As I mentioned in a prior post, I grew up trout fishing with my dad and brothers. Sometimes my mom and sisters would come along too.
We'd go to the cold and clear lakes and rivers that abound in Oregon many times every spring, and usually catch lots of trout.
When July and August come around, about the only reliable trout fishing to be had around here is up in the Cascade Mountains which is a bit more of a drive.
These days I feel lucky if I get up there once or twice per summer.
Warmwater fishing was something my brothers and I sometimes did a bit more casually, though the prospects of any type of fishing filled us with youthful excitement.
We made fishing a part of many of our summer adventures. It was a half mile walk out of town to the local muddy creek or halfway across town to the closest pond.
We made those walks many times with a fishing pole or at least a fishing line and a hook or two in hand. A stick would make a useable fishing pole in a crunch.
Our bait of choice was often nightcrawlers we'd caught out on our lawn the night before. These worms would entice carp, bass, bluegill and other hungry fish species.
These days, when the doldrums of summer begin to set in I sometimes get an itch to try my hand at bass fishing once again.
As I am sure you can guess by now, I am not the world's most decorated bass fisherman at this juncture in my life.
But over the last few years my confidence in my ability to catch bass has increased with some successes here and there.
I don't have to venture far at all to get into some decent warmwater fisheries. Here's a throwback to one I caught a few years back.
That dark-sided smallie was caught on a nightcrawler with a small baitholder hook and a cone-shaped sliding sinker. It was my biggest smallmouth to date. I was quite content.
I have also discovered recently that some of my trout waters hold some decent bass.
I knew there were lots of small bass in this particular lake but I didn't know how big they could get!
I caught this nice smallmouth bass last Saturday at the lake I usually fish for trout during the cooler months of spring.
I realized it helps if you use the right baits. Bass baits continue to mystify me to large degree but I feel like I am beginning to learn.
Before I headed out to the lake I knew I needed to educate myself a little so I watched a video on YouTube about different worm or "stick bait" rigs.
I decided to go with the rig a friend of mine had mentioned a couple weeks prior - a Texas Rig. In the video it seemed pretty simple and user friendly. This rig is virtually weed-proof with the tip of the hook inside the plastic worm.
I am also a fan of more natural-looking bait presentations; a tendency that probably stems from many years of flyfishing. I know I need to grow out of this in order to be a real bass fisherman. Some of those bass baits look almost like little alien bugs or something.
I settled on some 4-inch Green Pumpkin colored plastic worms, size 2 offset shank worm hooks (Gamakatsu brand is some sharp stuff!) and 1/16 ounce sliding sinkers.
Offset Shank Worm Hooks
And 1/16 ounce cone-shaped sliding sinkers.
All in all, a fairly dainty and natural presentation as far as bass rigs go. Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the actual rig I used.
A serious bass fisherman may be cringing at my selection of bass bait right now, haha. But I was pretty pleased with the results.
This morning I was seriously considering going back to the same place. But for various reasons I decided to do some fishing closer to home.
There is a big river that runs through town and it does hold a variety of fish including some nice smallmouth and largemouth bass.
I have been scouting several places along the river over the last couple of years for some good bass water.
I started my morning off in a place I have had some success with smallmouth bass before. The little fishing hole did not disappoint.
There is another place on the river I have been wanting to check out for quite some time that is just a few miles from the house.
After things slowed down at the first spot I decided to go check it out.
I'm glad I did!
I started off catching a Northern Pikeminnow.
Then I moved downstream and caught a couple of smaller bass. You get a picture of the rig there.
Then I set the hook into a good fish. I was amazed and delighted by how hard these fish fight.
This fish ended up being my personal best smallmouth bass.
He was quite a chunk. I don't have a scale but it looks like about 2 lbs to me.
Here's another look at the bruiser.
After releasing this one I had another big bass break off on a rock ledge just a couple of feet off the bank.
It was the last hook of the pack. But that's okay. I went and picked up some more.
I am looking forward to my next opportunity to see what the river will yield.
Trout season is a long time from now and I think I am okay with that.