Hagg Lake part deux, 06 October 2019


Well-known member
I had such a great trip the week before that I was chomping at the bit to get back to Hagg lake. I always think it is fun having a multi-species day. My plan this week was to fish less for trout and more for bass in the hopes of catching more bass at the expense of catching fewer trout. Well, that only half worked out for me.

I got to the lake a bit after sunrise. The fog was extremely thick in the outlying areas which made for a slow drive. I could not see the lake from the parking lot at boat ramp C. Definitely spooky and scary. I slowly got ready hoping the fog would start to lift, but it just hung in there.

I decided, "What the heck" and went ahead and launched. I started trolling for trout and immediately I could not see the shoreline. That is a really eerie feeling. You feel like you are in the middle of a giant ocean when you can't see anything but water no matter which direction you look. I used the maps on my FF to make sure I was trolling where I wanted to be.

I trolled along, the fog playing tricks with my vision, when I got my first hit of the day. I landed a nice-sized trout of about 14".

That was a great way to start the day. The funny thing is that I could see on my map where I caught the fish but I had no idea where I was with respect to the shore. I kept trolling along catching fish here and there. The nice thing is that they were all good-sized fish. I am not sure I caught a trout under 12", and like last week they fought like demons. My rod was constanty being buried in the water during the battles.

I just kept trolling with my ears perked for other boats, the fog swirling around, and the trout biting. Every once in a while I would see a boat in the distance, for just a second before the fog would swallow it back up.

The fog had been thinnest at the no-wake end of the lake, so that is where I spent the foggy morning, trolling back and forth along the boat ramp C side of the lake using my FF to keep my not too far from shore. The good news is that there were plenty of good-sized fish there. Here is anice 16" beauty.

Once again, no idea where I was with respect to the shore. It was really weird, I would be trolling and then all of a sudden I would see a no-wake zone buoy and be like, "I did not realize I was close to the no-wake zone".

As the morning wore on the fog finally started lifting.

Until it was all but gone.

Once the fog was gone the bite stayed steady for a while but eventually it stopped for me. I was trolling my usuall 1/8oz dropper, 1/24oz roostertail, 1/2 nightcrawler 50' back. I was really paying hard attention and I noticed that the bite changed from the fish pounding the spinners, to getting an occasional hit and run, to nothing at all.

I figured that perhaps the fish had dropped deeper and the nature of the bites changed because instead of the fishing being at the depth of my lure and swimming behind it and chomping it that they were rocketing up from deeper water for a one chance slash at the lure. That really felt like it made sense.

So I started letting out more line, 10' at a time, staggering the two rods to find the fish more quickly. I went from 50' and 50' to 60' and 70', then 70' and 80', then 80' and 90'. At 90' back I started to get a few slashing bites. "I am getting close", I thought ot myself.

I switched teh 1/8oz dropper for 1/4oz droppers and started back over again at 60' and 70'. When I got to 80' back the bite was back on for me. I started catching them again as quickly as I had in the fog. Just had to find the right depth.

I caught my best fish of the day fishing like that, a 19" pig of a trout. I did not take a picture but it is on the video at the bottom.

The trout bite stayed great and I had 22 trout by noon. I think I could have caught them all day long but I really wanted to catch some bass. I figured I would give myself 4 hours of bass fishing to see how much damage I could do.

I racked the trout rods and picked up a drop shot with a small plastic worm on it and went to hunt for bass. I moved across the lake and started looking along the creek channels for spider blocks, stumps and fish arches.

The bite was not fast for me and I was having a really hard time staying on top of and oriented to the structures I was finding. I would see a big old tree and think I was casting across it but then I would not feel it when I dragged my plastic back. It was kind of frustrating.

I took a minute to give myself a pep talk and doubled down on my focus. I dropped on top of what looked like some fish when I felt the weight on my line. I set the hook and the rod buried for a second and then snapped back up.

"Dang it" I said (or something similar but not allowed to be posted here). I had been fishing for almost an hour and then to miss that first fish was really infuriating. I dropped back down and felt another bite. I set the hook this time and this time the rod stayed bent and the drag peeled!

I carefully worked the fish to the surface and it was a fat 2lb 3oz smallmouth. Once again, no picture but it is on the video. I was pretty psyched then. I went back to get on top of the fish again but they seemed to have scattered.

I spent the rest of the afternoon hunting and pecking at spots. That was my only smallmouth but I also caught 5 largemouth. The largemouth were all really pretty.

I started wearing my video camera when the fog burned off. I did not run it all the time this week but just when I would hook a fish - that will be evident in the video. That came back to bite me when I lost a really good-sized bass part way through the afternoon because I was futzing with the camera instead of paying attention to the fish on my line. I put the camera away at that point :)

So my plan for the day was to catch fewer trout, check! The plan was to catch more bass, no check! I spent twice as long fishing for bass as last week but with about the same result. All week long I dreamt of slaying the bass. I was glad to catch some but the day did not live up to the hype in my dreams.

Still a fun day overall out at Hagg. While I was trolling I did also catch one micro-sized perch so that made it 4 species for the day. It was nice and warm as I packed up and headed home, squinting at the sun and re-living all the magic moments of the day.

Here is some video (I need to get a lot better at this):