Six days ago, I got lots of hits on poppers from big pike along the shore and big smallmouth out in the current. That mostly wasn't happening today. Clearer water, bright sun, no rain, no hatching hexes and apparently the big pike and smallmouth had moved out. One hit from a sub average smallmouth on a long drift out to the mouth and one 20 inch pike hooked by the shore, both on on a 3/0 White Marabou Banger. I did catch a Largemouth Bass on the White Banger along the shore. As I fought it, a slightly larger bass was trying to get the popper out of his mouth. So that's why so many fish have been getting off.
In a dredged bay, I saw largemouth from the kayak and got one hit each on the 3/0 White Marabou Banger, a #2 Tan Hex Popper Popper and a #2 Lime mist Mop Worm Popper. The more typical response was a lazy follow out from shoreline cover, then swim back and forth underneath the resting popper without showing any interest when I twitched it. Almost as if they are thinking "For some reason, I thought there was something to eat around here." I threw a brown fur Hellgrammite Bead Head Jig close to shore cover and a good bass took it as it fell toward the bottom.
These fish look so much the same! The smaller bass has a more visible lateral line, more black marks near the back edge of the gill plate. some damage to the anal fin, and a clearer pelvic fin.