This is such an exciting time of the year! I’ve got a turkey in the freezer and now I’ve turned my attention to another passion of my life – bass fishing!
Yesterday I took this year’s maiden voyage in my bass boat. As is usually the case, that first fishing trip is kind of a nervous one as you hope both the motor and auxiliary systems all start and run as they are supposed to run. Before sliding the boat off the trailer into the water, I checked and double checked everything. Yep, front trailer strap unhooked, back trailer straps unhooked, plug in, rope tied to the boat and the trailer….let’s get this baby in the water!
I slowly backed the trailer and boat in the water and she slowly floated off and slowly drifted away from the trailer. I eased the trailer back out of the water and parked the Jeep in the parking lot.
When I got back to the dock, the boat was sitting really nice in the water – felt like she was saying “Come on! Let’s get this going!” So I pulled her in to the dock, settled in to the driver’s seat, and then pushed her off the dock. I said a silent prayer and turned the key. The motor turned over a couple of times and then came to life! Whew! Things are looking good!
I idled away from the ramp and out into the lake. Wanted to make sure that she was completely warmed up before going any faster. As I idled outward, I thought about all the fish to come this summer and fall – it’s a great feel to get back to it this year.
After a few minutes of idling I slowly pushed the throttle forward and she responded, pushing her nose up in the air for a few seconds and then gently lowering the bow as we got on plane. I ran her up to the north end of the lake, made a wide turn and headed for the channel to Carrol. As I entered the channel to Carrol I decided I’d pull a rod out of the box and see if there were any fish in the channel. The water temp was 61.5 degrees – much warmer than I expected.
I put on a black and blue laminate 5” senko. On the second cast I was in to a largemouth. She fought pretty well even though she wasn’t more than 14” in length. Felt good for the first Wisconsin fish of the year. As I moved through the channel, I fished a few spots here and there bringing in another couple of fish – all about the same size.
At the end of the channel, I put down my rod, and fired up the motor. I headed north for the north end of Carrol. There’s a nice shallow area at the north end of the north island – it usually always holds fish.
After arriving at the north island, I threw a spinner bait for a few minutes and then picked up another rod and starting throwing a black and blue jig and craw. I thought for sure that I would get some action on that bait but not even a sniff. So, I went back to my senko rod, rigged a senko wacky style and threw it towards a lighter color sandy/rocky area. Right away I missed a bite. Threw it back up there again and was quickly into a nice largemouth. Wasn’t a whopper, but was probably a fat 15 incher. What a ball! I continued to fish the senko and ended up with a couple of more bass in that area.
I realize that it had cooled off and the wind had come up so I decided to head south in Carrol to fish another island. The south end of the island has a flat which drops off to 14 to 15 feet. Thought it might be productive this time of year. I dropped marker buoys along the edge of the flat and then started fishing with a black 7” worm. I fished all along the edge of the drop off but couldn’t seem to tempt a fish into biting. So I moved up on the flat and almost immediately caught another 15” bass. It’s such a great feeling to have a fish on the end of your line. I quickly released the bass and decided that given the cool weather, I’d run over to Madeline to fish the north end of the lake and then would head home.
I picked up my marker buoys and ran over to Madeline. I idled into a cove at the north end of the lake and begin throwing that senko. Lost a nice fish – got to see it come out of the water and throw the bait – almost as exciting as catching the fish! As I moved east along the north shore I caught a couple of more fish – neither were much to write home about, but still a pull on the end of my string.
I decided that it was time to pull out for the day. I marked it as a very successful day. The boat and all accessories (bilge, live well pumps, and electronics) ran great and I brought 8 largemouth to the boat……well, everything worked well except my water pressure gauge. Even though my water pump/injector was running fine – had a great stream of water shooting out of the Mercury……my water pressure gauge was pegged to the right and stayed there even if I turned the motor off. As I drove across the lake I could reach under the dash, wiggle the gauge and could make the needle move. So I’ve either got a loose gauge or a bad gauge. I’ll fix that next time I come up north.
Today I met Plowman’s Marine at the dock to take delivery of the pontoon boat. The Parti Kraft is in the water and safely moored to the dock. I’m looking forward to several days of panfishing. I’ve decided to mount a depth finder on the pontoon boat this spring. Think it will make us a lot more productive when we decide to fish for crappie and bluegills – hmmm, can’t wait to see a few of those frying in some hot oil. That will probably happen this next weekend!
Good luck fishing this year – I’ll keep my blog up to date as the summer continues – hope you follow along with me!