We were going to West Point today because I had a tournament there in a little over a week. Fritz had some work to do early so I went to town and got some errands done. We left my house after 10:00 AM and got to West Point at about 12:30 PM. I decided to put in on the west side of the lake so we would have a protected ramp because the wind was getting bad.
As soon as we got in the boat I realized how cold it had gotten. We quickly dug out coats and stocking caps, and tried to bundle up. The wind felt like a used ice pick, stabbing right through my jacket with a cold sharp stab.
The first place we stopped was a main lake ridge but we did not stay long. The wind blew us past it fast and nothing hit our crankbaits. I went into a small creek and started fishing a deep bank with some rocks on it. I told Fritz I had caught a good 4 pounder in a tournament out of a tree toward the back of this creek ahead of us several years before.
We fished the tree but got no takers. Some rocks on the next point drew a cast from my brown Rattleback jig with a Yamamoto trailer, and I saw my line tighten up when it got to the bottom in about six feet of water. When I set the hook a chunky 14 inch bass quickly came to the boat. I was fishing the jig on the Steve Huber Signature Series Flipping Stick I had won last fall, and the heavy rod and 15 pound PLine subdued the bass fast.
We admired the throwback and I let it go. The very next cast to the same place drew another strike, this one a solid 3 pounder. I fought it to the boat and started to lip it. As I picked up the line, it came unbuttoned and slowly swam off. Fritz said I could count it since I had it so close. We could have netted it easily.
We fished that creek carefully but got no more bites. I told Fritz there was another similar creek across the lake and we headed there. The wind was even worse here, blowing right down the creek. We fished a blowdown and started around a point when I saw splashing further in the creek. Thinking it was schooling hybrids, we took off to it, only to find it was waves breaking on a rocky point.
While fishing that point Fritz threw his jig across it when I said I had seen something on my depthfinder on the bottom about six feet down. He set the hook and a good 3 to 4 pound bass jumped a couple of times before throwing the hook. We worked that point carefully but got no more bites.
Fritz suggested we fish a stumpy bank further in the creek, and I almost did not go back to it since the water was only about 10 feet deep. Although the water temperature was 56 degrees, it was dropping due to the cold air and wind, and was colder now than that morning. I was sure no bass would be so shallow. I went back there anyway since it looked so good and that was the kind of place we had been catching bass the day before at Jackson, and was similar to were I caught the first two in the other creek at West Point.
After fishing about 60 feet down that bank we passed a small point and there was a tree lying in the water a little further down into the cove. I pitched my jig up between two limbs in about 2 feet of water and felt a solid thump. No doubt the through-the-handle-blank on Huber's rod helped me feel the bite since my line was blowing in the wind badly.
When I set the hook my heart stopped. I saw a wide silver flash as the bass took off heading for deep water. I excitedly told Fritz I had a big bass on - it felt huge. It fought good but I managed to keep it out of the motor and got it to the side of the boat. When Fritz netted it, I said I might have my first 10 pounder. The fish had a huge head and was very wide. I was quite surprised when it showed only 7 pounds- 8 ounces on my digital scales.
The bass was 24 inches long. She was wide but not real fat like I expect female bass to be in late February. I admired her, took several pictures and let her go. It was a great feeling watching the biggest bass I have caught in several years swim off. I checked my watch and saw it was 4:30 PM.
After fishing the back of the cove we went by that tree again and Fritz cast to the place she had hit. When he set the hook and his line broke, I was sure he had just hit a limb! I was about to razz him about it when a good 3 pound bass came up right beside the boat, shaking its head, trying to throw his jig!
That was it for the day. The cold air drove us off the lake within an hour and we had no more bites. We discussed the possibility that the bass were bedding - it was a perfect bedding spot, but the water was only 56 degrees. It had probably been in the low 60's the day before, and there was a full moon. I still wonder if the bass was on the bed - her belly was not tight and it should be if she has not already spawned this year.
Those big bass in shallow water shot down my theories about cold fronts. From now on I will fish harder when the high pressure makes me think they will not hit!