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Thole Lake

September 25, 2012

August 25, 2012

From the pristine waters of Siseebakwet last week to the green, dingy and weedy slop of Thole Lake, these two lakes are quite a contrast.  Thole, which is located in Scott County, Minnesota, is literally across the road from O’Dowd Lake. Both are fine bass lakes, although its been awhile since I’ve fished O’Dowd.  Not that I’m a regular on Thole.  Prior to this, I’ve fished Thole twice: once through the ice in March 2011 (careful as there is an aerator to prevent winter kill), and once in late August 2011.  The ice fishing was okay.  I caught a dozen small crappies and a bunch of small sunfish.  The fishing for large mouth bass was much better, yielding seven large mouth bass on buzz baits and spinner baits.  Today, I decide to give Thole another shot.

The day is perfect.  Cloudy, humid, and a slight breeze out of the southwest.  There is a front rolling in and rain is forecast for the afternoon.  I feel like my timing is right on.  I rig and launch my Pelican Bass Raider, which is perfect for lakes like this, and head for the northwest bay.  This summer has been dry and the lake is low.  I scrape bottom and bounce off a few rocks in the narrow channel from the main lake, realizing that I wouldn’t have been able to get through with a larger boat.  I note along the way that the water of the main lake is really green and wonder what it will be like in the bay. Filled with lily pads, reeds, fallen timber, a few docks, mats of milfoil, coontail, and the occasional cabbage weed, the bay in the north west corner is a slop fisherman’s dream.  Fortunately, the water inside the bay is clearer and I begin tossing a buzz bait.  It only takes a few casts before a fish explodes on the buzz bait as it gets a few feet past the edge of the lily pads.  My optimism is good as there are occasional splashes and pockets of bait fish jumping out of the water, indicating feeding fish, and I continue casting.  Surprisingly, I don’t see any more action on the buzz bait, which seems unusual given the relative quickness of the first strike.  I pick the rod rigged with spinner bait and make a cast next to a clump of lily pads.  It only takes a few cranks of the reel before this fish slams into it.

Things go quiet so I switch to a plastic worm, all to no avail. Going back back to the buzz bait I catch three small northern pike that aggressively strike the lure.   Wanting to catch a bass I slow things down with a top water frog. Working it back from shore I see a bass rise and strike the resting lure.  It was reminiscent of catching trout on a fly as it seems to have happened in slow motion. After a quick fight and a couple jumps I land it and measure it at thirteen inches.  Running out of time I catch two more bass on the spinner bait and four more small northern pike before chugging back to the access.  At the access I have to wait for another fisherman to load their boat.  Making the best of the situation I chuck the spinner bait along the wind blown rip rap and catch a lethargic ten inch large mouth bass that doesn’t put up much of a fight.

Photo of my first large mouth bass from last year’s trip to Thole.   I love the fog and the full moon in the early morning sky.

– Hats

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