Those little buggers are aggressive!

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ChezJfrey

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I've recently decided to take up fishing again so that my kids could try it out (they really enjoy it!), I figured I should practice.

I live in Tigard, so I thought I'd go down to Summer Lake and practice my fishing (I was never that great at it in my youth). I got up early, before work today, and I just started throwing various things out in the only area fishing is allowed (a 40 foot area) at the lake.

When I got to the perch-flavored Rapala...look out! I started getting all kinds of hits. I had to look on the internet and from what I gather, the hooked fish were bass. They were of a greenish tint, gaping mouths and from the photos of bass I could find, the dorsal fin patterns and overall body shape of bass appears to match what I caught.

What cracked me up was that of the 6 fish I ended up landing, 4 of them were barely larger than the 2.5 inch lure. These little 4-5 inch fish were aggressively crazy about that lure! I couldn't decide if they were actually trying to eat it or perhaps court it for a little romance because they were roughly the same size...LOL!

Anyway, I also caught two larger ones, one 13 inches and one 11 incher. Good times...it was quite a bit of fun to re-enter the world of fishing.

Oh, and I put 'em all back, so if anyone's interested, you can go back and re-catch them :)
 
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Left Bank

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Didn't know there was fish in there but glad you had fun. Yea, if I were to guess I'd say you hooked into smallmouths.
 
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ChezJfrey

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Didn't know there was fish in there but glad you had fun. Yea, if I were to guess I'd say you hooked into smallmouths.

While I am far from an expert, and these are the first bass I've ever caught, everything I could find leads me to believe they were actually largemouth.

Every one of them had a gaping mouth, were green in color, had a horizontal darker stripe, rather than the vertical patches and looked exactly like the largemouths pictured in these links:

PA Fishes Chapter 22 Sunfishes

The water is also quite silty and weedy, which apparently is more suited to the largemouth's typical habitat.

Unfortunately, not knowing exactly what they were at the time, I didn't think to check the length of the mouth relative to the eye. Next time, I'll check to make sure. I thought about using my phone to snap a shot, but of course had left it charging at home :)
 
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ChezJfrey

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Well, I went for an hour and a half again this morning and no little ones.

But, while only catching 3 of them today, the smallest was 9 inches. Another at 15 and the biggest at 16 inches today! I'm telling you, they aren't too shabby in that little pond...who knew?

I almost lost the biggest one due to my cheap-ass reel. The handle kept working loose, so I'd reel in a bit, keep line tension on the fish and tighten it by hand, rinse, repeat. Unfortunately, during one of my tightening moves, the fish actually took a run toward me...ack! But, I got it to shore.

If I'm going to keep at this, I'm going to have to ditch my intro gear and invest in something decent.

Edit to add: Oh, I checked the mouth and the edge of it just passes the outer edge of the eye.
 
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ChezJfrey

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Since I'm here, I suppose I'll ask a question.

I changed tactics slightly and am wondering if that's why I got the attention of the bigger ones and not the smaller.

I used that same top floating perch Rapala (since they seem to really like that one there), but instead of retrieving it at a pace that would allow it to submerge just over the weedbeds, I let if drift up to the surface more, then retrieved a bit slower, then drift back up several times.

I'm wondering if the smaller fish prefer to stay in the security of the weeds and they readily jumped a lure just above them, but being wary, were reluctant to go much further than that while the bigger fish are braver and thus would go after a lure on the surface?
 
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cbrimhall

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That's exactly why you got the attention of the bigger fish. If a small fish were to go all the way to the surface to hit a bait, he's making himself a huge target. Especially when he's the same size as said bait. I fished that lake a lot as a kid because I lived next to it. The weeds and algae blooms killed the bass fishing, but the city and local schools have worked on improving the water quality for a number of years, so I'm not surprised the bass population has produced some bigger fish. Too bad you can't take a kayak or pontoon out on it.
 
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