Hagg Lake report for Sunday May 19th


bass

Well-known member
I spent a long day on the water on Sunday. Getting on the water by 7am and not getting off until 6pm. My total for the day was 2 largemouth, 10 smallmouth, a bunch of bluegill and a few crappie. The water temp was right around 62-63 all day long.

I started the day throwing a topwater for about 15 minutes with no love (and no real confidence) so I switched over to a jerk bait. After a few dozen casts I caught my first fish of the day which was a largemouth that went about a pound. I kept hammering the bank, switching off between a jerkbait and a swimbait. I missed a couple of hits (probably trout or smaller bass) when I caught my big fish for the day, a 2lb 11oz smallmouth, once again on the jerkbait.

The funny thing with that fish is that I got it into the kayak and weighed it but set it down while I got my camera out. That fish flopped right out of the kayak and left me feeling like an idiot. Good job on the fishes part. Apparently, he went down and told all the other fish about the jerkbait because I did not catch another fish on that jerkbait the rest of the day. I periodically would throw it but I never had another hit on it.

After a bit I switched over to a wacky rigged brown senko. The thing I did differently this week was that I had it on this light (1/16oz) weedless jighead designed for wacky fishing. That rig hung up way less than just a normal finesse hook wacky rigged senko. Plus, the little bit of weight helped it sink a little bit faster. Overall I have to say that I am a fan.

I pulled into one of my favorite mini-coves and started tossing the senko and quickly picked up several decent sized smallmouth. I will add a picture when I get it off the camera. With the off and on drizzle and a bit of chill in the air I only took the one picture all day long. I kept working my way down the bank and picked up a fish every once in a while. After a bit it became clear that the productive pattern for me was to fish bare spots between the weedebeds (like where there was a cut out all the way to shore). I focused on those spots and spent time working them carefully (quickly fishing the weeds in between).

I finally worked my way down to a spot where I had caught bass before. And I tossed my senko out. The line twitched and I set the hook into something solid but then the line went slack. I reeled quickly thinking I had missed the fish, but instead I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the fish was just swimming towards me. I got the line tight and the battle was on. Once I put some pressure on the fish it went nuts and jumped clear out of the water. A big, fat largemouth in the 4-5lb range. The fish dove down ripping drag and then came bursting out again. I leaned on that fish as hard as I dared with the 8lb test. I got her about 10' from the kayak when she jumped a 3rd time. This time her head shaking worked and the jig came flying out.

I was crushed. That fish was a beast and would have been my best fish from Hagg. I went back to that spot several times later in the day hoping she had a short memory but that was a fool's errand.

I kept working the banks, mostly with the senko but occasionally switching off between a squarebill crankbait in a bluegill color and the jerkbait. At some point mid-morning the wind shifted directions a bit and that seemed to really kill the bite for me. There was a good 4 hour period there where I did not catch a fish. It is weird how it goes from feeling like there are fish everywhere to the place being a desert.

Eventually, the bite picked up a little bit and I caught a largemouth on the crankbait and a few more smallmouth on the senko. Nothing bit but way better than catching nothing.

Around 3pm I pulled into ramp C and got a hot dog from the little business there. I had thought about calling it a day before the hot dog, but that gave me energy and filled me with a new hope. I fished for bass for a while without any actions so I decided that I would spend my remaining time panfishing instead of bass fishing. That ended up being a fun call. I decided to just pedal my way down the lake to a small cove that I like and see if I could find some fish.

I was fishing a double rig under a bobber. On top I had a trout magnet and underneath I had a 1/80oz jig with a 1" gulp minnow. I did not catch a single fish on the trout magnet but man did they love that little gulp minnow. I probably caught 10 bluegill for every crappie. and missed way more fish than I caught. The action was fast and furious for at least an hour (in a pretty small spot). When the bite slowed I decided to fish my way back to the ramp and head home.

I stopped at a few promising spots and they all produced bluegill but the first spot was the only one that produced crappie. The most amazing thing to me is that I did not catch a single perch. I did not fish for panfish at Hagg last year at all but in the few years before that it seemed like the lake was teeming with small perch and that it was harder to catch bluegill and crappie. Sunday was a completely different story.

Overall it was good day on the water, the rain came and went and the wind was never too bad. The only really sad part is that I left the water far too late to get any fried chicken from the lakestop store.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Aervax

Active member
I love your fishing stories Bass. That was a great report. Filled with ripe tidbits on what makes Haag tick. I need to get down there one of these days. Sounds like the water temp is getting into the ideal range bass. No pressure, but expecting big things from you down there over the next couple of weeks.
 
Awesome report! I hope to get my kayak out there this weekend. Is funny, I can't seem to catch em on a jerk bait. I guess it's a confidence thing. But they love a spinnerbait at hagg. And I also never catch smallies there. I assumed they like the Rip rap at the damn, but it sounds like you're catching them up on the north end?
 

Golfbum

Member
I spent a long day on the water on Sunday. Getting on the water by 7am and not getting off until 6pm. My total for the day was 2 largemouth, 10 smallmouth, a bunch of bluegill and a few crappie. The water temp was right around 62-63 all day long.

I started the day throwing a topwater for about 15 minutes with no love (and no real confidence) so I switched over to a jerk bait. After a few dozen casts I caught my first fish of the day which was a largemouth that went about a pound. I kept hammering the bank, switching off between a jerkbait and a swimbait. I missed a couple of hits (probably trout or smaller bass) when I caught my big fish for the day, a 2lb 11oz smallmouth, once again on the jerkbait.

The funny thing with that fish is that I got it into the kayak and weighed it but set it down while I got my camera out. That fish flopped right out of the kayak and left me feeling like an idiot. Good job on the fishes part. Apparently, he went down and told all the other fish about the jerkbait because I did not catch another fish on that jerkbait the rest of the day. I periodically would throw it but I never had another hit on it.

After a bit I switched over to a wacky rigged brown senko. The thing I did differently this week was that I had it on this light (1/16oz) weedless jighead designed for wacky fishing. That rig hung up way less than just a normal finesse hook wacky rigged senko. Plus, the little bit of weight helped it sink a little bit faster. Overall I have to say that I am a fan.

I pulled into one of my favorite mini-coves and started tossing the senko and quickly picked up several decent sized smallmouth. I will add a picture when I get it off the camera. With the off and on drizzle and a bit of chill in the air I only took the one picture all day long. I kept working my way down the bank and picked up a fish every once in a while. After a bit it became clear that the productive pattern for me was to fish bare spots between the weedebeds (like where there was a cut out all the way to shore). I focused on those spots and spent time working them carefully (quickly fishing the weeds in between).

I finally worked my way down to a spot where I had caught bass before. And I tossed my senko out. The line twitched and I set the hook into something solid but then the line went slack. I reeled quickly thinking I had missed the fish, but instead I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the fish was just swimming towards me. I got the line tight and the battle was on. Once I put some pressure on the fish it went nuts and jumped clear out of the water. A big, fat largemouth in the 4-5lb range. The fish dove down ripping drag and then came bursting out again. I leaned on that fish as hard as I dared with the 8lb test. I got her about 10' from the kayak when she jumped a 3rd time. This time her head shaking worked and the jig came flying out.

I was crushed. That fish was a beast and would have been my best fish from Hagg. I went back to that spot several times later in the day hoping she had a short memory but that was a fool's errand.

I kept working the banks, mostly with the senko but occasionally switching off between a squarebill crankbait in a bluegill color and the jerkbait. At some point mid-morning the wind shifted directions a bit and that seemed to really kill the bite for me. There was a good 4 hour period there where I did not catch a fish. It is weird how it goes from feeling like there are fish everywhere to the place being a desert.

Eventually, the bite picked up a little bit and I caught a largemouth on the crankbait and a few more smallmouth on the senko. Nothing bit but way better than catching nothing.

Around 3pm I pulled into ramp C and got a hot dog from the little business there. I had thought about calling it a day before the hot dog, but that gave me energy and filled me with a new hope. I fished for bass for a while without any actions so I decided that I would spend my remaining time panfishing instead of bass fishing. That ended up being a fun call. I decided to just pedal my way down the lake to a small cove that I like and see if I could find some fish.

I was fishing a double rig under a bobber. On top I had a trout magnet and underneath I had a 1/80oz jig with a 1" gulp minnow. I did not catch a single fish on the trout magnet but man did they love that little gulp minnow. I probably caught 10 bluegill for every crappie. and missed way more fish than I caught. The action was fast and furious for at least an hour (in a pretty small spot). When the bite slowed I decided to fish my way back to the ramp and head home.

I stopped at a few promising spots and they all produced bluegill but the first spot was the only one that produced crappie. The most amazing thing to me is that I did not catch a single perch. I did not fish for panfish at Hagg last year at all but in the few years before that it seemed like the lake was teeming with small perch and that it was harder to catch bluegill and crappie. Sunday was a completely different story.

Overall it was good day on the water, the rain came and went and the wind was never too bad. The only really sad part is that I left the water far too late to get any fried chicken from the lakestop store.
Great report,
Thanks
 

bass

Well-known member
You all are welcome. I use the forum as my fishing diary so I need to put in enough details to remember what I was doing. You all are just snooping in my diary :)

@Aervax I hope I don't disappoint you! I am torn on fishing Hagg or the Willamette this weekend. I have not made a bass trip to the Willie yet this year so I will have to spend more time figuring out what is going on, but that is definitely part of the fun.

@portlandrain I love throwing a spinnerbait. Growing in PA it was definitely my goto lure. I have fished a spinnerbait a fair deal at Hagg and all I have caught on them are largemouth in the 1lb range. I think it is interesting and telling that you also only catch largemouth on the spinnerbait at Hagg. I think that is partly because I tend to fish it in the weeds and I think the smallmouth relate more to a little deeper water. In the Willamette I slow roll a white spinnerbait a ton in the summer and fall. That produces a lot of 2-3lb smallmouth for me. I would imagine slow-rolling a spinnerbait along the riprap might work but I rarely get down that end of the lake once the water warms and it gets crowded.

Having confidence in a bait makes the world of difference. It took me a while to develop that with a drop shot. Now it is what I fish most on the Willamette. I got a book when I was a kid called "Lunker" and the author spent a chapter on each lure. He said that when he got his hands on a new type of lure (like a spinnerbait) that he would fish it exclusively for a year, whether he was catching fish on it or not. He said that it was the only way to truly learn how to fish a bait. I am nowhere near that extreme, but I have definitely found that if I stick with a lure for at least a few hours a day when I am learning it (even without catching anything) that I eventually get over the hump and I figure out how to work it effectively.
 
I was on the Hagg yesterday (May 24th) in my Canoe trolling up around Scoggins and Seine with average water temp of 62 except in the Scoggins stream flow where it dropped down to 56... did better on Bass than last week... Bluegill bite was on in the shallows as well, found a submerged tree and some other structure that produce Crappie and other Panfish. Stupid Clone Fish (Hatchery Trout) were biting as well, to the point of being a nuisance. Kept three nice Bass over 3# for Dinner... rest of fish were all C&R as normal.
 

Golfbum

Member
I was on the Hagg yesterday (May 24th) in my Canoe trolling up around Scoggins and Seine with average water temp of 62 except in the Scoggins stream flow where it dropped down to 56... did better on Bass than last week... Bluegill bite was on in the shallows as well, found a submerged tree and some other structure that produce Crappie and other Panfish. Stupid Clone Fish (Hatchery Trout) were biting as well, to the point of being a nuisance. Kept three nice Bass over 3# for Dinner... rest of fish were all C&R as normal.
Hagg only has 1 fish limit for bass
 
@bass hey man, I'd love to fish with you if you'd be interested. I planned to hit hagg tomorrow and the Willy on Monday! I could easily flip those two. Cool weather tomorrow will keep the idiots off the Willy, maybe that's the better plan now that I think about it

I actually hit you up for some spinnerbait tricks a few years ago for the river. I have increased my success rate by 1000% after a good deal of practice with it. I want to move on from it but I know how well I can do with it so it's hard to set it down. I should just leave them at home maybe haha ☹
 

C_Run

Well-known member
Bass, what tactics do you prefer for panfish? I just have limited experience but have used crappie jigs and caught a few bluegill here and there but never any great numbers for the amount of effort.
 

bass

Well-known member
I mostly fish with tiny jigs in the 1/64 to 1/100 oz range. I do a small variety of things.

1. I tie up marabou jigs. Usually black on top and white on the bottom. These are 1" or less in length.
2. 1" gulp minnows work great but you go through them fast. I have some 1/80 oz jigheads I bought at Cabelas that are the perfect size.
3. Smallest twisty tail you can find. Try to find 1" if you can.

On 1/32 and 1/16 oz jigheads I fish the normal small twisty tails, beetle grubs (and beetle spins), tiny tubes.

I fish either one or two of these at a time, often a 1/32 or 1/16 on top and a tiny one on the bottom.

I usually start with a bobber 2' down and fish that for a while. If no bites I add 1' if no bites I add 1'. If no bites I take off the bobber and just fish slowly trying to just tick the weeds. Usually somewhere along the line you find the magic combination.

For locations I like to fish over sunken weedbeds, especially weeds with some wood in them. Spots where the weeds grow a couple of feet off the bottom and are a few feet or more from the surface. I usually don't fish deeper than 12' and anywhere from there to casting against the shoreline. The last thing I would say is that if you find a bare spot surrounded by weeds that is often a money spot.

I hope this helps.
 

C_Run

Well-known member
Thanks, Bass. I will be shopping for some tiny jig heads next time I am in the big city.
 

Top