Big Bass & Pike feeding, Choker Trial, July 16, 2021

Wakey Lake is off road catch & release fishing for Large Mouth Bass, Bluegills, with an occasional Pike.  It is known for large bass stalking your kayak, waiting to grab a small fish you hook, injure or release.

Fishing down the wooded shoreline by the campground, I hooked a 6 inch bass.  I skipped him across the surface of the mixed lily pad - bull rush weed cover.  He was easy to unhook off the Barbless #4 HookUp Choker Popper and I flipped him off to the side.  Didn't hear him hit the water but I heard a big Bass blast something on surface about a foot from my  right elbow.   Then the bass slashed through the surface striking something by the nose of my kayak.

In retrospect, I wish I had spent the day fishing the small weedless Choker Poppers through that kind of weed cover. Occasionally switching off to the heavier fly outfit, particularly after catching a small one, then roughly slapping down a short cast with a bigger weedless bait fish imitating Streamer or Popper.  Perhaps snaking a figure 8 around the weed cover.

I finished the day only landing a few bass 12 to 15 inches, loosing many more and missing lots of good hits while catching lots of bass 6 to11 inches.  I got bit off by a small Pike, saved another popper by not setting the hook on a pike that shot straight up through the surface with my popper.  Then landed this small Pike.  I used Choker Poppers in size #4 or 1/0 to fish weedless through the weed cover and a conventional popper got some hits in partly open water.

The first Bass I photographed was extremely Skinny, I think I hooked him again on the way back.

At sunset, back tracking along the campground shore, I was holding this 7 inch bass near the surface.  Several bass had needed extra gentle treatment after being hooked in the gills despite the hook up design of the Choker Popper.  A big Bass grabbed him.  I kept light pressure on, I could see the head of the small bass with the #4 Choker attached, poking out from the grip of the big bass's jaws.  Several times he let go or I pulled hard enough so the little bass came loose momentarily, but the big bass immediately retook his prize.  Then something much bigger took the small bass when it momentarily came free of the first bass.  It pulled so hard and wouldn't let go so I thought it was hooked.  I fought it until I pulled it close enough I could see the small bass head and the fly poking out free of the jaws of a big pike about 28 inches long.  After I pulled the little bass free, he was badly beat up and he was immediately eaten when I released him.

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