Well, we got to get out again yesterday…. seemed like it had been months since we were on the water. But, it had just been since Monday. I got all my boat maintenance done this week…. trailer lights, wheels checked and greased, and the depth finder tested…. though I did forget to put those new hooks on my favorite top water. The bad news is that my Garmen depth finder went back to dying after about 30 seconds. In the shop, it ran fine for 10 minutes or more without failure… I donno, maybe a lose wire, maybe not.
This was our first “cold” day on the lake. The air temperature was around 35 or 38 when we got up at 7 a.m. We did not rush to the lake. Our experience is that the fish don’t bite in the winter until it warms up some. So, I read the paper, had some coffee and fed the dogs… piddled around. We got hooked up and hit the road about 9 a.m. and were at the ramp at 10 a.m.
At the gate to Lofers Bend East, I checked with the gate keeper about the ramp. He advised that the Coprs had been working down there and “just to be careful launching.” There were 3 other rigs on the ramp when we got there, one had just launched. The Corps had pulled the dock out and it was sitting at the top of the ramp. It appears they are going to extend the walk way that the ramp slides on down to the water’s edge. They did the same thing over at Cedron Park. They had done some Bobcat work and the rocks had been cleared and the earth smoothed along side the ramp. That’s good news and bad news…. the good of course is that they are improving the ramp… the bad news is that it makes it a bit more difficult to pick up the boat at the ramp, especially if you are launching by yourself…. no dock and the rocks and any wave action is tough on your boat. At any rate, you have to launch off the lake bottom below the ramp anyway. It is rocky but your vehicle wheels can stay on the concrete ramp…. just take it easy with the trailer. We are still staying to the west side of the ramp.
Whitney is 16 feet low now. That is as low as I have seen it. Normal Pool is 533 above sea level, it is now 517.1. It got this low a few weeks ago and then we got a little rain and it went back up a foot or so. Fortunately it is not as hot as was in the summer and it seems as if it has not been falling quite as fast as it had been. We are supposed to get more rain in the next week, so maybe we will get lucky and it will stay up where we can fish it for a while longer. There is plenty of water in the lake, it is just a matter of access.
When we launched at 10 a.m., it was 42 degrees air temperature. but the water was still relatively warm at 61 degrees. The water is a bit murky or something, not as clear as usual. The winds were very light and at times the lake was like glass. The sky was cloudless and as bright a blue as you could want. Just beautiful out. We wore our winter gear, but had to peal out of most of it by 11:30, it warmed up to the 60s pretty quickly.
We fished our usual lower lake rocky points. It was a tough day. We fished from 10 a.m until 4 p.m. We caught two small fish, about 14 inches each. I don’t think we had any bites until around 1 or 2 in the afternoon. The worm bites were just pecks… they weren’t taking it. The one fish I caught was on a top water on the edge of a rocky point about 3 p.m., after the sun had heated those rocks some. We crank baited, we swim baited, we top watered and of course we wormed, T-rig and C-rig. The Boss caught her fish on a T-rig.
I can tell you we love the winter time, that’s when the big boys bite. I think the weather just has to get into a cold pattern and stay there for a while. We are also going to have to adjust to where we fish and fish deeper. We marked a lot of fish in the 18 to 20 foot depths off the points, but they were not biting while we were there. The cows may have been feeding on our trip down and they were feeding when we came back, but if the fish were feeding, they must have done it while we were on the road.
We saw one boat fishing for whites or stripers. There were other boats on the lake, but they were fishing closer to the dam, maybe Little Rocky Creek, and we saw two boats go up toward mid lake, and at least one in Towash Creek. We didn’t get to visit with anyone at the ramp so I have no other reports to pass along.
Winter bass fishing time is here… we just need the weather to stabilize a bit then the big boys will turn on.