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home : features : features May 24, 2016

4/23/2014 6:00:00 AM
Bass biting at Lake Mead

Don Martin
The Great Outdoors

It was supposed to be a trip to fish for striped bass on Lake Mead, but it turned out instead to be a good time fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass.

It started off when I got a call from a friend of mine, Cory Erpelding, who lives in the Phoenix area. He wanted to bring his brother Brian and friend Chris Calabrese up to sample some of the striper fishing on Lake Mead.

I tried to persuade Cory to postpone the trip due to a couple of factors.

First, a storm front was supposed to be passing through on Friday-Saturday and that usually means a lot of wind.

Next, I hadn't made one trip to the lake this spring, and if history told me anything, it was that the striper bite at night usually doesn't start until mid- to late May.

But Cory insisted they wanted to come up, so I readied the boat.

As it turned out, the storm had blown through early and the weather on Saturday was just gorgeous!

I called Cory and told him to get up to Meadview as soon as he could, that we would go out and try for bass before we headed out that night for stripers.

That was a good decision.

We got on the water about 4:30 p.m., and on my third cast I hooked a good size largemouth on a Canyon Plastics OOB tube bait.

The bass went ballistic and jumped a foot out of the water. Then it went down and found a submerged bush and got tangled up.

Thinking I had had the first bass of the day, I motored over to get it out the brush.

I heard some laughing and turned to see Cory with a feisty largemouth already in the boat.

"First cast," he said as he re-rigged a 4.5 inch Robo worm on his fishing pole.

And with that it was on!

For the next three-and-a-half hours everyone in the boat caught fish, and lots of them.

As the sun started to set the fishing just got better and better! Using a variety of top water lures and Canyon Plastic baits, we had three fish in the boat at the same time!

We ended up catching 23 largemouth, four smallmouth, and two hungry stripers. We lost at least six other bass.

The "big fish" lead changed five times during our short tournament.

Though fishing in the front of the boat, I never got a bass that would qualify as our big fish.

Cory had the lead twice, Chris had it twice and Brian had it until almost to the end.

It was the last fish of the day, a chunky female pre-spawn largemouth that weighed 4 pounds that took top honors. Chris got that lunker on a green plastic lizard in about 15 feet of water.

As it turned out, my camera died and we couldn't get a picture of her. But like all of the rest of the bass, she was released to spawn and perhaps be caught again someday.

We drove back to my house in Meadview, ate some dinner, loaded up the bait and prepared to go striper fishing.

The weather was again perfect, but the stripers just weren't biting. We fished for an hour and a half with eight poles in the water and never got a bite!

We decided to go back in, sleep awhile, and then go back out for the early morning bass action.

We were tired but were on the water by 5:30 a.m.

The action started quickly with the boys using top water lures while I stayed with the 00B.

Cory and Chris tore them up with those lures, catching over 20 bass between them. Brian and I didn't do so well, putting just three bass in the boat.

By 8:30 a.m. the bite was over, and since they had a long drive in front of them, we headed back to the ramp with another successful trip in the books.

The boys will be back in a month or so to experience the night time striper fishing that will be coming soon. In the meantime, I guess I'll just concentrate on the awesome largemouth/smallmouth fishing!

Anglers and boaters need to be aware that the lake is way, way down. Launching at South Cove is limited to just two lanes on the south side of the ramp.

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