Great day at Hagg, 30 September 2019


bass

Well-known member
I had a fun and interesting day at Hagg Lake this past Sunday. It was a mixed day of fog, mist, drizzle, shivering but ultimately going home with a smile on my face.

I got to the lake pretty early and launched at boat ramp C. My plan was to spend most of the day trolling but to save a little time at the end for bass fishing.

I started trolling towards Sain Creek and in short order, after a couple of lost fish, landed my first of the day, a nice chunky rainbow that fought like a demon possessed. The trout were like maniacs all day in the 60+ degree water.



I caught that fish, and most of the 33 other trout, on my favorite Hagg setup. A 50' setback, a 1/8oz dropper, a 1/24oz green roostertail with a trailer hook with 1/2 a nightcrawler threaded on. I also caught trout on a pink roostertail and a Strike King Bitsy Minnow in Sexy Shad.



The Bitsy Minnow is the lure in the photo. The day was a little different than what I consider normal. It was a continuous, steady stream of fish. I think I only had one or two doubles on and none landed. Normally at Hagg the trout are more bunched with longer lulls followed by torrid action. This was a classic example of "slow and steady wins the race".

Now 33 trout, with many good-sized ones, is always a great day of fishing, but it was the bonus fish that really made the day. Late in the morning I was trolling when I had a good hit on the Bitsy Minnow. The fish put a nice bend in my rod by was relatively sedate compared to the crazed, often airborne, rainbows I had been catching. I was pretty excited to see the mystery fish.



I was pretty blown away to catch a nice-sized crappie out over open water. The day got better and more exciting and interesting with each crappie I caught a crappie. Some on the Bitsy Minnow and some on the roostertails.





After the last fish, my camera said it was full. That is weird I thought. I figured my SD card was loose. Turns out I was right. It was really loose, like back home on my desk loose. Cue up a Home Simpson "Doh".

The camera has internal memory for 5 pictures so I put it away and kept on fishing. As the day wore I on my desire to fish for bass grew and grew until I could not stand it any longer. I racked the trout rods and picked up my bass gear.

The action was not red-hot but I managed to land a 2lb 6oz, 2lb 2oz smallmouth and a 1lb 9oz largemouth in about an hour and half. The wind was a little challenging for kayak control but it was a lot of fun. All the fish came on a drop shot from about 25-30' of water.

That pretty much raps up my day. I did not take pictures of the bass, but I did have my video camera with me. It died after the 2lb 6oz bass (my first bass). This is the least terrible of the footage from the day. It is pretty crappy but feel free to enjoy - or don't - no pressure :) Thanks for reading along!

 

4labs

Active member
Wow
Now that's a report plus great pic.
Never tried a roster tail but have a bunch of them.
If they hit the bitsy minnow try a Berkley rainbow flicker shad in 3inch. Put a little Pro Cure trophy trout on the bill.
Really hard to find. Sometimes Sportsmans Warehouse has it and Coastal. It out fishes every lure I have.
 

bass

Well-known member
Thanks @4labs ! I don't think the exact lure matters all that much but I do believe things like size matter. The water is quite clear right now so I like to fish really tiny stuff. The 1/24oz roostertail is just a convenient way to get there. I have thought about just trolling a plain worm without any spinner at all just to see if the spinner is really needed or not. I know a lot of people troll a bare worm behind a flasher and catch fish.

I looked up the flicker shad and it looks like a rapala shad rap. I believe the fish are feeding on bluegill fry which are only about 1" long. The bitsy minnow is 1.25" and I think it is a little big. A 3" lure is relatively large in comparison. I do throw on a bigger plug occasionally but usually I catch about the same size fish at a slower rate.

Your idea of adding scent to a plug is a good one. I used to do that a lot in bass fishing but slowly stopped since it did not seem to affect the catch rate. Trout, though, might be a different idea. I assume adding the 1/2 nightcrawler helps because of the scent. Makes a ton of sense that for a plug it might be even more important. If I get back out to Hagg this year I will run a little experiment.

@troutdude the lake is not even close to turning over. The surface temp is still in the low- to mid-60s. I believe the deep water may still be in the upper 40s. Likely won't turnover until much later (if ever). Not sure if Hagg turns over or not. Also, my experience is that turnover is the worst time to fish. The lake becomes roiled as the water mixes and lots of dead scum floats to the surface. That is how lakes turned over on the East coast but perhaps those conditions were due in part to how fast the water temp dropped and how hard the lake turned over. A gradual turnover is likely not disruptive the way East Coast turnovers were.
 

troutdude

Well-known member
Moderator
@bass thank you. I'd not thought of turnover in that way before. What you've shared does make sense. But I sure have seen a lot of hype, in the past, about it being the "very best" time to fish (during the turnover). Maybe it's true for some lakes/regions; and not for others?
 

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