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Author Topic: 7-18-17 Call of the Buzzbait  (Read 139 times)

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djkimmel

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7-18-17 Call of the Buzzbait
« on: August 07, 2017, 12:45:08 PM »

So, I'm relearning my love for buzzbait fishing driven by a couple 2K Jigs Titanium Freak Buzz's I recently acquired. Which brings me back to little Round Lake early, early the morning of July 18 for another round of 'when's the next big splash' and some alone-time therapy.

I told myself I was going to say more caught up on my fishing reports. Mostly so I could remember more of the unique happenings that make each trip special in its own right. Here it is 3 weeks later - how far I'm behind again. I'll try to remember what I can... maybe you are detail-oriented anyway??


Trying to be real quiet out there as sound seems amplified in the dark when I begin my sneak up on my favorite early morning starting spot (I haven't consistently figured out yet where these bass go and how to catch them later in the day in this area).

For some reason, though I've started a number of times in the dark now at Round I don't seem to get any real good strikes until light starts coming in shortly before dawn - maybe 30-40 minutes before sunrise. This morning, no different. I started near the launch and had 3 light, unknown fish swim-up-and-grab bites I didn't hook. Then I did have a decent strike from a fish I missed twice even though I felt it on my lure for sure the second time.


That changed suddenly when this beautiful, big largemouth just CRUSHED my 1/2 oz 2K Jigs Titanium Freak Buzz!! Over the top of the deeper weeds - SMASH!!! - and the fight was on!! This picture is light-enhanced as it was still darker than this though I could everything already.

There were still a few weeds alive and trailing on the surface I had to work around unlike now 3 weeks later when the weeds have really shrunk back to the point you can't tell in the early AM where exactly the weeds are. As I usually do when I hook a GOOD one, I quietly dropped my anchor to hold on the spot while I landed the bass and took my picture.


After I checked the 'tune' on my buzzbait, I made a short 15-foot cast into a lane on the sparse weeds on top ahead of the boat and angling towards shore. BAM!!! This really nice bass just EXPLODED on the buzzer!!! I set the hook and the bass LAUNCHED at least 3 feet straight into the air like a pike missile or a really mean Lake St. Clair smallmouth!! Fought like a mad banshee!!!

My heart was thumping now... whew!!! It was still darker than the light-enhanced picture above appears (the front camera on my phone has a 'use background light' feature since there's no front flash). Also, the bass were fighting really hard all day today!


Still anchored, after I released my 2nd bass I made another medium cast back over the top of the weed strip and another keeper bass smashed it!! Not a real big one but still fighting very hard!!


Still anchored, after a few more casts I got blasted by one more bass - a much smaller one, but in keeping with the day's hard fighting, this little guy took me for quite a ride through the weeds that were left!!

Made a handful of additional casts without another strike so I pulled anchor and moved on down the weedline.

Then it got weird a little. I had 3 fish swim up behind the buzzbait and try to pull it down. When the 4th fish did this I hooked it and it was a pike. Then I missed 3 fish that hit it good - 1 hit it twice!! They all looked like nice bass (except the pike I actually landed)... Nearsighted?? 1 did take a swipe at my follow up wacky rig, and I had 1 on and lost it on a fluke - saw that one was definitely a decent keeper bass.

Missed a doggie too but that's okay. They're generally not good for wired baits like spinnerbaits and buzzbaits. Too much rolling, twisting and flopping...

This has caused me to think I may need to do more buzzbait switching as the morning progresses, and because maybe the bass are getting more used to my approach. After all, it's a small lake... (As the weed die-off has progressed I'm finding it easier to use other topwaters without wasting as much time snagging weeds - though this year's crazy jet skiers and boaters are tearing up lots of weeds causing lots of floaters.)


I had worked my way down the lake to hot spot #2 and without a buzzbait in a while (it was now about 20 minutes after 7AM) decided I better toss a worm out just to see... Cast my green pumpkin 7" Power Worm towards the thinning weed line. Looked away. Looked back and my line was about to snap tight! Got this good one!! Dropped anchor again in case they were schooled up a little.


Straighten out my worm. Toss it back out. Hits the bottom (7-8 feet deep). The line takes off 50 mph towards the center of the lake! Get this small, but hard-fighting keeper. Next few minutes I pop 2 more small ones. The bite dies and off I go with the buzzbait again since it's still before 8AM...


No more bites around Hot Spot #2 so I decide to head for the big point. Surface activity is slowing down but I still see some. I miss another really nice fish - a bass I think - on the buzzbait. No more topwater bites on the point so I toss out the worm (1/4 Tungsten hybrid bullet sinker rigged Texas style). Tunk! Another really nice bass! Fish it hard with no more bites.

Part of the point when I catch an early bass I can usually get a few more bites, while another part of the point I can often toss out under a school of real nervous panfish - catch a nice bass and then never get another decent strike. Still don't know why this is as much as I've fished Round Lake?!?


It's shockingly quiet out here today. Only 1 other boat. Just another rented angler. So I head for the hump. Used to be one of my best spots. Sucks so far this year. I catch a dink out deep. Then I catch an almost keeper here pitching the worm to the shallow scurvy weed edge. Just the pike since then - no surprise there. They are relentless this season!?!


Well... It's pike-muffin break time here on Round Lake. Around quarter to 11AM. Just means fishing has slowed way down. I just caught another %=$!#@!! pike causing me to have to retie and retire one really beat up, torn 7 inch green pumpkin Power Worm... So far I haven't been bit off anyways... Yet.

After catching up on posting some pictures to the ole Instagram (@greatlakesbass), Twitter (@GreatLakesBass) and Facebook (personal profile) break time is over. Back to work!!

-END Part 1-
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Help stop invasive spcies. Don't move fish between unconnected bodies of water. Clean, drain and dry your boat before launching on another water body.
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djkimmel

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Re: 7-18-17 Call of the Buzzbait
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2017, 12:46:13 PM »

Part 2 of Round Lake 7/18/2017

First time in a while I didn't get bit off at least once. Small victory - that part was nice. I caught lots of pike as usual though. Had more on... nothing bigger than about 22 inches this time - landed anyways...

I tried going down a weedline I don't normally fish in the afternoon (because it's a pike magnet!) just covering water with a bladed jig and minnow trailer. Boy, did I catch the pike during that short time. I even switched to a worm to fish the 2nd half - caught 1 dink and more pike. Had several ripping pike on.

The probable pike of the day did not actually happen. I tossed my 12 inch Power Worm (black grape) off the end of the big point. Was popping it through some deeper weeds when it felt wrong. Set the hook hard... into a LOG! Didn't budge. Never been snagged there before. The 'snag' came off suddenly. I reeled in and now my 12 INCH worm was only a 1 1/2 inch worm!! Everything behind the big 6/0 hook was gone... Wonder how big that one was?!?

As has become a strong pattern now, despite fairly calm conditions and still some decent top activity by minnows and small panfish, the bass bite slowed waaaaaaaayyy down. Not even very many dinks. Still small pike biting especially if I go closer to the outside edge of thicker weeds!! So I minimize that, especially with lures like the 'pike killer' (green gizzard shad Strike King KVD 2.5 square bill) and other moving lures.

Gives me time to try lots of experiments and look for anything new, maybe something small and hard to find? I fish hard but don't have much to show for it.

But after a slooooooww, hot afternoon the evening bite starts to kick in and little Round Lake shows that it is a surprisingly good bass lake! Serves me up a big ole pig! Was on my way in a little early running the buzzbait when I saw a school of panfish flaring out deep off my early morning buzzbait hot spot - the place I can't seem to catch any nice bass off of later in the day despite the nice ones biting early, early in the morning. I tossed the black blue Power Worm under the flaring, nervous panfish and it suddenly got heavy! Real heavy!


Set the hook and it fought so hard I was chanting 'please don't be a big pike' 'please don't be a big pike' over and over! Even buried me in a deep patch of thick weeds!! But I got 'er!! Super nice bass!! Like the ones I've been getting first thing in the morning on the buzzbait.

So now I'm reinvigorated and it doesn't seem quite so hot out anymore. I forget about the crazy boaters that are out again this afternoon and start fishing hard around any sign of panfish/minnow activity on top out from the break weeds. Also feeling for any isolated weed clumps I can find out away from the main weedline searching even much deeper than I normally do there. This has been a decent pattern in past, slow summer days.

Even though I actually see some bass - though the ones I see most often look small - busting the smaller fish, I can't seem to get a bite!?! I try a number of lures and retrieves including waiting ready to cast when some busting actually occurs. Nothing!?! This can be surprisingly challenging for sure!

Maybe I should have ended on that super nice big bass I caught a little bit ago?? Would have been a nice way to end a long day of fishing... but if there's one thing I really it's stubborn!! So I plucked away for a while though questioning the call more and more as not bites occur...


Then, I started tossing out a 1/4 oz green pumpkin Dock Monkey jig with a KLK Nemesis Bullet Craw trailer. I was alternating between letting it sit on the bottom, snapping it off weed strands and just swimming it for short distances near the bottom. This paid off with one more good strike way down under another school of small baitfish that had just been busted by small bass. It wasn't the big bass I hoped was shadowing the smaller, busting bass but it was a nice strike, and after a few more casts without another strike I called it a day.

Not a keeper but since it was 'officially' my last bass of the day I took a picture of it. Plus, I was hoping this might become a technique I can use to catch more of these wandering bass that seem to stop hitting the topwaters.

I wouldn't call it an amazing day of bass fishing but considering the lake it fairly simple, light on cover and only ~85 acres - a pretty good day of bass fishing with some very nice bass! I may go back... ;D
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Help stop invasive spcies. Don't move fish between unconnected bodies of water. Clean, drain and dry your boat before launching on another water body.
Unless clearly stated as such, opinions expressed by Dan Kimmel on this forum are not the opinions or policies of Michigan BASS Nation or TBF of Michigan.

mikballa

Re: 7-18-17 Call of the Buzzbait
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2017, 12:11:18 PM »

Nice job dan where is round lake? can you put a bigger boat in there?
Thanks! Mike.
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djkimmel

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Re: 7-18-17 Call of the Buzzbait
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2017, 03:58:56 PM »

Round Lake is ~85 acres. A private dirt/gravel boat ramp behind Round Lake Gas (store) on Round Lake Road east a couple miles or so from US-127 just north of Lansing.

Store opens at 6AM. You pay to launch at the store - $6.00. No dock at the ramp.

Can get most bass boats in there without 4-wheel drive. Parking for 8 or 10 trailers depending on how everyone else parks and how many non-trailer vehicles are there (quite a few this year on most weekends and even weekday afternoons and evenings sometimes).

Used to not be this way at all before this year but this year, pretty much every day, around noon-1pm the idiots come out in a bunch of jet skis, a jet boat or two, and a smattering of other speed boats and even one tuna boat come out and proceed to tear the lake to shreds. More pontoons come out more often now too and some of them have the annoying habit of driving through all the shallows at various speeds even driving between you and shore when you're fishing there.

Just so you're prepared for it because it can get ridiculous on some days as they do their 'circles' counter-clockwise around the lake over and over and over... I've been thinking lately maybe I should fish more often on rainy days to avoid trying to work around the crazies that all seem to have moved there this year...
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Help stop invasive spcies. Don't move fish between unconnected bodies of water. Clean, drain and dry your boat before launching on another water body.
Unless clearly stated as such, opinions expressed by Dan Kimmel on this forum are not the opinions or policies of Michigan BASS Nation or TBF of Michigan.
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