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markm



Joined: 22 Jul 2014
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:45 pm    Post subject: Bantam lake Reply with quote

My son and I headed up to Bantam this morning. Got there at right after 6:00. A small tournement had just finished launching. The water clarity is pretty poor. There must be an algae bloom that has started in the last 2 weeks. We fished frogs and poppers for the first hour hoping for a topwater bite.Missed a couple but they were dinks anyway Wink Started working the shallows. Got a 2lber on a keitech fat impact but nothing else.Not even a hit. Switched to panic mode and spent the next 2 hours throwing everything in the tackle box. Caught 1 white perch on a deep diving crank and thats all she wrote. I was just here 2 weeks ago and could do no wrong. The smallies were hitting anything that moved and the largies were where they should be. Weather was was perfect and spending a morning fishing with my favorite fishing parter was great but the fishing was off. I talked to one of the tournement guys and they weren't doing any better. I'll get them next week
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PECo



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 5199
Location: Avon, CT

PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:33 pm    Post subject: Bantam Lake 06/25 Reply with quote

Hey, markm!

The small bass fishing club that launched at 6:00 am is Empty Lake Bass Club. I had fished with the club as an occasional substitute non-boater for several years with bass tracker (aka Greg), who has been a member of the club for years. This year, I joined it as a boater after it lost a bunch of members. My non-boater is rmflint (aka Ryan). Dan1 (aka Dan) also joined as a boater, this year. It's still a very small club with only six boats and 12 members. Please feel free to PM me, if you or anyone else might be interested in fishing some tourneys or joining next year. It's a good bunch of easygoing fishermen who aren't uptight and fish for fun. Well, except for THAT guy. . . . Wink

Anyway, we saw what you saw. The water temperature ranged from 74.5 to 77 degrees. It was mostly a murky pale green, but we could see the bottom to about four feet down. There was a lot of pollen on the surface in some spots. We saw only sunnies on beds; no bass. The light west wind in the morning gradually swung around to the north, west and then south, until it was gusting fairly hard at 2:00 pm, when we got off the water. A heavy rain shower passed through the area at about 2:45 pm.

We had a pretty good day as a club. The lunker was a solid four pound, 15 ounces and the winning five-fish bag weighed 16 pounds, two ounces. Ryan and I tied for second with Greg and his son Jim. We each had a bag that weighed 12 pounds, two ounces. The first tiebreaker is number of fish, but we each had a full five-fish bag. The second tiebreaker is biggest fish, and Greg and Jim's three pound lunker was one ounce heavier than Ryan's and my two pound, 15 ounce lunker. However, Jim MURDERED Shocked one of their fish, so they were assessed a four-ounce dead-fish penalty and had to settle for third place. Of the three remaining boats, one had a five-fish bag and two had three-fish bags.

The winning bag was caught just off of the shore in deeper water. It was composed mostly of recently post-spawn male largemouth bass that had raw lower caudal fins (aka tails) from fanning their beds. I think that Greg and Jim actually caught some late-spawners off of beds.

Ryan and I caught our five-fish bag with wacky-rigged five-inch Senkos fished very slowly. We didn't catch any bass topwater, even though we tried a popper, a buzzbait, a frog and a shallow-running swimbait. We didn't catch any bass with a jerkbait, a jig, a spinnerbait or a drop-shot minnow. All of the fish in our bag were largemouth bass. All were caught shallow and all were relating to docks, boulders or heavy weeds. Only one or two looked like it might have been a recently post-spawn male.

We caught nine keeper largemouth bass in total. We culled four that weighed up to one pound, 10 ounces. In addition to the largemouth bass, we caught dozens of rock bass, several dink smallies, one white perch and a last-minute chain pickerel. We didn't see any northern pike, although we saw a lot of yellow perch in the shallows. They kept schooling up with Ryan's jerkbait. Laughing

Here's a post-tourney photo of me and Ryan:



Thanks for the photo, Dan.
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Last edited by PECo on Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:19 am; edited 2 times in total
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markm



Joined: 22 Jul 2014
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey PECO, I clearly need to slow down my presentations. Joining a club sounds like a blast and something I'de like to do in the future. This is my first year as a boat owner and I stuggle finding fish on bigger bodies of water. I fished smaller reseviors and lakes out of a kayak for the past couple years. Never had a problem but man its a whole new ballgame when I get on a big lake. How much do you rely on you electronics to locate the fish as opposed to instict? When I'm having a tough time on the water I instantly go into a bait changing frenzy. Every box I own is upside down on the deck. I need to gain some confidence in the lure I have tied on at the time. When I fished out of the yak I only brought a small travel box with a few select lures. Maybe I should go back to that and leave the rest at home.
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PECo



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 5199
Location: Avon, CT

PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My motto is "Keep It Simple Stupid".

Although I've owned powered fishing boats for a while, I'm really a kayak fisherman who's used to fishing in the shallows without electronics. I'm definitely a shore-banger. Even now, I still use the two 10 inch Humminbird Helix finders on my bass boat mostly for GPS speed, water temperature, depth, bottom composition and GPS mapping. I use the sonar, but I rarely use down imaging or side imaging. The only fish that I use them to find are schools of striped bass in the lower Housatonic River.

At Bantam, the winning bag was caught using electronics to find spots in deeper water that held post-spawn bass. I still have to learn how to do that. Yeap, I still fish like a kayaker. Laughing However, I've been learning a lot by fishing with the club.

Most of the small ponds seem to be post-spawn for largemouth bass, but the bigger lakes seem to be at the tail end of the spawn and post-spawn. I think that largemouth bass tend to feed less aggressively at this time. During the last two tourneys that Ryan and I fished, we started with me tossing a slowly fished wacky Senko off the front of the boat and Ryan trying faster presentations off the back. The slowly fished wacky Senko produced better for us, but I think that'll change over the next month.

If you'd like to participate in one of Empty Lake Bass Club's tourneys, I'm sure that we could arrange it. The members pay club dues at the beginning of the season that are paid out to first and second place during each of 12 tournaments during the year, but we can also choose to throw in $10 per boat for a Lunker Pool at the beginning of each tourney. Everyone always does, but this way, if you can't make it to a tourney, you're not on the hook for it. As a guest, you could definitely participate in the Lunker Pool.
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