Another May, another Delavan Opener trip in the books. Last year I found a great Black Friday deal for our lodging of choice, Lake Lawn Lodge. Unfortunately Saturday was blacked out so I figured we would just start a trip a little later this year. An 80+ degree forecast for Saturday changed my mind and the nice reservations lady at the lodge was kind enough to add Saturday to our booking at an amazing rate.
Unfortunately the fishing Saturday was the worst day by far for any of the 15 previous openers. We did get a late start Saturday, mainly because I wanted to avoid the 32 degree real feel temps at dawn. Our biggest obstacles were a 70 boat tournament on the water and 40mph winds. Oh, and the water was too cold and never warmed much, despite the temps. This led to an opening day low total of 6 fish. After getting off the water and unloading into the hotel I found my Captain Morgan handle shattered inside my bag, soaking all my clothes. Just not my day right? Well the hot tub was still glorious and the clothes would eventually dry.
Sunday we got on the water to only 15mph sw winds. Still choppy but much more fishable. My cousin Chris and I really made the rounds, checking out just about all my favorite shallow water areas. As the temps warmed up, the bass heated up as well. He had to leave at 1pm for other commitments, which was a shame seeing how things were just getting better. We ended our shortened outing with 24 fish, and his replacement, our very own (never posts anymore) AdamB came out to join me. Adam and I flew across the lake back to what had been our best area, but the water had dirtied and there was much more floating scum on the water. We bounced around and still managed about a half dozen bass at each spot. Toward the end of the evening we hit a spot that traditionally is a main output of our 100 fish days but the 25 mph wind pouring into it still was shutting it down. We also wanted to try for some walleye at dark near the lodge but the winds made it a no go.
Monday I had the boat all to myself, which I always enjoy. I can try new things or fish the way I want and have no worries about the guy in the back catching fish. I always enjoy company, but there is something about the solo mission I love.
The winds were finally manageable, and even laid down mid morning. I screwed around throwing a jerkbait for awhile and caught the usual assortment of snake pike. As I cruised into my favorite spawning flat I finally saw the temps I liked and the wind conditions prime to fish it. The only adjustment I made through trial and error was location based. Normally these fish flood into 1-2 feet of water all the way in the back of the flat. While I still caught fish in the usual spots, there was no concentrations of fish. I found a little pinch point area near deeper water that usually produces little to be holding the vast majority of fish. With a storm moving in I had to end the outing early at 50 fish.
After the worst of the storm rolled through I decided to try some night shore fishing at the lodge. It has been great in the past, usually for walleye. I put on the rain gear and headed out with one rod and a pocket full of baits. I fished for about 45 minutes with the sun setting with no bites. As I thought of the half pound burger waiting for me at the hotel bar, my rod doubled over and a big fish boiled in the surface. After a nice fight I was surprised not to see the glowing eyes of a walleye, and instead an absolute tank of a bass. What I figured was a fluke repeated itself 5 more times over the next hour. It was one of those times I wished I had my scale as 2 of the fish were well over 5 lbs. Funny that the biggest fish come shore fishing at the lodge after 3 days of pounding the whole lake in the boat.
Baits of choice were the usual stick worms, jerk baits, chatterbaits, shad raps, and even had some buzzbait action. Sounds silly, but low water temp observed on Saturday was 52. We found 70 degree water in the inlet on Sunday evening. After this cold front everything will probably push back down in the 50's.
I could have fished again today, but headed back early due to my kitchen floor being tore out for a plumbing issue. Off to Busse Thursday for the sectional.
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