First Opeka bass of the year 5/9/18

Lake Opeka at Lake Park - Des Plaines, IL
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First Opeka bass of the year 5/9/18

Postby cyanatic » May Sun 13, 2018 1:48 pm

First Opeka bass of the year 5/9/18

I work across the street from Opeka Lake, so it's real easy for me hit it in the evening after work. Since April (on days when Old Man Winter wasn't insisting on snowing...), this was probably bout my 6th trip to Opeka. In previous years at this time, crank baits and lipless cranks seemed to work for me.

It was cool, low to mid-60's. I went to the large semi-circle that juts out into the lake on the southern half. I've often been successful along that stretch and also down on the south end near the fence to the golf course.

I worked different lures but nothing worked until I tied on a texas rigged trick worm (black and purple) with a bullethead weight with a bead behind it. I was casting almost lateral to the shoreline to the south. Water was fairly clear. As I brought the worm in, I saw a bass following it about 6 feet from shore. He didn't strike so I cast out about 15 feet from where I saw him and slowly brought the worm back. Within a few seconds I felt the tap, set the hook and brought him in. Not huge, but it was nice to get the first Opeka bass of 2018 under my belt.

There were a number of fisherman around me, mostly using bait and bobbers. Nobody seemed to be catching anything. I did see some guys in a canoe and a boat, but they were working the southern end and the golf course side and I couldn't see if they were bringing anything in. I decided to work my way up to the north end. I went up to a point just south of the wooden deck on the north end near the church. There's an overhanging tree there and I thought I'd try that spot. I made a looping cast a little too high and ended up with the lure in a branch of the tree. Idiot. The lure didn't make it back. Opeka giveth and Opeka taketh away, I guess. Usually I lose my gear down in the rocks. Given the few trees along the shoreline you have to work pretty hard to lose gear in the branches of one of the few trees around the lake! Fishing is always a lesson in humility.


Opeka bass:

Image



These were the lures I tried. Only the Texas rigged worm with the bullet head and the bead worked for me. Ironic because that was the same setup I used to catch my last bass at Opeka in 2017 on August 2nd:

Image




Sunset over Opeka:

Image
Good fishing,

Steve

" Fishing is not an escape from life, but often a deeper immersion into it"
-Harry Middleton-
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cyanatic
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Re: First Opeka bass of the year 5/9/18

Postby minstrel » May Sun 13, 2018 2:12 pm

Ahh I've been wondering how it's going and if you've been out. I usually have a double bobber stretch out there previous to the bass hittin' plastics... but with this year being so odd I haven't done it much. When I did I had a day where I literally hung nightcrawlers under bobbers for hours all around the lake without even a snip of the hanging ends! :roll:

Haven't been back... but good to see the action could be picking up, it's always a later bite out there.
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Re: First Opeka bass of the year 5/9/18

Postby cyanatic » May Sun 13, 2018 7:29 pm

Minstrel, it's funny you should say that. The first thing I tried this day was a wacky rig with an orange/black senko. I seem to remember you doing well on those at Opeka last year or maybe the year before. I'm hoping Opeka is starting to heat up. I know the bobber fisherman down by the boat launch were doing pretty well based on the gills and stripers in their buckets. I walk around the lake at lunch some days and I always check out how the catch is going for the people there.
Good fishing,

Steve

" Fishing is not an escape from life, but often a deeper immersion into it"
-Harry Middleton-
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Re: First Opeka bass of the year 5/9/18

Postby Brett » May Mon 14, 2018 9:24 am

Nice fish. And great photo.

I might have been one of the boaters you saw. Picked up 3 small ones on jerkbaits and a ned rig. Bumped into a guy out there who had some decent sized gills in a cooler.
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