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Squeezin' in some bass fishing between storms!
Michigan Fishing
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Jul 8, 2024 23:20:00   #
fishyaker Loc: NW Michigan (Lower Peninsula)
 
Spent all day watching the weather radar and text forecasts to try and gauge what degree of stormy activity would pass over our region today. I hemmed and hawed about heading out in a kayak several times, and finally lit the fuse at 5 pm in the afternoon!

Stopped at a party store on the way to scoop up a "brown bag" lunch kit, since I would be out fishing during dinner hour. Mmmm, an Italian sub, jalapeno chips, a Nestles crunch bar and a Dr. Pepper to wash it all down with. I'm ready to roll! Ten bucks well spent!

It was kind of late in the day to get started with a fishing excursion, but I figured I had at least a few hours of safe conditions. Upon arrival at the chosen "spot", I almost bailed out and turned back towards home. A soft 5 mph wind that started along the shoreline 25 miles "downlake" had swelled up to a steady 15 mph with 20 mile gusts. The waves were small, and without any whitecaps, so I decided to launch and make an evening troll of it.

I had not fished this particular part of Lake Michigan in 15 years, so I did not have any expectations other than trying a favorite old haunt tonight.

Only ended up with one solid hook up and a few "short strikes". Although it was just a "one fish" adventure, the customer on the end of my line was going to give me a feisty run for the money! When the smallmouth bass struck, it felt like I had snagged the bumper on a Northbound Mack truck headed for the Canadian border. At first I was quite worried, because I did not think I might need to have my passport handy to make an international crossing while being towed by a fish!

This "bruiser" was an adrenaline charged superstar, and after what seemed like 10 ish minutes, several leaps and a few halted "stand offs", I was able to coax the mighty bronze backed behemoth to my waiting hand. She was relentless in her pursuit of freedom. Several drag adjustments were required, and most of the time my extra long super ultra light rod was bent into the shape of a horse shoe.

That lone fish made the entire outing worth while, and frankly, even without a fish being caught I would still have enjoyed the evening!

Launching directly from the beach in a soft berm of old zebra mussel shells. Thank goodness for 4WD low!
Launching directly from the beach in a soft berm o...

A nicely fading rainbow appeared about 5 miles to the East. Kind of odd, because I had not noticed any rain...but there must have been enough moisture in the air to cause the formation....
A nicely fading rainbow appeared about 5 miles to ...

Out in the "wind zone" about a mile off shore. Had to strap my hat on for the rest of the trip!
Out in the "wind zone" about a mile off shore. Had...

"Big Bertha", as this bass is now known in my vocabulary! She was pleasantly plump and I suspect "chuck full" of gobies. Nevertheless, she fell prey to an old Rapala crank bait.
"Big Bertha", as this bass is now known in my voca...

For a while I was not sure who was in charge...this bass or me! The surface temp of the water was 66 degrees, and I suspect that 20 feet below, where this bass came from, was probably at least 10 degrees cooler.
For a while I was not sure who was in charge...thi...

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Jul 9, 2024 07:00:44   #
OJdidit Loc: Oak Creek Wisconsin
 
Great bass, better story!

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Jul 9, 2024 07:04:47   #
Flytier Loc: Wilmington Delaware
 
Nice report and great pictures. Well done.

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Jul 9, 2024 07:53:54   #
Tim Carlisle Loc: AL
 
Great stuff!

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Jul 9, 2024 08:26:01   #
Fredfish Loc: Prospect CT.
 
fishyaker wrote:
Spent all day watching the weather radar and text forecasts to try and gauge what degree of stormy activity would pass over our region today. I hemmed and hawed about heading out in a kayak several times, and finally lit the fuse at 5 pm in the afternoon!

Stopped at a party store on the way to scoop up a "brown bag" lunch kit, since I would be out fishing during dinner hour. Mmmm, an Italian sub, jalapeno chips, a Nestles crunch bar and a Dr. Pepper to wash it all down with. I'm ready to roll! Ten bucks well spent!

It was kind of late in the day to get started with a fishing excursion, but I figured I had at least a few hours of safe conditions. Upon arrival at the chosen "spot", I almost bailed out and turned back towards home. A soft 5 mph wind that started along the shoreline 25 miles "downlake" had swelled up to a steady 15 mph with 20 mile gusts. The waves were small, and without any whitecaps, so I decided to launch and make an evening troll of it.

I had not fished this particular part of Lake Michigan in 15 years, so I did not have any expectations other than trying a favorite old haunt tonight.

Only ended up with one solid hook up and a few "short strikes". Although it was just a "one fish" adventure, the customer on the end of my line was going to give me a feisty run for the money! When the smallmouth bass struck, it felt like I had snagged the bumper on a Northbound Mack truck headed for the Canadian border. At first I was quite worried, because I did not think I might need to have my passport handy to make an international crossing while being towed by a fish!

This "bruiser" was an adrenaline charged superstar, and after what seemed like 10 ish minutes, several leaps and a few halted "stand offs", I was able to coax the mighty bronze backed behemoth to my waiting hand. She was relentless in her pursuit of freedom. Several drag adjustments were required, and most of the time my extra long super ultra light rod was bent into the shape of a horse shoe.

That lone fish made the entire outing worth while, and frankly, even without a fish being caught I would still have enjoyed the evening!
Spent all day watching the weather radar and text ... (show quote)


Beautiful Football Yaker, and a great story as well. It looks like the conditions and the fish were a test of your commitment, and you passed them all with flying colors. Thanks for sharing.

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Jul 9, 2024 13:12:33   #
fishyaker Loc: NW Michigan (Lower Peninsula)
 
OJdidit wrote:
Great bass, better story!


Thank you OJdidit! I would rate the "battle" from this particular bass as my best of the season thus far!

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Jul 9, 2024 13:13:47   #
fishyaker Loc: NW Michigan (Lower Peninsula)
 
Flytier wrote:
Nice report and great pictures. Well done.


Thank you Flytier! After catching that bass, it reinforced the idea that I needed to be out fishing...and not sitting at home watching it get dark outside!

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Jul 9, 2024 13:14:13   #
fishyaker Loc: NW Michigan (Lower Peninsula)
 
Tim Carlisle wrote:
Great stuff!


Thank you Tim! Glad you enjoyed the tale!

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Jul 9, 2024 13:15:26   #
fishyaker Loc: NW Michigan (Lower Peninsula)
 
Fredfish wrote:
Beautiful Football Yaker, and a great story as well. It looks like the conditions and the fish were a test of your commitment, and you passed them all with flying colors. Thanks for sharing.


Thank you Fredfish! Had I gone home, I'd never have known what I missed! Conditions were plenty safe in terms of the water conditions. I do prefer less wind though!

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Jul 9, 2024 14:40:27   #
NJ219bands Loc: New Jersey
 
Nice 👍 fishing 🎣 in 90 to 96 degrees water in 5 different spots the past 5 evenings in NJ was not good.

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Jul 9, 2024 15:27:53   #
fishyaker Loc: NW Michigan (Lower Peninsula)
 
NJ219bands wrote:
Nice 👍 fishing 🎣 in 90 to 96 degrees water in 5 different spots the past 5 evenings in NJ was not good.


Whew...that is some hot water for sure! Our local inland lakes do see rising temps, but Lake Michigan seems to get a lot of water turn over thru the season that keeps it fairly cold.

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Jul 9, 2024 16:42:43   #
Jross Loc: VA
 
Seriously nice fish !

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Jul 9, 2024 18:10:10   #
fishyaker Loc: NW Michigan (Lower Peninsula)
 
Jross wrote:
Seriously nice fish !


Thank you Jross! This was among the largest bass I have been able to tangle with this season. Did not have a scale with me this time, but based on having caught many hundreds of these smallmouth bass I would estimate somewhere close to 5 pounds.

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Jul 9, 2024 18:24:10   #
Jross Loc: VA
 
That's a true lunker for a smallmouth

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Jul 9, 2024 18:44:50   #
fishyaker Loc: NW Michigan (Lower Peninsula)
 
Jross wrote:
That's a true lunker for a smallmouth


I'm not sure of what the average lifespan for smallmouth bass is, but I suspect that this one was near the peak of it's career. The fish looked a bit haggered and some fins were distressed a little. It was among the strongest and longest lasting battles I've ever had with a smallie of this caliber. Super stubborn!

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