I finally got my first taste of bass fishing last Friday, July 22. I usually start earlier in the summer, but my schedule has been busy, plus the cold, wet weather made me think it would be better to wait until we had a stretch of hot, stable weather.
I’d love to be able to say that the bass were biting aggressively and that I plopped lots of them into my livewell, but that wasn’t the case. I had to work very hard, and many of the fish I caught were small. I did manage to catch two 18-inchers, one of which was nice and fat.
But, I had higher expectations than this for the lake I was fishing that day — Cedar Lake on the Calhoun chain in Minneapolis. I have caught fish all the way up to 21 inches on this lake, and hoped to get something in at least the 19- or 20-inch range.
What I saw on my way over to the lake made me wonder if the fishing was going to be tough. There was a noticeable lack of weed growth on all three lakes — Calhoun, Lake of the Isles and Cedar. Usually, by this time in the summer, there is a thick carpet of eurasian watermilfoil on all three of the lakes. But, for some reason, that’s not the case this year.
I have always found on these lakes that the more weeds there are, the better the fishing. So, once I saw the sparse weed growth, I figured I would be in for a tough day.
Turns out, I was right. I worked my way around the lake and tried to fish the edges of any weeds I found with Texas-rigged plastic worms and baits. I had some success, catching a fish here and there. But, I did not encounter any schools of fish. I wasn’t surprised. When the weed growth is scattered, so are the fish.
The hot bait of the day was a Berkley Crazy Legs Chigger Craw. I caught most of my fish on this bait after starting out with a Berkley plastic worm. Unfortunately, I only had four of the Chigger Craws with me and the fish tore them all up.
I’ll be sure to buy another package before my next outing. I hope to fish Lake Calhoun in August. Even though the weed growth is thin on this lake, I usually can catch some fish. Generally, when the sweet corn is showing up at stands across the state, the bass are going on Calhoun.
Bring on the corn, and bring on the bass!