islandbass\' observation of a bass
Hi there, everyone! I just wanted to share an experience I had with a bass. Please take into account that I will have been fishing for a year next month and I have a lot to learn. The story follows below:
Note: This happened the last week of March 2005
Right after work I headed to a lake eager to try out my new Rapala DT10 that I bought. I did not really have much time to fish since I was just passing the time by before I picked up my little girl.
The sun was almost setting by the time I got to the dock. I quickly tied on the DT10 and cast it out right where the shallow end of the swimming section shifted to the deeper one (probably 7-9' deep).
Like the DT6 I've used in the past, it has quite a tight wiggle that I felt quite easily through my lovely, Lamiglas rod. After about 4 casts, I finally grabbed one bassís attention. She came out from under the dock, apparently attracted by the rattling of the DT10 and positioned herself next to a pylon that divides the shallow from the deep swimming sections. This was not the same bass that I hooked up with a while back (a 7 lb bass on a Rattliní Rapala in this same spot). She was definitely smaller, perhaps in the 3-4 pound range.
To give you a picture of this entire scenario, visualize yourself facing a row of pylons that extend away from of you. To your left is the shallow (as in toward the shore) and to your right, the deeper section. The bass is close to the second pylon facing the deeper water practically still. You are probably no more than 20-25' away and you can see her clearly.
I quickly make a cast and purposely let the lure land hard just to see what her reaction might be. I was expecting her to get spooked. She did not even flinch. I got the crank bait down to ground level and slowly passed it 5' in front of her. I expected her to give chase. She didn't so much as budge! I did it again in front of her nose with the same result. I made a cast behind her (just to see if she would turn around) and moved the crank bait so close to her that my line nearly touched her tail. She still did not move. I even made a pass along her side and got the same response!
Well, apparently the sound of the DT10 was only part of the solution. I had to do something else on my end to trigger her to strike because neither the retrieve cadences I used nor the crank baitís banging around on the bottom were getting the job done. Perhaps a twitch or a jerk might work? I got the DT10 in front of her again but paused. Then as the DT10 started to rise slowly, I gave the rod a quick twitch that drove the lure down. Finally, that got her attention and she started moving toward the DT10. Unfortunately, I did not have much line left to work with. Each twitch brought her closer to the point that she could have kissed the lure. To put it another way, we were so close that if my fishing rod were a spear, I could have impaled her. In the end, she didnít commit. I ran out of line and space and the lure rose to the surface. I think the DT10ís characteristic trait of rising on the pause hurt my cause in this case. Had I used suspending bait I probably would have been able to keep it in the strike zone longer. She swam back under the dock and that was it.
Although I didnít catch her, I still came away learning some things:
1) The adage, ďPresentation is the key,Ē is true, especially for me in this case. Youíve got to keep at it until you give a presentation the bass wants. I ran out of time.
2) Be prepared! When I fish, I normally have my spinning rod ready to go with a soft plastic, usually a tube or a Senko rigged weightless. Unfortunately, all I had was my bait caster with a crank bait. The outcome might have been different if I had my second rod ready to go. Oh how I wanted to pitch a soft plastic in front of her face. THAT probably would have been a better road to follow, even better than using a suspending bait..
3) There may be times bass (or other fish) might not spook as easily as we might think. She practically blew holes in my initial assumptions on how I thought she would react to my actions. I saw her and I am quite certain she saw me too. So, either she ignored my presence or she did not perceive me as a threat.
All of this happened in a span of about 15-20 minutes and Iím still ďreelingĒ about this missed opportunity. I donít know if I will ever be blessed with another opportunity to study a bass in this manner outside of reading books. Thanks for letting me share this with you.
--Alexander aka the islandbass
Gear Used: A 6'6" Lamiglas medium action rod mated to a 201 Curado BSF. BTW, This reel casts into the wind magnificently. I did not encounter a single overrun and Iím still a newbie with baitcasting gear).
Lure: Rapala DT10 with the Crawdad color scheme
Conditions: Overcast, near dark and VERY blustery. Clear water about 7-9í depth, sandy bottom, fishing from a dock, not toward a dock from a boat.
"The defintion of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result." - A. Einstein