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Largemouth fishing at Mudge

Carl Lovisolo and I took the new Ranger up to Mudge on Friday. It started out chilly (56!), rainy and with a stiff northerly breeze, and after an hour or so, morphed into a cool (mid 60s), calm, and intermittently drizzly day.

Seemed like perfect conditions for shallow, aggressive bass. I caught my first few fish throwing an unweighted, 5.75″, golden shiner Fin-S Fish, but the bite certainly didn’t seem to indicate that they were roaming, active and chewing like the conditions suggested they should be.

We moved out to the outside weed edge and started exploring. Mostly, it was a fish here and a couple there, fishing from 10 to 20 feet deep with small plastics –a Swimming Ribster on a light jig head caught a few, but the motor oil pepper Ribster on the drop shot was far and away the most consistently productive thing we threw. As we moved along the outside edge of the vegetation, every time we came within range of a good bunch of pads, we’d move in and try frogging and unweighted soft baits over the top. Never raised a fish on the frog, but the soft jerk baits caught us 8 or 9 fish through the course of the day, mostly from areas where the pads were scattered and thin.

Along about noon, we found a stretch of outside weed edge and extended shelf that produced more than a few fish on the initial pass, so we worked back and forth on that stretch for most of the afternoon. It might have been my imagination, but it sure seemed like there was a definite preference for small, motor oil color baits. I had thrown a green pumpkin Monkey Grub a bit, but caught only pickerel on it. When one of those toothy guys bit it off, I replaced it with the same grub, but in motor oil pepper, and immediately started catching bass on it. So I alternated between the grub and the DS Ribster for the rest of the day, and caught fish on both. Carl had been way behind, but once he switched his drop shot over to the hot bait, he was catching them good too. By day’s end, I think we still had one usable motor oil pepper Ribster between us in the boat. Or maybe not.

We ended the day with 54 bass between us. About 3 dozen of them bit a piece of motor oil pepper plastic, either the Ribster or Monkey Grub.

On another note, I’ve fished this lake for fifty years, give or take a year. And yesterday, I actually discovered a new spot. I’m not sure I would call it a hump, as much as a slight rise near the end of an extended flat. But at least yesterday, it was holding some fish, so I punched up a waypoint on the Dragonfly up front, and shared it with the Axiom on the console. It’ll go into the regular rotation of spots to check every time I’m out there, at least until it proves or disproves its value. You would think that after 50 years on a waterbody this small, there would be nothing left to learn. Never stop paying attention!

It drizzled on us on and off all day. If we’d caught anything really picture-worthy, I would have pulled the phone out of the dry box for a picture, but it wasn’t worth it for just another 1¾ to 2½ fish. I finally got it out and took a pic of my last fish, caught on the unweighted Fin-S Fish from a clearing in the pads as we approached the ramp to put the boat back on the trailer and head home. It had been a good day, so I needed something for the log.

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