Blewett Falls Report

I fished Blewett Falls reservoir this past Thursday. I had fished there twice previously and a heavy stench of skunk hung over the lake from those experiences. I was therefore a little reluctant when my uncle mentioned wanting to go fish/explore the body of water, but hey, who turns down a free boat ride?

We started out from the boat ramp at 6:30 AM, heading first to a main lake point where I had seen bass schooling on the surface on past trips. My uncle worked a c-rigged Culprit worm in green, along with a Zara Spook. I worked a weightless t-rigged finesse worm, a jig and craw, and I steadily switched between 3 crankbaits on my crankbait rod. Neither of us had a single bite on the first point, so we fired up the outboard and cruised well upstream.

We traveled upstream until the reservoir began to narrow, around which point we found tons of bait in the water. There was a steep drop off around 25 feet from the bank along this section where the water dropped from 6 feet to 20 feet in depth. Jim continued using the Zara Spook and c-rigged worm, and I continued using the jig and craw heavily with a cast of the crankbait here and there.

A short ways into fishing this stretch, I flipped the jig beneath a small pine that was low on the water and commenced a slow, steady retrieve. That's the only way I ever fish a jig anymore, cast it, let is sink (sometimes), and retrieve it slow and steady. 20 feet from the bank I felt the unmistakable thump-thump of a hit and I quickly slammed the hook home. When the fish started pulling I told my uncle I had a decent fish on, but he seemed to ignore me until she jumped a couple of feet from the boat. She put up a very spirited fight with several jumps and a few tugs on my Daiwa Luna 103's drag, but after just a minute or two the ordeal ended with the fish in the boat. Nothing crazy, but she was a healthy 4 lbs 2 oz and a fine way to kill that skunk.

We continued a little farther, and I swapped the jig setup for my crankbait rod. Tied on it was a vintage, brass hook hangered Bagley's Balsa B square bill crank, which I worked through the brush along the bank as well as parallel to the bank. These crankbaits are phenomenal when bass are shallow for a couple of reasons: They can work their way through any timber or rocks you can imagine, and bass love the action of the vintage balsa Bagleys. Unfortunately these baits are difficult to find in decent shape, and decent examples can be quite expensive. I lucked upon a big cache of these things at a local flea market a couple years ago, and loaded up on all the $2 Bagleys I could find (in addition to a few $2 Lucky Crafts!). Simply put, I covet these lures. I should have considered that before I started fishing it from my uncle's 20 foot wide-hull jon boat. A couple hours into the trip, a few minutes after that first fish was on the board, I went to pitch the Bagley's toward the bank and was rewarded with the loud "SLAP" of the prized bait slapping the boat's high gunwale. Of course the bait's bill was smashed, and its balsa front was pretty badly disfigured. I switched the remnants of the Balsa B out for a newer squarebill, an Excalibur Kevin Vandam something or other, and two casts later the fiberglass crankbait rod was doubled over with the weight of a fish. A few seconds later the one-pounder was boated, and the Excalibur went back to work. Two casts later the rod was bowed up again, this time a healthy three pounder was in the boat after a minute or so.

This was my first decent fish on my new to me crankbait rod and let me tell you, this thing worked the fish beautifully. When I first started heavily using crankbaits I lost around half of my hooked fish due to pulled hooks and thrown baits. The Lew's crankbait rod I'm currently using had plenty of flex to help keep the treble hooks from pulling, yet it is lighter than most fiberglass rods and casts beautifully. That flex also seems to help lighten the load when pulling deep diving crankbaits, and that's a big consideration if you are going to fish deep divers for long periods. This is just an old Lew's rod of mid-'90s vintage that I found at a pawn shop; a few manufacturers offer similar rods new today, and they don't always cost a fortune. Ugly Sticks work for this application, but I know from personal experience that their weight makes using them a chore. The Ugly Stick Light might be a viable option, but I've never used one personally.

Unfortunately, the awesome crankbait rod couldn't save my Excalibur bait when it too slammed into the gunwale a few casts later. Its bill shattered, I replaced it with a Rapala DT-10 which went the rest of the day without a single fish. That said, I only caught one more fish on the jig and pig, and my uncle only managed 2 bluegill on a Pop-R the entire day. Final tally: 4 largemouth for me, including a 4lb 2 oz, a 3 lb even, and two around 1 lb each; and 2 decent bluegill for my uncle. We put in a long day, as we didn't get back to the truck until 6:30 that evening, and even though fishing was slow it was well worth it. I can't help but feel that if I put some more time in at that lake, I'll be catching 5 lb and bigger fish consistently.

That's all for now, good luck everyone, and remember to drink plenty of water on these hot days.