Finished up an “around the house” project, and decided to go fishing. As I had caught crappie at Roses last week, I thought to hit Wapato today and switch over to Roses if the action was slow. For the benefit of those who may be feeling like they need to let me know WAPATO Lake closed July 31, I have included an excerpt from the Fish and Game pamphlet.
“WAPATO LAKE (Chelan Co.)
All Game Fish 4th Sat. in Apr.-July 31 Statewide min. size/daily limit.
TROUT Aug. 1-Oct. 31 catch-and-release. Selective gear rules.
Other Game Fish Aug. 1-Oct. 31 Statewide min. size/daily limit. Selective gear rules.”
That being said, the water was crystal clear and around 70 degrees surface temp. The weed growth had died down to just bottom grass, so casting and jigging would be great. I launched around 11:30ish and used the bow mount to ease out into deeper water (12-14 feet) and looked for weed edge or bottom change. I was using jigs (trout magnet, it is unscented) and a small homemade spoon in silver color. The spoon is a small silver willow leaf blade (3/4 in or so) with a siwash #10 soldered to it and a split ring on the front, and added a little white marabou and sparkle to the tail. I picked up a few small yellow perch while slowly moving toward the west bank, and spotted some surface activity about half way between the launch and the west shoreline. As I got into casting distance I dropped the 1/64 oz jig into the area of activity and immediately had a hit. I reeled in a 9 in crappie, and thought I had hit the jackpot. Next cast and a couple of twitches later, another hit, Fish on, but not for long. I made 3-4 casts in to the same area and got hits each time, but no hook ups. Slowed down with the hook set and was a little less aggressive with the retrieve and low and behold, I was reeling in a crappie almost every cast. But alas they were only 4 and a half to 7 inches long. I moved up to the area of the hits and there was some taller weed growth that was covered and surrounded by the sub keeper fish. Could not get another keeper, so moved up along the west shoreline working the 12-16 feet water depth looking for a different size class. Out from the first houses that are close to the shoreline in about 24 feet of water, there is a greenhouse frame sitting on the bottom. Must have blown into the lake during a windstorm. You can see the roof and about half way down the side before visibility ends. I thought I’d found the structure bonanza, so I fished all around and along the frame, but could not entice any hits. Fished both ends of the lake and along both side shorelines but only caught a few keepers. The bluegill had swallowed the hook, so in the basket they went. One thing that was astounding is the amount of LMB cruising the edges. I picked up a few small ones (up to 12-14 in) but didn’t temp any of the larger ones with my micro offerings. I did catch a few trout (C&R of course) and got one in the 2-3 pound range that had 5 or 6 LMB follow it to the boat. I’m not good at in-the-water weights, but they looked to be in the 3-6 pound class. I’ve landed 6 pounders out of there and these were in that class. It would be a basser’s paradise right now with the visibility and all, and some of the bass I saw cruising would make a grown man weep. I may have to take up bassing for a while. LOL Anyway, with the bite slow, I decided to load up and head over to Roses as I had a couple hours before I needed to head home, But that’s another story.
Stay safe all, and enjoy the nice weather