decide what to throw and for whatever reason I did not pick a topwater. Instead I tied on a white spinnerbait with gold willowleaf blades. I had not thrown a spinnerbait in the river before since I usually use them only in heavier cover. It ended up being a really good choice. I picked up 6 bass, mostly quality fish, in about 1.5 hours and missed a few other hits. I had that feeling that I had just what the bass wanted. Then tragedy struck. I tossed the spinnerbait against a rock wall and started slowly retrieving it when BAM a huge hit, giant swirl as I set the hook and popped the line (12lb test). I could not believe it. I checked my line and it was pretty frayed from dragging that spinnerbait over the rocks. I quickly looked in my box and did not have a second spinnerbait similar to the first. I tied on a much heavier willowleaf spinnerbait with silver blades but could not get a hit. After about 1/2 hour of casting practice I switched to sturgeon and anchored up for 1 1/2 hours. Nothing but some nibbles, probably from some trash fish. The day had gone from red hot to nothing. While sitting on anchor I did find a gold willowleaf spinnerbat and a white skirt (for the spinnerbait, not me).
After pulling anchor, I tried the spinnerbait for about 1/2 hour, but by then the spinnerbait bite was over. I then changed over to using the good old crayfish colored Hot Lips and the drop shot and had reasonably steady success. My favorite hump produced 4 fish, but the new hump (my new favorite) only produced one. I spent the afternoon exploring a bit as the river traffic grew and grew, picking up a bass here and there, but did a lot of fishing for not much catching. The boat traffic really picked up as the day went on. It was pretty crazy by evening.
The late afternoon/evening bite was good, although I did spend an extra half hour on the water trying to land my 20th fish. I lost three nice sized bass right at the boat and was started to feel like it was just not going to happen. However, eventually I landed a dink and called it done.
I will have to say that the fish are definitely feeding hard. Check out this guy. That is the tail of a pretty good sized something (maybe a sculpin) sticking out of his gullet, but he still felt like he had room for my crankbait.
Here a few more photos of fish throughout the day.
Finally, here is my best on the day:
I did not weigh anything, but the fish in that last pic was the fattest smallmouth I have ever caught. I should have measured its girth. Overall it was another beautiful day on the water. The Willamette is really one gem of a bass fishery!
Fish tremble when they hear my name
A ship in harbor is safe -- but that is not what ships are built for.
--John A. Shedd, Salt from My Attic, 1928