Well, we skipped the weekend… figured there would be a lot of folks on the lake and it was hotter than a firecracker!
We were up and at them by 4:30 a.m. this morning. It was supposed to be cloudy and the wind about 7 mph so we were determined to get on the water and put some fish in the boat. We were at the ramp by 6:00 a.m., but we were late. One boat had launched and gone and another was putting in when we got there. I think there were 6 other rigs on when we got back and we saw 4 other rigs at the Old School ramp.
The lake level is 536.85, about 7 or 8 inches below the 533.50 pool level. The water remains in great shape… that semi-clear lemonade or Gatorade look with a foot or two of visibility. The wind seemed to be a bit more than 7 or 8 this morning, maybe up around 10 mph. The air temp was relatively cool, high about 80. The water temperature started out at 82 and stayed there. It was cloudy and that made the temperature better than bearable… it actually had a “coolness” to it with all the humidity. The ramps are in good shape. We visited both the Old School and the Dairy Hill ramps today. Both restrooms remain “under construction” and both have a single Port-a-Potty standing by… of course that might be a step up from the usual facilities in the restroom since they do empty these Port-a-Potties on a regular basis.
We fished the flats in the dam area. We got no bass bites in the areas that we normally catch fish. There were some white bass working in the area and we caught a half dozen down there. Then we went up to the hump area and we found more whites breaking and for a bit, we were catching them on every cast on Rattle-Traps and chrome slabs. The slabs seemed to be the best producer, though the Rattle-Traps produced the larger fish.
We tired of the whites / sand bass pretty quickly and went back to bass fishing. We didn’t turn up any bites on the hump, it was actually white-capping out there and it was tough fishing. We did “beat the shore line” for a while and we got a number of bites but they had to be small fish as we only boated one bass and it was a short fish.
We also talked to another couple at the Old School ramp. They were from Whitney, and actually had a home on or near Lake Whitney. They had boated two fifteen inch bass and lost another back in one of the coves off the main lake. They said the fishing on Whitney was “tough.” It has also been tough on Aquilla the last couple of trips too.
I did see one guy who seemed to be crappie fishing. He reminded me of the days of my youth. He was in a flat bottomed Jon boat and was sculling with a paddle to move his boat. He was fishing the front of a cove when a school of whites surfaced 25 or 30 yards from him. He broke that paddle out and got right over there. Unfortunately, the fish only stayed up a short while. I sat there thinking that he was really an optimist… then again, he was pretty fast with that boat.
This photo of him was when he was out there working the whites. That could have been me 40 or 45 years ago. I was just like him, fishing without a life jacket (I didn’t have one) and never giving it a thought even though I never learned to swim. Life, like fishing, is just a box of chocolates… you never know what you are going to get… Some of us who can’t swim live to be old men even though we are out on the water a lot. Then there are those who can swim… It is just not predictable who is going to get into trouble and who isn’t.
Any, we saw him put his life jacket on a little later as he moved farther out into the open water and bigger waves.
At the end of the day, would say we caught a couple of dozen white bass and one small black bass. Most of the boats on the water appeared to be fishing for whites / sand bass. We saw two other boats that we knew for sure were fishing for black bass.
All I can say is that the “dog days of summer” are here and fishing is tough for black bass.