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Author Topic: White Lake ramp is finally open 10-19-2017  (Read 3155 times)

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White Lake ramp is finally open 10-19-2017
« on: October 20, 2017, 03:16:52 PM »

Derek said we could go fishing this week on Thursday and asked where do we want to go? Since we both like to fish White Lake (near Pontiac) once or twice a year, and I saw that they had just reopened the new and improved MDNR boat ramp less than a week ago I suggested that first and he said, sure, let's give it a shot. This was yesterday, October 19, 2017.

Of course, I was thinking that White Lake had to have a lot less fishing pressure this summer with the only public ramp closed for almost the entire season. I was thinking we might whack them pretty good even though there were already 3 other bass boats out ahead of us and two or three other small fishing boats we could see.

Rather than run around looking for something to start on I suggested we start at the first weedline not far from the boat ramp. Derek picked up a deep crankbait and we barely made it to the outer weeds when he caught his first bass!

It was already about 10AM when we started - we didn't get off to an early start which can be okay in the fall. A few casts later, Derek hooked another keeper. Within less than 45 minutes he caught maybe 4 keepers and a dink or two. I think he caught a small pike during this period too. Two or three bass came on the deep crank while the rest came on a shallow square bill he picked up because some of the weeds along the edges were thicker and taller than expected.

I started with topwater without any luck. It was later in the morning already as I said, plus the wind was blowing a lot stiffer than either of us expected. I picked up a spybait and couldn't get anything to jump on that either. With Derek getting consistent bites I switched to a deep crankbait and was casting it out away from the weeds hoping for a bigger bite. Still no bites for me...

Well you might think hitting a lake that should have had reduced fishing pressure all summer would lead to a scorching hot fall bite but our 1st trip to White Lake (Pontiac) was still pretty good overall. Probably even better if we'd just stuck to shallow cranks on the flats though Derek started out with a good 45 minute deep crank bite until someone threw the switch.

We were fishing weeds near the island and Derek said he had something swat at his shallow crank. Since he was getting bites on that now too I already had a Strike King KVD 2.5 (the size bigger than his) in 'pike killer' (Green Gizzard Shad) tied on a crankbait rod with 20 pounds test P-Line Halo Fluorocarbon copolymer. I picked it up also because he had wandered up shallower for a few minutes anyways. I made a few random casts. Then, as the boat turned to head back towards the shoreline weed break I made a cast with my bigger square bill back towards the area Derek had the strike. This bass just flat out slammed my square bill!! Finally! I've got a bass too!

The bite slowed in the area. We moved out deeper again with deep crankbaits (me). I also threw a drop shot fluke and some other bottom baits. No more bites. We moved back up to cast around the weeds near the edge. Derek threw his small square bill and a spinnerbait. I tried a suspending jerkbait for a while. I only had a couple tiny bass follow my jerkbait. Then switched to a couple different drop shots again.

Someone apparently threw the switch because the deep stuff seemed off completely. I caught one small bass on a drop shot Case Plastics Lil Magic Stick out deeper and Derek caught a couple small ones on the spinnerbait.

We fished quite a ways around the lake along various edges and points without hardly any action. Lots of different techniques. It was choppy because of the stiff breeze so we couldn't see very well most of the time. I commented that we were not seeing the wandering bass and some followers that we normally seem to see at White Lake?

Finally, after working our way down towards the other end of the lake I said let's go shallow again with cranks and spinnerbaits. Right up on the big, shallow flats where we've seen scattered but decent bass wandering in the past. Good call! My 4th or 5th cast inside some shallow, scattered weed clumps this nice bass completely inhaled my KVD 2.5 (pike killer)! For a little bit we had fun!! Usually picks up my spirits just having visible objects to cast to for a while - and a nice bonus if there's some decent, biting bass too!!

We wandered the flat getting quite a ways from any deeper water, and every few minutes one of us would have our shallow square bill smacked by a decent keeper bass! Yes, this was fun!! I was running the boat because Derek had taken his lunch break recently so I turned up shallower because there were some tattered pads nearby and I knew about a few pieces of laydowns in the area I wanted to check too. This time of the year bass can be anywhere!!

Another good call! Derek whacked a nicer bass even shallower on a smaller square bill! He was casting towards shore but we were still quite a ways out! We had each caught another bass on the way in.

For a change and to see what would happen (you don't know unless you try...) I switched to topwater - the Whopper Plopper 110. I cast towards a good, shallow log that often holds a bass but I misjudged the windage and got behind the highest spot causing me to snag it rather than skirt it or go over the top. I told Derek I could already see there's a nice bass under that log! I could see the lighter color of its belly! It would be rude for me to spoil a good spot by going in after my snagged lure first.

Derek tossed in a spinnerbait but a smaller keeper I didn't see got to it first. I thought the bigger bass spooked because of the fight of the first bass - it didn't follow - and because I was drifting in closer.

When will I learn I should never assume with evidence and proof!?! Instead of holding back and picking up something else, or waiting until Derek released his bass and could get another cast I continued in and around the wood to pop my lure free. I did so the sneaky, bigger bass came shooting out from under the log!! Shoot...!?! Probably could have caught that bass if I was a little smarter...

I think there were some more bass real shallow there but we didn't catch them. I turned back out farther from shore into water a couple feet deeper with a little heavier weed clumps scattered across it. I ran my KVD 2.5 square bill into a patch of milfoil and peeled this nice keeper largemouth bass right out of it!! It looked just like it peeled away from the weeds! I love those kinds of strikes!! :)

We went farther out on to the shallow flat but didn't get any more bites for a short time so we went to fish a deeper hole again. Maybe some of the edge bass were biting now? We probably wasted what little time we had left fishing the edge because we only managed a dink and a bite off (both Derek's - it was his turn for pike as I was up 2 pike to his 1 ;D ).

Not soon enough, with time running out as Derek was putting away his rods, I picked my square bill up again and turned right up on to the shallower weed flat. As soon as I went shallow again with the square bill - WHOOMP! 2nd cast I caught another bass! I thought maybe I'd whack several in the few minutes I had left but I must have turned right when maybe I should have turned left?? Who knows.

At the end of the day we probably caught around 2 dozen bass. No big ones but most of the solid ones came on the square bills shallow! After the opening quick deep crankbait bite we probably should have stayed on shallow weed flats the rest of the day. Probably would have caught more bass. Not sure if we would have found any big ones but I'm sure we would have caught more. We did graph what appeared to be quite a few bass out deeper in 12-13 feet to around 16 feet but a pike on a drop shot for me and a dink or two was all we could make happen there.

Wasn't an Earth-shattering day like you might think you'd have on a 'rested' lake but it was fun and we caught enough to make it worthwhile.

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 The Bass Federation of Michigan.


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Re: White Lake ramp is finally open 10-19-2017
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2017, 03:58:41 PM »

Sat at the end of my driveway this morning trying to decide if I should go to White or Cass.  Since I am fishing the Last Chance next Sunday I figured I should go to Cass.  Bad decision as always.  Got there and it was dead calm.  The bass were busting minnows and the gulls were having a party.  Caught 3 but only 1 was a keeper.  Then the wind came up.  Went from Dead Calm to White Caps in about 10 minutes.  The gulls decided it was nap time so they left.  I spent the next 4 hours catching 1 small keeper and about 20 short fish.    As I backed in the driveway I thought.  Should have went to White Lake.

Didn't even see any bigger fish cruising.  The water was 62 degrees.  Hopefully it will improve by next weekend.
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