Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Lake Washington - Rev Rig Day! (Read 7766 times)
The_Rev.
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Lake Washington - Rev Rig Day!
12/13/04 at 03:42:38
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I went out Saturday (remember Saturday?  That was the only nice day we've seen in a long time!) and had a great day.  Even though the wind was blowing from the north, (apparently it was not a pressure front), I made my very first pass of the day across a structure free flat and connected with a 6# 8 ounce smallie! 

It's been several years since I've had a toad like that on!  It was beauty but when I turned to grab the digital camera - it wasn't there! (I'd taken it out the night before to recharge the batteries!)  I've been blessed to have caught several 6+ smallies in Lake Washington over the years and still don't a single picture of one!  Dumb! Lesson: Winter time fishing is when the big ones get caught - don't leave home without your camera!

I ended up with 11 bass, and it would have been a dozen but I lost one on the way back to the boat.  All of them came on the stereo-typical rev-rig: Rapala jointed minnow, silver with black back.  I used a long four foot leader - both to the 3 oz weight, and to the crankbait.  Eight of the fish came in 55-57 feet, two went deeper - near 60, and one came in 50 feet.

The only other bass boat I saw had two guys in it from Capital City Bass Club - we met back at the dock and they said they had one bass for all their drop shot efforts in 40 feet, (They decided afterwards that they need to rethink their definition of "deeper water".  While it may not be a BASS tournament approved technique, the three-way rig sure can be effective!  At least it was on Staurday.
  
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Rich
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Re: Lake Washington - Rev Rig Day!
Reply #1 - 12/13/04 at 17:21:51
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Very nice Rev.  That was some hawg.  Too bad about the picture though.  Some of us would have been able to believe you a little more iffin' you had a picture.  (joke)

One of the things I carry in the boat is one of those "disposable" cameras.  I usually take my digital but sometimes....  Boy scout motto!!!

Good catch!!!!

Rich
  
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Sarge
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Re: Lake Washington - Rev Rig Day!
Reply #2 - 12/13/04 at 17:52:41
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Nicely done, Rev! That is quite a day... What a nice fish!

If you don't mind me bringing this point up, reporting the depth you were fishing reminded me of something Ron H. and I were talking about while trying to keep the boat straight into the wind on Lake Sawyer yesterday (Report: no bass, one trout on dropshot):

Lake Washington, Lake Sammamish, and most western WA lakes mix thoroughly this time of year, and the water temperature from top to bottom is basically the same. Check this link to back that up:

http://dnr.metrokc.gov/wlr/waterres/lakedata/LkSammS.htm

So if that is true, why do you think our western WA bass are usually found in deeper water in winter? Does the food go there? Are the pressure changes less? Are there shallow fish we aren't looking for?

I don't feel like I know the answer, but it is interesting to think about.

Great report!
Chris
  
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Rob M.
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Re: Lake Washington - Rev Rig Day!
Reply #3 - 12/13/04 at 17:56:25
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I think fish sometimes are harder to find this time of year because they are more concentrated in fewer areas, not just because they are deeper. Once you find a school though, you can have a good day.
  
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Dipsnort
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Re: Lake Washington - Rev Rig Day!
Reply #4 - 12/13/04 at 18:47:27
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I assume you're casting and retreiving, Rev?  Or are you trolling?  How often do the hooks on your Rapala get tangled in the leader line to the weight?  Seems like that would be a problem.  Undecided

Also, how fast is your retreival with the cranks this time of year?
  
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Re: Lake Washington - Rev Rig Day!
Reply #5 - 12/13/04 at 18:58:37
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I think they go deeper as a result of the season, more than anything else.  Notice I didn't say water temp.

How do they know what season it is?  Length of day.  The more I fish year round, the more I notice fish can be found (or not found) in certain areas based on the length of day, rather than water temp.

This time of year, the days are at their shortest.  So methinks they'd be deepest.

That said, I also feel big environmental changes can and will affect the fish no matter what time of year.

This weekend, for instance, was marked by a huge warm front followed by a high-pressure system.  I thought the warm water near where streams entered the lake would produce best. Even though the fish were "deep", I felt they would move in to feed, being as opportunistic as bass are.

But that wasn't the case on Sammamish on Sunday.  After flogging the flooded shallows (the docks were under 1 1/2 - 2 feet of water!) for most the morning, Jim Shaffer and I switched to the 50'-70' zone.  I got a strike as result (oh goody), but no fish.

Moral?  Well... there isn't one.  I just thought I'd share.  Grin

Tangent airlines has now departed.

No, actually, the moral is the fish don't always do what the book says they'll do.  In this case, something else kept them deep - be it high pressure, the muddy water, a big change in pH from the flooding, all of the above or none I don't know.  But apparently the deeper water was more stable so that's where they went (or stayed). 

Judging from Chuck's post, this was also true for Washington.

Maybe that "length of day" thing posseses a stronger power than I give it credit.
  
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Nick
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Re: Lake Washington - Rev Rig Day!
Reply #6 - 12/14/04 at 17:16:44
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Glenn I think you may be on to something. I went out and fished my little private farm pond. Two weeks ago the fish were on flats in 4-5 feet of water. Saturday they were no where to be found on these flats. The water was warmer due to the flooding. It was about 42 degrees two weeks ago and it was about 46 degrees after the flooding. I thought the fish would be shallow to but I guess they weren't. I may need to try some Rev. Rigging out there to find out how deep they really are.
  
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Rob M.
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Re: Lake Washington - Rev Rig Day!
Reply #7 - 12/14/04 at 17:47:17
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On the flipside of things....when the days are shorter, the nights are longer. We know bass like to feed at night. MAYBE...they feed more at night even though it is winter and not as much during the day. And since nobody is crazy enough to night fish in winter, we won't know if catching is any easier.....Just a thought ??  ??
  
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Chris B
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Re: Lake Washington - Rev Rig Day!
Reply #8 - 12/15/04 at 03:34:50
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Great job Rev.  Wow 6.5 lb + thats  huge.  I haven't caught one over 5, but I think that will change next year.
  
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Re: Lake Washington - Rev Rig Day!
Reply #9 - 12/15/04 at 05:05:20
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Chuck,
My hat's off to you.  I've NEVER caught a smallie over 5lbs, and you've caught more than any person I know.  You're awesome!

Rob - never thought about that, but you might be on to something there.  Things that make you go hmmmm....
  
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Nick
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Re: Lake Washington - Rev Rig Day!
Reply #10 - 12/15/04 at 18:32:52
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I agree to Rob. Maybe I'll have freeze and see if thats the truth. I have went steelheading at night once. Swore I'd never do it again. But if I could catch a 6lb bass for my efforts. It might just be worth it.
  
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The_Rev.
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Re: Lake Washington - Rev Rig Day!
Reply #11 - 12/16/04 at 04:42:22
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Thaks, but just remember guys, I've fished the lake every Monday for nearly 12 years... and I usually go all day!  When you put in that many hours, it is inevitable that a big one shows up every once in a while.  As I said, it's been several years since I've seen one this big.

As to why they are that deep?  They'd starve if they didn't!  It's all about chow!  The cameras have proven it time and time again.  Find the bait fish and you find the bass.  In fact Larry Gonszy and I have found certain flats consistently producing for several years and then the next year... nothing.  Why?  The bait fish moved on... the bass followed.  

Quality electronics will show tiny baitfish schools that cheaper electronics won't. (I've owned both and watched them side by side).  When we find the baitfish, we then find the perch schools nearby.  And when we find the perch, the bass are nearby.  A week later the whole area can be devoid of any fish life at all.  The food chain dictates everything in locating bass.

There are several locations on Lake Washington however that seem to be exceptions - that is, there are several locations that have structure that always seems to have bass on them.  (Take the I-90 bridge for instance - a natural bottleneck) After careful observation you realize that these places are strategically located at bait intersections.  There are natural underwater pathways in the deeper water that condenses or concentrates baitfish that pass by.  So these bass don't have to follow the baitfish - the baitfish come by them on semi-regular schedules.  The smallies do less gypsy traveling - and are more stationary than the bass chasing bait around the whole east channel.

As to the speed of my trolling - I have a trolling motor scaled 1-10.  I run it on 5 most of the time.  Yes, I'm crusing right along, but that's the idea; to cruise acres of flats looking for active fish, rather than spending hours finese fishing a single spot that has only one inactive fish.  I actually think that the speed often gets a semi-reaction hit; they just don't have time to think before it get's too far away.  Only when the fish are really put down by a pressure front do I slow up.

A key in this type of trolling is the "drop-back" with the rod.  A bass will follow a mono-speed crankbait for hundreds of yards (as seen on the camera) and never strike the bait.  But drop the rod back so that it is suddenly in it's face - and wham!  Many times just the opposite works too - pulling the rod away makes them think it's getting away.  Larry and I rarely just let the rod sit.

As to the fish slowing down in the winter time - I don't think that's a big issue on Lake Washington - it just doesn't get that cold.  The camera has shown me that you can't pull the bait way fast enough if the fish wants it.  And sometimes those hooked bass do a rush to the surface from 60 feet that reminds you of a rocket.  Naw, these smallies more active than we give them credit for in winter.

As to the theory that they school up - it isn't because they're lonely at Christmas time - the baitfish school up and draw the bass closer together.  If someone took all our refrigerators and put them in one spot - we'd see alot more of each other, that's for sure!
  
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StuK
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Re: Lake Washington - Rev Rig Day!
Reply #12 - 12/16/04 at 05:04:42
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Hey, Rev.

The Tacoma News Tribune's fishing report today for Lake Washington (by Jeffrey P. Mayor):

"Reports of good smallmouth and perch fishing have come in. Trolling jointed Rapala plugs in 60 to 70 feet of water have been the best method, said Leroy Jones at Auburn Sports and Marine."

Who are they talking about.... I wonder? There goes your secret...

Stu
  

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The_Rev.
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Re: Lake Washington - Rev Rig Day!
Reply #13 - 12/16/04 at 23:18:11
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Hummm... could there be any connection to the fact that Larry Gonczy now works at Auburn Sports and Marine two days a week as a sales trainer?  I wonder...
  
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Chris B
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Re: Lake Washington - Rev Rig Day!
Reply #14 - 12/17/04 at 19:55:32
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Won't you have to fizz the fish that come out of that deep of water this time of year?  Last time I pulled some perch out of 50 feet, there air blatter was in their mouths, but they seemed to swim away ok.  I haven't caught many bass in the deep water winter months, so I'm not sure if its safe to catch them or not.
  
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