August 21 marks 2 months since summer began. We are 2/3 of the way through summer 2013, yet the weather lately would have you thinking it was fall. Water temps are in the mid-70’s and should be much warmer. We had a few days of 90+ temps early in July, but none since. The weed beds were cut in Gifford Pinchot Lake, resulting in more than a month of erratic fishing; as the bass were not in their usual locations. Indeed, the best producing area has not been productive this year at all, and the bass patterns are far different than normal in the lake. I guess that’s why this is fishing and not catching.
As summer begins to wind down, school is back in session down here. Morning fishing trips encounter school buses, since I am leaving a bit later to hit the launch at safe light. There are fewer bass boats on the water early in the morning, but the usual joggers on the trails are there, just starting later than usual. I launched right at projected sunrise—06:24, knowing I would only have about an hour and 20 minutes of fishing time.
I paddled down the lake to a point at what is about mid-way along the lake and edged close. I started casting my Weightless Zoom Speed Worm to shore, because the shoreline has been the most productive area, (and the Speed Worm the most productive Lure on any lake) of the summer. Working my way back to the launch, I caught a massive amount of Pinchot Salad Fish, but no bass..not even a bluegill. About halfway back, I cast out, let the lure fall for about 8-10 seconds and make my first twitch. Midway through that twitch, the line takes off at 90 degrees and the rod bows over. After a few head shakes and a tail walk, this beast is was revealed:
I was actually hooked on the opposite side of the jaw, but she had a fat crayfish in her mouth–likely the source of the bit of blood on her jaw, as that was the side of the mouth it was on. The crayfish had bluish hues in it, but she spit it out when I put her in the water on my fish grips to prep my camera. I wanted to get a photo of the crayfish in her mouth, that would have been pretty cool..
No other fish this morning–but there were a lot of shad busting on the surface.. not bad for an hour and 20 minutes of fishing time.