After my offshore trip, I’ve been looking for a chance to do a little early morning bass fishing before school begins. Actually, it has begun for me as I taught 2 days of computer training to incoming freshmen and I’ve had a week of percussion camp. Although camp hours are in the afternoon and evenings, I’ve been too sore or exhausted to get up early enough to catch the morning feeding spree.
That changed this morning as I crawled out of bed at 5:30. I’m thankful that the days are beginning to get shorter as a month ago, that wouldn’t have been early enough. I snuck quietly out the house so I didn’t wake Duke, my son’s 10-week-old lab, got my gear together, and began the two-block walk to the neighborhood lake.
No sooner had I got on the water, I noticed schools of shad working the banks. The schools weren’t as large as those from earlier this summer. I guess the bass have reduced the population but that’s life in the ecosystem. The surprising thing was, the shad were able to do their thing without any bass chasing them. I found that quite odd. Then all of a sudden, it was like someone flipped a switch. There were explosions along the bank as bass were targeting these schools of baitfish. I didn’t know whether to throw my weedless frog popper or my shad fly. I did both and I got three blowups on the popper without a hookup.
After about a half hour of futility, I decided that my weedless popper may also be fish-less. Instead of cutting the weed-guards off I just decided to tie on another popper the same size. Immediately, I got my first hookup, a small, but chunky bass. I continued to catch and release and ended up landing 6 bass before 7 AM.
The largest bass (probably around two-and-a-half pounds) was an interesting catch. I saw a snake chasing some shad around some lilies. I watched as the snake turned its interest to my popper. I teased it and worked it to my kayak so I could see what kind of snake it was. When it got real close to my kayak and about to eat, (I really did NOT want to catch that thing) I moved the frog away from it very quickly. That’s when the bass exploded on it (about two feet from my kayak). I don’t know who was more startled. The snake or me! Well after several spectacular jumps I landed the bass.
It was a beautiful, peaceful, and productive morning. In my haste to get out the house, I forgot to bring my camera (sorry no pictures here) or my forceps (glad I didn’t gut-hook any fish).