McMurray Lake (Skagit County) Fishing Report
Well, this place wasn't my original target tonight but time constraints dictated I would not make the lake I wanted to fish. However, I still wanted to fish! I opted for this lake against my better judgement as it's really gone downhill over the last few years. I don't know what has happened? I have fished it early, mid and late season and it's just been terrible! One here, one there type thing. Ten years ago it was a place to go catch twenty plus and maybe a three pounder, now it's a place to go and hope you see a bass or two.
I had two strikes in the one lap I bothered making. The first was right out of the gate and I watched the entire thing unfold! I threw really shallow with a swim jig and as I was retrieving it, I got some grass on it, as I was bouncing the rod tip to shake the grass off...swoosh! Out of the grass shot a 2-3lb largemouth in two feet of water and grabbed my bait! Unfortunately he only had it broadside and I think only had the skirt? Because I saw and felt it, I instinctively set the hook and out flew my jig and away swam the bass!
The next bite came on the end of a dock and it felt small and was a clean miss. I continued around and threw jigs, swim jigs, flukes, drop shots, spinnerbait, Texas rigs, Senkos, grubs and fished from shoreline out to 30 feet at spots and didn't have so much as another nibble?! This lake should have offered up at the very least a couple little guys?? Something has changed and it just isn't right...
I will be scratching this little lake off my bass fishing list for a few years! It's a bummer too cause it's close to my house...but so are about nine other lakes that are much more worth the time. Wish I would have been able to stick to my original plan but maybe tomorrow night? I have already pretty much figured out where I will end up this weekend :)
10/30/2018 7:48 PM
I got one bite and one fish today. 10" largie on a crankbait. Nothing on a dropshot. I might not even fish thru the winter this year as last winter it was terrible. Give me a chance to catch up on my beauty sleep. lol
10/30/2018 8:04 PM
I just ordered brand new rain gear so I CAN fish through this Winter....just gonna stay ugly I guess? lol
10/30/2018 8:09 PM
I'm starting to notice a pattern of lakes that get sprayed for weed removal every year. First the crappies disappear or are diminished, then the bass fishing starts to decline,,,I think this same thing happened to Big Lake, adult bass are still there but the younger fish are not as abundant. I've noticed this same decline at Mcmurray. 8 theB8 you are right on the money in your analysis!
10/31/2018 4:36 AM
Makes perfect sense, unfortunately. I remember the first time I saw the sign at Clear Lake that they were going to spray, the first word out of my mouth was WHY?! How can an ecosystem work just fine for decades and then all of a sudden municipalities feel the need to alter it?? Oh, that's right, increased waterfront homeownership, they don't like those pesky lily pads in their swimming areas. That's all I can figure at least... the algae blooms EXPLODED after the spraying started! Bang up job Skagit County :( Clear Lake is still decent but a shadow of the fishery it was fifteen or even ten years ago. Now I guess it's the same fate for Big and McMurray? Ridiculous.
10/31/2018 8:17 AM
Could over fishing be an issue? Seems the more popular lakes have less fish. And with population overload on the west side of the state I've seen lots of lake get less and less bassy. Also our state tries to put trout 1st. I've seen good lakes on the east side get poisoned to make trout lakes, but always end up with bass again a few years later
10/31/2018 8:55 AM
I could see over fishing on Clear Lake in Skagit County but not McMurray. Over-harvesting on the other had can be accomplished by just a few resilient residents or anglers. I watched buckets of small largemouth leave Howard Lake in Snohomish County back in the early 2000's by three kids in the same white boat that lived on the lake...if they caught it, it went in the bucket. Stopped fishing that lake for over five years too, it's still not the same in my opinion. I have fished the area enough to have seen first hand the introduction of spraying and the immediate increase in heavy algae blooms, followed by a 'population decrease'. I suppose it's possible the fish just move and stay deeper as there is no evidence of huge die-offs (floating fish) but it is all too coincidental in my opinion. Other counties that haven't yet adopted the practice don't seem to have the same issues. I love big bass, but the little guys keep you occupied in between and are always fun to catch. I would rather catch a half pound bass than a three pound trout! But I'm just weird.
10/31/2018 12:14 PM
Thanks for the daily report. You're not weird, just not a trout fanatic. River fishing for trout is fun, but lakes are much better for bass. Yeah, I would rather be catching, than just fishing. Getting a big jarring tug unexpectedly makes it all the better when you've been catching some smaller ones. All good in my book.
10/31/2018 2:03 PM
Heck early last week or so I was HAPPY to SEE a near 6 pounder following the 8" Largie on my crankbait. She was about 6" to 8" behind the little one and tracking it right up alongside the boat, then she turned away while I was wondering how I could get her. Then the little one got off. Maybe the biggun went after the littelin as she turned that way. No bites from that spot since.
10/31/2018 2:45 PM
I have seen people who go out and harvest bass, usually people who keep what they catch and have no idea about the regs of course. It's not often but when you see that fisherman keeping bass they just try to obliterate them it seems. I did catch a 6lber pit of McMurray a year or 2 ago, but before that usually not much over 2 lbs. I've been targeting larger lakes now that I have my 18ft alumaweld and not just my pontoon. When I'd fish small lakes I'd catch 10-30 bass a day it seemed, mostly small though. It's been brutal for me the last month or so, but I also only fish about 6 hours 1 day a week (on the weekend) so a little harder to get dialed in sometimes. I should post more... Ive posted some 1 star reports though and people were rude so it just has kept me away from reports alot. But all reports I find helpful so much appreciated! I'll try to get back into the reports soon though. Maybe this year or come spring.
10/31/2018 5:04 PM
Negative Nancy's have chased me off here a few times over the decades. I keep coming back because it's such a great resource to contribute to. I have posted plenty of '1' rated trips. I just always try to include water temps, weather conditions, water conditions and what didn't work for me....any angler worth a squirt can find that information useful and any that complain are just whiners. I stopped posting a year ago because I logged on and the 'Recent Reports' page had TEN of my reports on ONE page...I felt guilty and thought maybe I was ticking people off because I can and do fish as much as I do?? Well, not my problem. I also had a couple instances where I got to a lake I reported on and found nowhere to park, when it was wide open the previous trip, doubt I have that much influence but there are plenty of anglers that just chase fish...it's like when you catch a trout opening morning and suddenly find yourself surrounded by boats lol. Try posting a 'Secret Spot' and watch how flamed you get! Gets comical at times but frustrating cause I can share plenty of information without have to name a specific lake...and there are a few lakes that I just flat out won't ever mention again! Partly because they can't sustain tons of pressure and partly because I know harvesters read these things too! Like you, I have no problem posting on larger lakes that can handle the pressure and are more difficult to cover and fish thoroughly. Or lakes that are so far away from me I may or may not ever make it back to them. I too am easing back in to posting, we'll see what transpires?
10/31/2018 6:08 PM
That's why I don't state in my reports WHERE on any given lake I catch fish. Too much pressure will ruin a spot, regardless how large the lake is. And is why I've cut back on posting reports.
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