Having just returned from spending three days on the lake with my dad, October 20-22, I thought I'd share the experience and insight from our trip. We launched from bullfrog early Thursday morning. After setting camp in Stanton Canyon we decided to stay close for the day. The first day on the water seemed quite slow we caught a smallmouth here picked a smallmouth up there but it just didn't seem to be that productive. However, at the end of the day we started to count up the number fish that we had caught it ended up that we had picked up about 40 fish throughout the day.
On Friday morning we ventured out of Stanton and headed up to the lake to Moki. In Moki we picked up several fish using the normal techniques that you would think of when fishing for smallmouth and largemouth bass. As we were slowly progressing down one of the rockslides we noticed crazy amount of disturbance on our graph, as you can see in the picture. After fishing the rest of the way through the rockslide constantly seeing all this disturbance on our graph I decided to throw on a diver we trolled it. Within just a few seconds I had a hit and unfortunately the fish got off. Put my lower back in the water control that for another 30 seconds or so and have another hit and missed. This cycle continued a few more times and then I hooked onto a fish. At this point in time I was totally expecting to pull in a striper or possibly a walleye. But that's not when I found attached to my lure. What did they find on the end of my pole? Nothing other than about a pound and a half smallmouth bass.
At first I thought it was a fluke, so I tried again. What happened? Caught another small mouth. While we were trolling we noticed that there were groups of fish sitting on the bottom in 20 to 25 feet of water, but on our graph, appeared to be balls of stripers. This led us to dropping the same plastic grubs that we had been fishing the rockslide earlier down and jigging just like you would for stripers in the winter. Did we hook into a fish? Yeah we did. But once again not what we expected. Just like before, we didn't find a striper at the end of the line. It was a smallmouth bass.
As we've reflected on what we saw on our sonar and made some connections with the fish that we caught during this trip, I wonder how many times I've passed off balls of smallmouth bass as carp. My suggestion if you're headed in to the northern part of the lake would echo words that I think Wayne wrote about a week and a half ago, "Be flexible. If you find something that works stick with it."
When I headed out on the water if you told me I would've been trolling and jigging for smallmouth bass I would've said you were crazy. Having experienced that now, it's opened my mind to a whole new set of possibilities on the water.