Kelly Bostian: Summertime bass fishing. Man, what a drag! – Tulsa World
Tick-tick-tick-tick. The vibration of a tungsten weight and heavy plastic worm dragged across a rocky point 10 to 12 feet below our boat carried through the line to my hands and tickled my senses.
“People say this is boring,” David Hale said from the front of the boat. “I can do it for hours because I know what every one of those little bumps might be.”
Me, too. Well, at least, I can say that I know what they mean, though you couldn’t have proved it by me Tuesday afternoon. Hale landed six decent bass. I caught zero.
“That’s always funny,” he said. “You can have two guys in a boat using the same baits and casting the same way, and the one guy catches all the fish. You come back another time and that other guy catches all the fish. It doesn’t make sense, but it happens.”
I wish I could say that was the first time one of my fishing partners offered me that excuse.
Nice guy, Hale.
On the whole, our late-afternoon outing to Spavinaw Lake was not all it could have been. The plan was to fish rocky main lake points 6 to 10 or 12 feet deep for bass that have moved into a classic summer pattern and also try some top-water frogs in shallow grassy areas.
I did have one good hit on the frog, but my hook-set failed in the grassy muck. I felt the pull for only a moment, one fleeting glimpse at glory.
Hale was sorely disappointed in what is one of his favorite bass lakes, but it was still muddy from recent rains and a big spill from Eucha Lake upstream, where the spillway safety buoy cable had broken and the lake level needed to be quickly lowered to make the repair late last week.
“Spavinaw bass aren’t used to having it this muddy,,” Hale said. “That’s not helping us.”
A little more wind, a little clearer water, and the summertime strategy of hitting rocky points with a big worm, jig or creature bait on 15-pound-test fluorocarbon line likely would have produced the desired results.
The desire was for me to finally break my 5-pound Oklahoma bass curse. I still have yet to catch a bass bigger than 5 pounds here. Now, I may have caught some on Grand Lake that were a tad over 5 — or a tad under — but I’ve yet to dial into that 6-plus, 7-plus range and verify it with a scale or a measuring stick, not that I haven’t been on the boat when others have caught big bass. I know they’re out there — boy, do I.
Hale, a longtime avid bass angler who owns Honeycreek Outdoors sporting goods in Grove, did everything he could for me Tuesday; the bass just weren’t having anything to do with my line.
An abundance of 5-plus-pounders inhabit the 95-year-old Tulsa water supply lake, Hale said. They were just in hiding Tuesday. The ones that did hit all were on a rocky point.
A 10-inch Berkley Powerbait worm was the ticket for Hale. He hooked all six using a slow drag over the rocks. He also used a ½-ounce black-and-blue football-head jig, but it wasn’t a performer Tuesday.
During one concentrated fishing period, I did a weak impersonation of Wagoner Bassmaster Elite Series pro Tommy Biffle to break the silence.
“This is where you need to be thowin’ a Bug,” I said, referring to the Gene Larew Biffle Bug that exploded in popularity after Biffle smoked the Elite field on Fort Gibson Lake using this same offshore technique in June 2010.
“I’ve got one of those tied on this other rod. (Do) you want to try that?” Hale asked.
I tried it; still caught nothing.
I know the technique works. I was just jinxed Tuesday.
Not only did Hale pull my baits out of the same bag as his, he even rigged both rods. I never even touched the baits. We threw to the same points, used the same style retrieves. I even went to the extent of watching Hale and mimicking his moves in unison. (I was getting that desperate.)
A guy takes you out on his boat and shares his favorite lake and some of his best baits, you like to be able to show him you at least know how to hook a fish. Heck, I didn’t even get a strike.
The opportunity was there, however. Hale proved that. The drag across those points felt right. It was good bass territory. My brain was on high alert all afternoon because I knew what any one of those bumps might eventually produce.
But in this case, the message is to try doing as I say, not as I do. Do what Hale did, and said.
Some might try it and think it’s boring. Others will hook some big fish, and learn to love that tick-tick-tick-tick. Maybe you’ll even catch something bigger than 5 pounds.