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Smallmouth bass galore....
Michigan Fishing
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May 17, 2024 14:59:48   #
fishyaker Loc: NW Michigan (Lower Peninsula)
 
Except that they were not very hungry this morning! Pardon me for that spoiler news!

Managed to arise today before the sun was up, and with one foot out the door doing a final weather check I was headed for a favorite bay in Lake Michigan about a half hour from home. The forecast was for thick fog, and that is what I fished in for 3 hours!

Thankfully I could always see shore, as well as easily spot fish. The area is a combination of smooth sand and a cobblestone rocky bottom with occasional submerged boulders scattered about.

Started out trolling and could not entice any takers. Began to putz along in stealth mode making casts and managed the first smallmouth bass via casting. Whew...OK...a sign of life! Water temps here were below 50 degrees, and the fish were extremely sluggish.

The fish were out in great number, and as I observed 2 large schools of bass (several dozen per school), quite a few pairs and lots of solo smallies roaming around I was surprised that only a few would even bother to look at a lure today. I think the water temp played a role in this, maybe pre-spawn reluctance or perhaps the "surgeon general" that takes care of the bass has been advising them not to eat rubber, plastic, metal or paint because it could be harmful to their health! Overall, and I lost an accurate count, I managed to "see" at least 90 to 100 bass this morning cruising along, mostly unaware of me, in between 5' and 15' of water.

Whatever the case, I kept casting, and ultimately started trolling again out in deeper water. There were some faint hearted strikes, but overall I only managed to catch 2 bass today. No worries, it was just awesome to be out on the water!

The fog persisted all morning, but I drove home in sunshine after getting back to the launch.
The fog persisted all morning, but I drove home in...

Wish I had a taco shaped warming blanket made of flannel to give to this bass as I released her. Brrr...that water is cold!
Wish I had a taco shaped warming blanket made of f...

This is the same smallmouth bass as above...just posing with some "glimmer"!
This is the same smallmouth bass as above...just p...

After a few lure changes, these were the only ones that a fish even looked at...with the shallow diving Rapala being the choice of the 2 fish that bit.
After a few lure changes, these were the only ones...

Reply
May 17, 2024 16:37:43   #
DVTracker Loc: Harrisburg, PA.
 
fishyaker wrote:
Except that they were not very hungry this morning! Pardon me for that spoiler news!

Managed to arise today before the sun was up, and with one foot out the door doing a final weather check I was headed for a favorite bay in Lake Michigan about a half hour from home. The forecast was for thick fog, and that is what I fished in for 3 hours!

Thankfully I could always see shore, as well as easily spot fish. The area is a combination of smooth sand and a cobblestone rocky bottom with occasional submerged boulders scattered about.

Started out trolling and could not entice any takers. Began to putz along in stealth mode making casts and managed the first smallmouth bass via casting. Whew...OK...a sign of life! Water temps here were below 50 degrees, and the fish were extremely sluggish.

The fish were out in great number, and as I observed 2 large schools of bass (several dozen per school), quite a few pairs and lots of solo smallies roaming around I was surprised that only a few would even bother to look at a lure today. I think the water temp played a role in this, maybe pre-spawn reluctance or perhaps the "surgeon general" that takes care of the bass has been advising them not to eat rubber, plastic, metal or paint because it could be harmful to their health! Overall, and I lost an accurate count, I managed to "see" at least 90 to 100 bass this morning cruising along, mostly unaware of me, in between 5' and 15' of water.

Whatever the case, I kept casting, and ultimately started trolling again out in deeper water. There were some faint hearted strikes, but overall I only managed to catch 2 bass today. No worries, it was just awesome to be out on the water!
Except that they were not very hungry this morning... (show quote)


Nice smallies Yaker, good catching! You have a nice kayak and setup, looks efficient too, I also like your lure selection, all look like they would catch fish.

Reply
May 17, 2024 16:55:03   #
Wv mike Loc: Parkersburg area. Wv
 
Nice looking fish. The water looks really clean

Reply
 
 
May 17, 2024 19:37:07   #
fishyaker Loc: NW Michigan (Lower Peninsula)
 
DVTracker wrote:
Nice smallies Yaker, good catching! You have a nice kayak and setup, looks efficient too, I also like your lure selection, all look like they would catch fish.


Thank you DVTracker! All those bass kept me tempted for quite a while. I suspect that when the water temperature rises another 5 degrees or so these fish will be in a feeding frenzy!

The new kayak has been a very worthwhile addition to what I used to paddle in. The stability is amazing, and it is just like being out in a miniature boat...

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May 17, 2024 19:40:22   #
fishyaker Loc: NW Michigan (Lower Peninsula)
 
Wv mike wrote:
Nice looking fish. The water looks really clean


Thank you Wv Mike! It sure helps to have a depth reading from the fish finder in this water. You look down and think it's 5'...when it is really 20'. Very clear.

Reply
May 17, 2024 19:50:51   #
Fredfish Loc: Prospect CT.
 
fishyaker wrote:
Except that they were not very hungry this morning! Pardon me for that spoiler news!

Managed to arise today before the sun was up, and with one foot out the door doing a final weather check I was headed for a favorite bay in Lake Michigan about a half hour from home. The forecast was for thick fog, and that is what I fished in for 3 hours!

Thankfully I could always see shore, as well as easily spot fish. The area is a combination of smooth sand and a cobblestone rocky bottom with occasional submerged boulders scattered about.

Started out trolling and could not entice any takers. Began to putz along in stealth mode making casts and managed the first smallmouth bass via casting. Whew...OK...a sign of life! Water temps here were below 50 degrees, and the fish were extremely sluggish.

The fish were out in great number, and as I observed 2 large schools of bass (several dozen per school), quite a few pairs and lots of solo smallies roaming around I was surprised that only a few would even bother to look at a lure today. I think the water temp played a role in this, maybe pre-spawn reluctance or perhaps the "surgeon general" that takes care of the bass has been advising them not to eat rubber, plastic, metal or paint because it could be harmful to their health! Overall, and I lost an accurate count, I managed to "see" at least 90 to 100 bass this morning cruising along, mostly unaware of me, in between 5' and 15' of water.

Whatever the case, I kept casting, and ultimately started trolling again out in deeper water. There were some faint hearted strikes, but overall I only managed to catch 2 bass today. No worries, it was just awesome to be out on the water!
Except that they were not very hungry this morning... (show quote)


Nice Smalljaw Yaker. The Rapala strikes again. That water is beautiful, thank the Zebra Mussels.
Thanks for the pictures buddy. 👍🏻

Reply
May 17, 2024 20:18:13   #
fishyaker Loc: NW Michigan (Lower Peninsula)
 
Fredfish wrote:
Nice Smalljaw Yaker. The Rapala strikes again. That water is beautiful, thank the Zebra Mussels.
Thanks for the pictures buddy. 👍🏻


Thank you Fredfish! Thank goodness for that minnow pattern today...it was the only thing they would strike with enough effort to get hooked! I probably had 7 or 8 other "takes"...but they were very timid about getting connected to my line...which is why I started to change lures quite a bit.

Yes...the mussels have turned the Great Lakes into what looks like a managed aquarium!

Reply
 
 
May 18, 2024 01:48:30   #
NJ219bands Loc: New Jersey
 
Nice 👍

Reply
May 18, 2024 04:39:27   #
E.pa.al Loc: Martin's Creek
 
Beautiful smallmouth Yaker & that water looks amazing! Nice setup on the yak👍👍

Reply
May 18, 2024 05:12:51   #
bknecht Loc: Northeast pa
 
fishyaker wrote:
Except that they were not very hungry this morning! Pardon me for that spoiler news!

Managed to arise today before the sun was up, and with one foot out the door doing a final weather check I was headed for a favorite bay in Lake Michigan about a half hour from home. The forecast was for thick fog, and that is what I fished in for 3 hours!

Thankfully I could always see shore, as well as easily spot fish. The area is a combination of smooth sand and a cobblestone rocky bottom with occasional submerged boulders scattered about.

Started out trolling and could not entice any takers. Began to putz along in stealth mode making casts and managed the first smallmouth bass via casting. Whew...OK...a sign of life! Water temps here were below 50 degrees, and the fish were extremely sluggish.

The fish were out in great number, and as I observed 2 large schools of bass (several dozen per school), quite a few pairs and lots of solo smallies roaming around I was surprised that only a few would even bother to look at a lure today. I think the water temp played a role in this, maybe pre-spawn reluctance or perhaps the "surgeon general" that takes care of the bass has been advising them not to eat rubber, plastic, metal or paint because it could be harmful to their health! Overall, and I lost an accurate count, I managed to "see" at least 90 to 100 bass this morning cruising along, mostly unaware of me, in between 5' and 15' of water.

Whatever the case, I kept casting, and ultimately started trolling again out in deeper water. There were some faint hearted strikes, but overall I only managed to catch 2 bass today. No worries, it was just awesome to be out on the water!
Except that they were not very hungry this morning... (show quote)

Nice photos yaker, love your setup.

Reply
May 18, 2024 05:47:53   #
1Oldboat42 Loc: Kearney, Nebraska
 
That is an impressive rig you have fishyaker. But the thing I would need is an electric trolling motor. Cold water fishing is a challenge, so we are thankful our water temp has hit the magical 65° and the fish are responding. Enjoyed your pictures!!

Reply
 
 
May 18, 2024 07:12:03   #
fishyaker Loc: NW Michigan (Lower Peninsula)
 
NJ219bands wrote:
Nice 👍


Thank you NJ219! It was a fun morning of pursuit on the smallmouth bass.

Every now and then I saw some carp hanging out in the top 2 feet of water. I was able to toss the rubber crayfish in front of them without spooking them but they were not interested. It was really for bass, so kind of big for the carp. I think they enjoy small presentations better. The bass took a look at it but would not commit to any bites.

Reply
May 18, 2024 07:18:10   #
fishyaker Loc: NW Michigan (Lower Peninsula)
 
E.pa.al wrote:
Beautiful smallmouth Yaker & that water looks amazing! Nice setup on the yak👍👍


Thank you E.pa.al! I had as much fun seeing all the fish as I did catching a few. I would put the Minnkota in spot lock and the bass schools would be swarming around just minding their own business. That in itself was enjoyable.

Reply
May 18, 2024 07:37:16   #
fishyaker Loc: NW Michigan (Lower Peninsula)
 
bknecht wrote:
Nice photos yaker, love your setup.


Thank you BKnecht! I appreciate the compliments. The sky was a bit gloomy for bright photos, but at least the water was super calm to make up for it!

I'm really enjoying the new kayak. I had fun over the Winter tweaking a few things for ease of use. Although I have not used it yet, I bought an LED light kit for running before and after dark. They are made by a company called "Guardian Angel". They make a low profile kayak really stand out.

The attached photo shows a little hitch adapter that I made just for shore launching from a beach in shallow water where the trailer is placed into a fixed tilt to facilitate both launch and retrieval using a small winch. Overall I am treating this like a little boat, and also trying to eliminate the need to do any heavy lifting or budging around.

Starting yesterday, I also decided to start hauling this kayak "backwards" on the trailer. That way the front mounted transducer is never at risk of getting bumped during the load/unload process. It's all a learning curve even though I have trailered larger boats for decades!

Small curved hitch device used on a double receiver for shallow water beach launches. Not needed when using a traditional boat launch/dock.
Small curved hitch device used on a double receive...

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May 18, 2024 07:54:13   #
fishyaker Loc: NW Michigan (Lower Peninsula)
 
1Oldboat42 wrote:
That is an impressive rig you have fishyaker. But the thing I would need is an electric trolling motor. Cold water fishing is a challenge, so we are thankful our water temp has hit the magical 65° and the fish are responding. Enjoyed your pictures!!


Thank you 1Oldboat42! After paddling for many many years via kayak, this new style of fishing kayak is a real upgrade for me. Actually, this model does have a built in electric motor (Minnkota), so that is the primary means of propulsion. You can paddle it...but it is a real barge to get moving. I use a paddle just to get away or return to shore far enough to deploy/lift the motor (only needs about a foot of draft).

I still enjoy traditional paddling, so this won't replace my old passion for kayaking...but I have to admit that it makes things effortless! Over the years I used to do deep water trolling for lake trout and salmon from a paddle kayak, and by the time I deployed a 12 pound cannonball to drag lures a hundred feet down I was starting to get pretty tuckered out...lot's of drag! It was like trying to paddle forward while somebody was pulling you backwards with a rope! So...for deep water trolling this power driven kayak is a good alternative. I started kayaking in my teens, and now at 65 I just don't have the strength anymore to pull heavy gear.

Old Town Auto Pilot 136, electric Big Jon downrigger with 200lb. braided line for a cable (slices thru the water better than stainless steel).
Old Town Auto Pilot 136, electric Big Jon downrigg...

Very easy way to get down to the lakers and salmon!
Very easy way to get down to the lakers and salmon...

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