4) Popper Pattern for Huron Impoundment Shallows Bass, May 15

Bass Fishing Kayak Fishing Popping Wedge

I fished the weedy extreme shallows of a mid-sized, serpentine, Huron River Impoundment.  I threw 1/0 short Marabou Popping Wedges either Purple or Black.  I got about 2 dozen Largemouth Bass 12 to 18 inches, 4 smallish medium Pike and a Rock Bass.

The current through the center channel was a little muddy from recent rain.  Back behind the shallow weedy flats, mostly near the shore, the water was clear and about 12 inches deep.  Sitting low in the kayak I couldn't see the bass until they made a wake moving toward the popper.  I would pause the retrieve to wait for the hit.  The marabou, flashabou and rubber legs would slowly open up.  I would give it one little twitch if they wouldn't close the deal on their own.  Fishing this shallow for bass was new to me and I found a pattern of 3 lite pops, pause, 3 lite pops, pause to be a working strategy.

I immediately started drawing Bluegills to the 1/0 Purple  Popping Wedge as I threw it to pockets in the shallow weed flats.  One impressive sight was the tall extended dorsal fin on the arched back of a very large bluegill as it moved on the surface lure.  Some time later I was thinking:  Hmmm, that Bluegill was really too big for this pond, the dorsal fin on the arched back of a 16 inch bass would look a loot like a 9 inch Bluegill's.  The 1/0 short Marabou Purple Popping Wedge was taking a lot of abuse.  After the 3rd Pike and numerous bass, I switched to a 1/0 Black Popping Wedge.  All 4 of the Pike blasted the popper with such an over zealous explosive rush that they never touched the hook.  They all took on the cast back and got hooked.  Oddly, this spring I am 5 for 5 landing pike on 12 lb Fluorocarbon without any bite leader. 

Frequently when bass are abundant and hitting well you can figure out their territorial spacing pattern.  I have seen them as tight as one bass every 6 feet along a shoreline.  Today I was not catching a 2nd bass any closer that about 20 or more feet from where I found the last one.  About quitting time, it was gettin half dark and I had not gotten bit over 50 feet of shoreline.  When I finally got one, the next cast got another.  A little later is was mostly dark, I cast to a log, quickly got a big suck of a missed strike on tight line.  I new he never touched the popper.  When I threw back, I quickly got the last bass of the night.

Spawning Time?   I finished the evening over a prime Bluegill Spawning shallows, there was no sign of beds or bluegills yet.  This Bluegill spawning spot will have a short window when the water is warm enough for the bluegills to spawn until when the weeds quickly choke it out to where you can't fish it.  Crappies should be staging or spawning in deeper water now, Bluegills and Bass to follow soon, then gar pike will jam the shallows. I have a fly for them.

Broken Barb Hooks Worked Great.  Only one bass shook off out of around 24 landed!  One of the 4 pike I am counting actually came off as I was lifting up on him, forcing him into a vertical assisted jump that had him landing on the kayak deck and then he shook off.  For the one bass that came unhooked, I was again lifting straight up while he thrashed on the surface.

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