Fishing for Bass from Season to Season
Fishing for Bass from Season to Season
Also, from season to season, in the same lake, you are likely to find the old feeding grounds deserted and catch pretty nearly all your bass in new places, these new places being productive all through the season, while other spots, to all appearances quite as good, will yield nothing. All through the season, every day, you will take a bass or two off a certain patch of weeds or rushes, another at the point of an old tree fallen in the water, and in a number of other places which become well known to you. Eventually you "go the rounds" visiting these spots in rotation and seldom fishing the rest of the lake. But, in all probability, the next season you will have to start out prospecting again, to learn anew where the bass are living.
In view of these things it should be manifest that the angler when visiting new waters in search of bass is playing against heavy odds, particularly if his time is limited and the lake is a large one. Some time ago the writer and a friend—to say nothing of two excessively heavy pack baskets, two phenomenally weighty rifles, and two ridiculously ponderous oars—packed through the woods to a lake "swarming with large, gamey black bass." Arriving at the lake a little after noon we found the boat we had expected to use swamped in six feet of water and impossible to raise—the moral is obvious. So we prospected for a craft and found one, a fine little boat that leaked not a drop and floated like a duck and, wonder of wonders, was not locked. Later we learned that this was the only other boat on the lake. This craft we promptly requisitioned—and the morality of this is not so obvious.
While eating our lunch we visually prospected the lake, looking for the best fishing water; apparently it was all about equally good and very good. All around the lake shore were fine patches of weeds, lily pads, and rushes; here and there large boulders showed above the surface, indicating fine rocky bars; and many large pine trees had tipped over into the water affording ideal bass shelters. We knew that our time was limited and that much depended upon how and where we decided to fish. However, it all looked so favorable that we decided that if we fished around the south shore we would have all the bass we could carry on the long tramp home.
So, until dewy eve, we fished around the south shore —without even a strike. A few days thereafter we learned that on the next day two anglers fished the north shore, using bait-casting tackle quite similar to our own, and had the finest kind of luck. This shows the seamy side of bass prospecting.
If it is impracticable to summon the aid of a local angler or guide and time is no object, as when, for instance, you are going into camp on the lake, it is a very good plan to do your first fishing by prospecting with a trolling line. Trolling from the rod is always an effective method for taking bass and in this way, working slowly around the shores on the lookout for bars and other bass habitats, you soon learn the lay of the water. The places where you have a strike or catch a bass should be carefully noted by reference to some landmark on the lake shore. Then when you get out the casting tackle and are ready for the real business of the trip, you will know pretty nearly where to fish.
The most propitious places for bass vary considerably with the time of year and even with the time of day. Thus the wise prospector early in the season will look for the fish well in-shore among the weeds and rushes and on the edges of rocky or sandy bars; in streams on the riffles and generally in the more shallow water. Fishing off bars, or on them, is almost always successful and the angler should take pains to spot every bar in the stream or lake.
As the season progresses and the bass seeking cooler waters move out into the deeper portions of the lake the angler must follow them. Casting over the bars and shallows at this time is only successful very early and late in the day when the bass are feeding in-shore. The dissimilarity of taste in the matter of natural and artificial baits shown by bass in even closely adjacent lakes, alluded to above, should be borne in mind by the angler fishing new waters.
Camp, Samuel Granger. The Fine Art of Fishing. New York: Outing Pub., 1911. Print.
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