I'm visiting OKC and staying at the Isola Bella, which has a beautiful pond on the compound. There is a story of someone pulling out a 6 pound bass last week, so that made the pavlov bell ring, and my mouth salivated. The first two days, no bass.
However, yesterday, on the small feeder creek to the pond, I spotted 3 LARGE largemouth swimming around. I was convinced that I was going to hook up! Threw popper. Nothing. Threw egg sucking leach. Nothing but sunfish. Threw crayfish, again nothing. And not only nothing, the bass would swim right by it, or look at it and back away.
What, if anything, am i doing wrong? Is it just the wrong time of year? I highly doubt they aren't eating.
I dont know how the weather's been in OKC recently, but here in Clovis NM its been beutiful, and the water is really starting to warm. At Ute the bass are REALLY REALLY close to spawing.
I believe that may have been what you saw, a few bigger males cruising to find spots to spawn. and as a previous bass fisherman cruising fish are almost impossible to catch. I'd say to throw the standards leaches, decievers, poppers. and hope to catch some that arnt ready just yet. Let the cruisers alone to do their thing and make even more bass.
I hear you. I would never keep them. So there would be very little if any damage if i pulled on out for a minute.
They aren't exactly cruising. They seem to be holding in the same pool. All
3. But I don't see a bed.
It was HOT! when I landed, but it's been a normal April as far as I can tell since. Cold in the mornings, nice in the daytime. Might try some weighted eye clousers today, but I'm not the best at tossing the weighted flies.
Although I have somewhat mixed feelings on what I suggest. Here is an option. Research a salamander pattern. Toss it into what are beds. I have done this...but then again, I don't keep fish. Maybe a salmon here or there. But that's about it. (hence mixed feelings) BTW, I tied chamoise salamanders in the past. Colored them with permanent markers to try to match them with real look. Had some good success. Fish them slow and on the beds. C&R is the way to go here. Just saying!
Situations like this are always difficult to diagnose without seeing what's going on, and even then not so easy. My take on pond bass is that usually, if you can easily see them, they likewise will see you, particularly if the pond gets fished frequently. It may be they're making ready for spawning, which has their attention, rather than eating. It could also be the water temp is still not as warm as it could be, their metabolism is still a bit slow & they're suspended where you're seeing them & just soaking up the warmth. Doesn't appear that they're actively feeding. I would first watch them awhile, attempting to keep them from knowing you're there & try to see if they're eating anything, then try to get into a casting position, with as much stealth as possible. I would try a light weight offering, perhaps a 2-3 inch streamer, something that will land softly & suspend just below the surface, or sink very slowly.
A streamer with a coloration that mimics some prey species that may be present might be the best approach, but I've never found bass to be all that particular, so even generic patterns will probably work. I would also cast it within their sight, but not too close, maybe a foot or two in front of them, and let it sit there. If they appear interested, and move in slowly, then make it dart & appear to be injured & fleeing, but don't pull it away out of their reach. They may not be inclined to chase it.
If they won't take it, keep trying. It will likely take a great deal of patience & persistence & you may have to just aggravate them to get a take.
Cast, allow the fly to sink (or float), wait a minimum of 1 minute (hard to do!)
Slowly give your fly/crayfish/etc. a few twitches.
If you can see the bass inspecting, make the fly 'flee' if they get close, by stripping a few feet.
Creep the fly in and repeat.
The smart bass seem to get pretty disturbed when their very quiet pond experiences splashes and flies landing. The waiting seems to get them back to feeding or whatever it is they are doing.
Also, If I am sight fishing to bass, I cast as far past them as I can (within reason), and retrieve it within their range.
If there is a breeze and some surface chop, dry dropper setup works surprisingly well for bass and crappie. (foam spider/damsel, or Cricket/leech, indicator/crayfish, etc.)
It was not a huge one, but it was unexpected as I was not fishing the beds. I was actually going after some white crappie that was in the second pond on the property, and then BANG! My first Largemouth on the FLY!!!
I was stripping a black wooly bugger through the pond when he inhaled it. Barbless hook let me release him quickly. He darted back the second he touched the water, no wait time. I took a picture but for the life of me, can't figure out how to post it.
The nesting largemouths are still not biting though!
Bedding bass will bite but it's a real waiting game. Don't worry about spooking them the idea is to agrivate them into biting. I tie a fly that swims like a floating worm. I don't have pictures of it but it's maribo, rubber legs and flash. It's about3 inches long behind the hook. The body is much like a wolly bugger, I guess it's a bugger with a long tail. When it's wet it will swim like a very small snake on the surface or you can pause it and it sinks very slowely. It's killer on spring time bass. There is no secret to making this fly, if it has enough length and action a bass that's just moved up to bed will chase it.