Itís 8am, Max his father Carl and I pull up to the ramp. The weather is perfect and all of us are excited to get out on the water. For them, this is the beginning of a five day adventure. The first two days will be spent teaching them the basics of bass fishing since they are relatively new to the sport. Then they will be fishing from a canoe they brought for the next three days. We were committed to the north side of the lake since we wanted to find areas within a canoe ride of the boat-in campsite. Starting at the back of the Dry Creek arm, Max and Carl both hook up within the first 15 minutes. We were fishing tubes and baby brush hogs on a rock pile just outside a big spawning flat. Then moving up onto the flat Max catches three more fish holding on wood. Later we made a move to Cherry Creek. Starting at the very back we were unsuccessful. We finally got into a few when we moved out towards the mouth and fished some steep rocky backs. Deciding the right color bait really depended on where you were fishing. The water color would drastically change from one spot to the next. Darker browns and oranges seemed to work well in the dirty water, and natural colors like green pumpkin worked in the clear water. I spent most of the day throwing reaction baits and jigs. The bass wouldnít touch a spinner bait, which was surprising due to the fact the wind was blowing pretty good, and I missed about 90% of the bites on the jig. For 2-3 pounders soft plastics were working great. Max and his father caught around a dozen bass. After having a relaxing night at the Yorty Creek boat in campsite, we woke up early Friday morning ready to catch a few more. The beginning of the day we really struggled. Fishing the north part of the narrows, we battled the wind just to catch a couple small ones. It wasnít until the early afternoon when we finally got into them. We went to the same spot we started Tuesday morning, in the back of the Dry Creek Arm. They werenít on that rock pile so we moved farther back up the arm and found a ledge that went from four to eight feet. The water was super clear, and if it wasnít for the wind, you could probably see the bass. Using senkos, we caught seven fish. The largest was around three pounds. Right before we had to call it a day, I got a couple short strikes on a Huddleston swimbait. I wish I had a trailer hook, but it would be a little difficult because of the amount of wood at Lake Sonoma.
After I took off on Wednesday night, Max and his father Carl stuck around for a few more days and fished from their canoe. Talking to them on Sunday, I was happy to hear they caught quite a few fish with the techniques I had taught them. They even managed to catch a few on a spinnerbait with a baitcasting reel I had let them borrow.
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