I fished at Saratoga Lake on the evening of the 9th and the 11th. I have never fished more than a few casts in Saratoga Lake before these outings.
On the first day, it seemed as though the fish were really biting at certain spots, and not so much at others. I was excited to catch a few rock bass because I have not seen one of those in many years. They have intense red eyes. I caught one as a little kid and I cried hysterically until somebody unhooked it for me. At the time it looked like like a devil fish come up from the fiery pits of hell. I have to admit that a very small feeling of lingering fear of these fish remains to this day.
I caught a few small and medium-sized largemouth bass.
Towards sunset, I found an area where lots of smallmouth bass were biting every other cast. Some were tiny, and some were probably around 12 inches or so. I rarely encounter smallmouth bass. I have always heard that they are mean fighters. “Pound for pound, smallmouth bass are some of the strongest fighters of any fish”. These fish were insane, including the small ones. The fish would leap into the air repeatedly on their way towards the boat. I worried that they were going to leap into the boat. I was using a Rapala Shad Rap which has two sets of treble hooks, which proved to be way too much for these fish. While one hook was properly in the fish’s lip, they thrashed about so much that one or two of them were injured pretty badly by the extra treble hooks that were not on their lip. One managed to put a two-inch gash in it’s belly. It caught me off guard because I catch all kinds of fish on this lure, and I’ve never seen anything like this happen before but now I realize that if I am catching smallmouth bass, then I need to do something different. I could use a different lure, or perhaps remove one of the treble hooks. The fish were still thrashing around as I tried to remove the hooks making the whole process dangerous for me and the fish alike.
The second day was very windy, and the waves were rough. Occasionally a well-timed wave would wash over the top of the kayak, adding a few pounds of water to the boat each time. I thought about turning back and finding a calmer spot for fear that I was going to swamp the boat and lose my equipment, but I stuck it out. Luckily I stayed afloat.
This time around I removed one of the treble hooks from my favorite lure in order to avoid the problems that I had on the first day. The fish weren’t really biting besides a few tiny little guys. Then again, I wasn’t as focused on fishing as much as usual due to the rough water.
The barometric pressure for the two days would suggest that the first day should have been pretty good (relatively stable, low pressure), and the second day should have been bad (rising pressure). This seemed to be the case.