PML Fish, Fish, Fish

(Jon does it again.)

Once again, Jon delivered a spanking to the three of us, reinforcing our low stature on the fish ladder. This time, though, there was a small twist...

Update: Friends Comments
Update: Planning the Fishing Trip

Read about other fun with my friends.

It was great weather in Pine Mountain Lake this weekend. Clear skies with a light breeze on the lake. Friday sundown fishing was really good. PML has been catch and release for bass last year and this year we felt great. Each of us hit on several. Of course Jon pulled in more than his share, but we're used to that by now - it is his lake.

Saturday we were our usual lazy selves and didn't make it on to the lake until 10AM. We spent hours working the shore with little result. Again, Jon got a lot of bass. Jeff picked up several, and I got a few. Vance was barren. I lost several hits because they were either too small or I just didn't have the timing down to set the hook.

We sat in the boat for hours. Eventually we started trolling. Jon and Jeff were on a brown Frenzy, I was a crawdad flat A. Vance had all kinds of things he was trying. As it was, even though our lures were all behind the boat at the same place, only Jon was picking up the trout. He pulled up a great big trout and that made me switch to a Frenzy too. Still, only Jon was catching while trolling. Hmmm.



You can imagine that we examined every aspect of the fishing experience. Since trolling involves no skill at all to get a hit, we cranked on the problem. Several possibilities emerged from our analysis. First we noted that Jon's Frenzy was older and less colorful than ours. Hard to believe a trout would notice that while at trolling speed.  Second, Jon's pole had some great action going while trolling. He had a third harmonic beating in the tip of his pole. Jeff and I did not. Third, perhaps Jon's lure had some smell, or lack of smell, that helped. Again, hard to believe that at trolling speed this would have any effect. Lastly we wondered if Jon's lure had been bent or changed over the years to give it a different action. Sunday we planned to experiment.

The famous Frenzy.



Out on the water early, we trolled for hours without success. Jon is testing out a new lure that's a sparkling Frenzy. No one was hooking up. Then, around 9:30, boom. Jon lands a monster. Hmmm, looks like it's not the lure.


We take another pass at the same spot and BOOM, Jon is on the pole again. Jon has been driving the boat and his pole has been in a rod holder while Jeff and I handle ours. Vance has been in a pole holder, but with his luck, we discount that as a data point. Jeff sticks his pole in the rod holder and we make another pass. This time Jeff hooks up a monster.

Ok, time for me to get in on the fun. I put my pole on the other side's rod holder and on the return leg of our circuit I land a big trout. Aha! It's the use of the rod holder that makes the difference! And what a difference it is too. Each time we make a pass, the rod holder on the lake side of the boat takes a trout. It must be something to do with the vibration the pole takes on when the end is fixed solidly to the boat. We have a grand time bringing in trout until the party stops, sometime around 10:30.


Note that the scale jumped around a lot and often settled on 4.4 pounds. OK, I'll take a legal 4.3 if I have to.


I don't think you'll find much to argue with here. These are beauties.

According to the snack shack woman, these are planted cutbow trout - a special mix breed of cut throat and rainbow trout. She says PML stocked 1000 pounds of them this year in the 4-6 pound range.

Hmmm. That's only 200 fish. If we caught 6 this weekend and Jon caught 5 two weeks ago, that means Jon has taken 5% of the entire stocked fish. Wow. With a little effort Jon might be able to rake in 25% of all the stockers. Go Jon, Go!!


We dropped Jeff off at the dock to get on his way home and the rest of the morning was spent carefully removing hooks and plastic worms from the lips of large mouth bass. I missed a couple and I hooked a couple that broke loose when they jumped out of the water. What the hell, it's catch and release anyway. To round out the weekend, Vance finally got his hands on a very nice size bass too.


Here are two pictures of the beautiful, calm Pine Mountain Lake. Enjoy - we sure did.


June 24, 2003 Comments From Friends

 Well done! It's clearly the transmission of motor vibrations through the hull of the boat to the holder that does the trick, whereas holding the rod dampens vibrations.

Now, as for the fact that it was always the lakeside rod-holder, I attribute that to the Coriolis effect. Or the Hawthorne effect, or Doppler effect. Maybe even Placebo effect. Couldn't possibly have been chance!

Paul in Palm Springs


Cool site and trip description. You've got my vote for Gov. Sorry I missed Vance catching his fish, that is a rare experience! Sounds like I missed a great afternoon of bass fishing on Sunday. Darn.

I BBQ'd that big dude for dinner Sunday night. Wrapped it in foil with butter, salt,pepper & lemon. It tasted awesome, more like a Salmon than a Trout.

Jeff from the trip




The Trash Talking That Went on Before the Trip

A big trip like this requires a lot of planning. Here's an excerpt of the work that went into this trip.

...May 20

So, I got some practice in last weekend at Lake Lopez, south of San  Luis Obispo. Check it out. The red lure is just for size, he came upon my irresistible light blue rattle trap and then it later came upon an irresistible underwater branch. Also managed to break the top six inches off one of my poles - crap. 

...May 23

Hi Jim,

It looks like you could give me a few pointers in Photoshop too!

Try the Extreme rods from Bass Pro Shop (54M modulus). I have found that I prefer them to their more expensive rods. I saw rod/reel combos for $50 at their last sale so the rods should be roughly half that on sale.

Don't forget to get some Green Stik-Os and 2/0 wide gap offset worm hooks.

I'm going up to the cabin again this weekend for Memorial Day with the family. I'll send back a fishing report.


...May 23

I didn't find any green ones on the web site. I'll hit Fisherman's Warehouse soon to look for them.My pole broke just below the second ferrule, so I'm going to try putting a new top one on it.

Good luck on the fishing.

...May 26   

Hi guys,

The fishing was pretty good this weekend, not stupendous but enough to keep you interested. You had to cast right to shore for the bass and they'd bite quickly or not at all.

I fished both Saturday and Sunday. I caught 10-15 bass per day. On Saturday they were all 2-3 pounds and all were caught on the Watermelon Seed Stik-O's. On Sunday I caught one 4 pounder, and lots of smaller bass. They weren't biting until I moved to the top of the inlet creek and went back to the Stik-O. I tried lots of other things all morning with no success. I did have one good bite on a top water but I got excited and set the hook too early. I saw quite a few more fish but they were not biting in some areas. The locals claimed that they were post spawn and would not eat for a couple of weeks.

There were some long 'no fish' stretches so I did some trolling too. The bass are still catch and release so I was supposed to pick up some trout. I knew that they had stocked some bigger fish and I've occasionally caught bigger trout on two of my bass lures. I focused on these lures and picked up 4 trout (2 each day) in the 3-4 pound range. One might have gone a little larger. The magic lures were: 1) the Berkeley Frenzy deep diver in beige, and 2) a deep diver minnow imitation (not sure what brand might be a bass pro shop brand). Saturday the tan one was hot, Sunday it was the minnow. My son caught a 2 pounder on a clown deep diver minnow (his first real fish!).

I'm going to pick up some more of the Frenzy tan lures to keep around.


...May 27

Thanks for the note.

I bought some Yamamoto brand Senkos at FW. They didn't have "smoke" but they had dark gray with blue flecks. Hope those work. Also picked up some replacement lures for my lost rattle traps, but the new ones look different from the old ones. Those old ones worked - too bad I can't find the same things. FW repaired my rod tip too, so that's done. Also have an order of stuff coming from Bass Pro Shops that will round out my gear box.

This man is ready to fish!


...June 9

I'm still planning on going. Got a whole load of golden fish egg plastics, and some chartreuse frogs. Also got a load of red things that look like squids. The bait shop guy sold me some catfish stuff too; he said the bass will love it! I can't wait.

Keep us apprised of the actual departure time. I'm ready to go around 11am.

...June 9

 Hi Guys,

I spoke with Jon a few minutes ago. I'm happy to drive someone else up but I will need to come home by myself as I'm stopping in Stockton on Sunday to visit my dad.

Schrempp, my question for you is when's the last time you pulled a dead squid out of a Black Bass?

See you guys Friday sometime.

...June 9

The guy at the shop said he'd just come back from a very successful large mouth bass fishing trip to Hawaii and that squid was all the rage...

...June 10

Not that we need any facts here but I thought you'd like to know that only 1 island in Hawaii has largemouth bass. They were introduced to the sugar cane irrigation ponds on Kauai. I have the name of a good guide who has private access to 2 of the ponds. Currently they are owned by Steve Case of AOL. They also put Peacock Bass into them a few years ago.


PS. We didn't use any squid.