The Thursday, July 14 forecast was for gentile offshore winds, a great opportunity to fish lots of shoreline cover near the mouth of Mouillie Creek. This kayak launch is very popular, all the boats were fishing the huge sheltered pond surrounded by the rip rap dykes. I launched on the Lake Erie side of the dyke in the large bay that was sheltered on 3 sides but also open to Lake Erie. There are natural serpentine creek and linear dredged channels running back into marsh that will draw in Large Mouth and a smattering of other species in the spring and early summer. I had all of this promising water to myself except for the Herons, Cormorants, Kingfishers, Osprey and an Eagle.
Near the mucky back of the bay, about the 8th cast with the 3/0 White Marabou Banger, , stripping it back with crisp medium pops, it disappeared into a loud suck, a good bass but she didn't get the hook. Casting back and retrieving with a slower pace of more feeble pops, it got blasted from the side by a fat bass. She was about 16 inches and got off after I got anther good look at her. Small bass were tentatively moving on the popper and after a slow spell this 17 incher blasted the popper.
I was working the rip rap dyke shoreline out towards the open lake. I would get a bass or maybe two in one spot then it would be dead for maybe 50 yards. Maybe they were still doing some spawning. All the fish came casting to rip rap shoreline or in the various channels back in the marsh. They seemed to be hitting the popper without hesitation. If wind stayed offshore and calm I could expect to catch lots of bass because there was so much productive shoreline to cover. I took photos of four 17inchers, one 18 incher and most of the 15 and 16 inchers. Around half the fish were 12 to 14 inches and I took a few pictures of them if the popper was visible. In Chronological order:
There had been off and on various combinations of chop and swells. I took this picture from near the end of the dyke. You can see the cooling towers from the nuke plant, another mile back is the coal plant stack at the mouth of the River Rasin in Monroe. On the right edge of this photo, 1/4 mile away, the wooded shoreline on the mouth of the bay is going north, inland. The houses start a the corner where the lake shore runs south east. After this bit of dead calm, the wind picked up from the open water to the south east. I paddled ahead around the rip rap point behind me and fished back to where this photo was taken from.
I got a few more fish, some reworking water I had already fished. On one long cast I hooked a 12 inch bass close to shore. I did my best to strip him in forcefully with the rod held low out to the side to try to get the big hook set against low resistance the small fish. He came off but then the line tightened and he or another small fish was on the line. He got off close to the kayak fighting deep. As the popper floated up, a good bass took it just under the surface only a five feet from the nose of the kayak
Then I headed over to the corner where the lake shore houses were. There was a hodgepodge of improvised structure to defend that shoreline, cement wall, corrugated steel sea wall, wood posts, rip rap. Lots of minnows where a current flowed out of the bay along the cement wall and dumped them in the eddy at the corner. Lots of Bass in the first 100 yards of lake shore structure in front of those houses.
One cast aimed between two bundles of wood posts bounced of one post and I hauled back on the cast trying to keep it from being blown into the other bundle of posts, The popper hit the water at a speed and an angle that caused it to plunge beneath the water and toward me. A good bass bolted out from the cover and took it running. I couldn't set the hook with the rod high and behind me so he got off easily. I had just congratulated myself for holding on to the bigger bass by fighting them hard for the first 4 seconds to get the hook well set. I hooked a 17 inch bass with one dead eye, missed the first stab at grabbing his lip, fumbled with him near the kayak and he got off.
I had got no fish casting to open water weed structure that wasn't against the bank. I headed back in to the inland margin of the bay where there was a dredged channel just across the man made straight shoreline. There I found some bass in the shallow dredged channel, the first one was good sized.
This wider natural creek channel winds its way to where an outside bends comes up against the inland berm from the dredged channel I had just fished.
Against that firm shore line, the water was deeper and perhaps the firmer soil bottom was better for spawning.
I used the open bay to paddle upwind to the unfished, lower end of the dredged channel I had fished earlier. I fished down wind and near the deeper mouth of the channel I got the last and biggest bass.
I could find no more bass in that stretch of channel as the water got shallower and clearer. There was a channel of crazy clear water dumping into it from the quarries to the north, I paddled up it and there were no bass to be seen there.
I tried the rip rap shoreline where I had started but the wind had changed to strong form the south east, driving big swells and a wicked chop into the bay up against that shore.
As I pulled up on the firm muck where I had launched, a full sized adult water snake bolted out from under the nose of my kayak. There was a yellowish frog there beside my kayak that must have been just a foot or so away from being dinner for that snake.