Next Level Bass Fishing

~~"Nearly unscathed" is the best one can hope for. Sawdy isn't for the faint of heart or those with new gelcoats. The fish are there, but so are countless transduces and a bunch of lower units.~~

By Gradie Beaulieu

Date: 8 December 2014 


Although the pond in the back ground doesn't look all that bad, this fish was off of the main body and we were "protected."  Yah right

Leo with the first fish of the day, a great starter at just over 2 pounds. 

     Thinking that we were on to something, we spent the better part of the next four hours doing two things: 1) praying for the Sun Gods to come out...they DID NOT, and 2) trying to repeat the pattern at every available rock in Sawdy (you remember how many rocks there are in there), to no avail.

     After getting on the big motor to get back to the north end of the pond, we lowered the trolling motor again around 2 pm.  I started blind casting in about 5 ft of water with a trusty 1/4 oz black, double dipped Gitzit, attempting to ring the dinner bell.  The first up there was small, but #2 for me. He was only about 13 inches, but beggars can't be choosers and although only a 13 incher, at that point it assured me I would not be buying coffee at the end of the day.  So, like everyone would have done, I tried to repeat the process in the same area for a good 20 minutes until I was convinced that the small bass just wanted a ride in a Ranger. Smart fish.  We obliged. 

    The wind started to get worse around 2:30 in the afternoon, if that was even possible, so we tried to cut back across the pond to the northeast corner, a more protected area than the northerly facing shoreline we were on.  50 yards from where I got #2, out in the worst of the weather, we found out that for the last 4 hours we were doing it wrong thing. Sure we were lucky with the first two, but wrong nevertheless. It quickly proved to be the kind of wrong that had we had been in an event with money on the line, it would have cost us big. 


     In about 10 minutes I finished out my limit with a solid 9 pounds or so.  We tried to mix up the presentations and even the color of the baits, but nope, one color and one bait it was.  I managed to get a big upgrade right at 3pm, with (yup, you guessed it!) a tube. A solid 3 pounder choked it on the drop after snapping it of the bottom.   

     End result of the day was about 6 hours of fishing in some of the nastiest weather I have ever experienced on the water. The only thing missing was rain, and truth be told, it would have had to have been a tournament for me to brave the wind temps and the rain.  Good thing there is a tournament Sunday. Let it rain!



     So, with the 30 knots of projected and ultimately realized wind gusts, and the temps pushing the mercury just to the lower 30's, Leo and I pulled to the ramp and backed down to start the day. It was 8:50 am; the water temperature at the ramp was 40 degrees.

     Getting into Sawdy, especially this time of year when the creek's visible edge which is normally defined by grass and lily-pads are gone, is something of a challenge.  We took our time and eased through the small cove before entering a narrow, winding 100 yard long and 6 ft wide passageway out to the pond with all of those rocks.  Nearly unscathed getting through the passageway (we managed to bump only a few rocks), Leo and I made our first cast of the blustery morning at 9:15 am. 

     The morning really started off just as anyone with half a clue would have expected, but the cold, blustery wind left us asking (out loud a few times) if we had really made a good decision.  I think I said, "You know, this might be one of the worse ideas I have had."  At 10:00 am, we made our way into a small, wind-broken area to give ourselves a break from getting pounded by the weather and waves.  Leo was first to strike with a nice winter two-pounder, which ate a pegged tungsten soft plastic creature bait.  We had braced ourselves between two rocks in about two feet of water, really taking our time.  The fish came off of one of those two rocks.  With Leo's photos taken, my first fish would be about 15 minutes later. Out in 3 ft, on a rock with some leftover summertime grass, a three-pounder sucked up my black 3/8 oz jig. 

     In the past, I have made some bad decisions, we all have.  However, when Leo Joachim and I found ourselves in the Ranger out fishing last weekend in temperatures in the low 30's with winds blowing out of the north at 30+ knots, we thought we made the worse of them all, or so we thought.

     Our morning, or should I say my morning, started off at 4 am with a cup of coffee and a step outside to see what the day was going to be like; HOLY BAT CRAP COLD was the forecast.  Leo even called me at 6:30 am to asked if I still wanted to go (see side bar photos for my answer).  He picked me up at 8 and we were off to Sawdy pond, a rocky, shallow pond just over the border of Tiverton, Rhode Island in Massachusetts. From the old timers I've spoken with and who live on the pond, Sawdy was some form of a dumping ground for farm raised rocks that farmers would till up and had to move when making new fields, thousands of them. My boat (and any other boat that has been on Sawdy) cringes at the thought of going there.  From north to south and east to west, the small 300 acre pond is nothing but rocks. Sawdy, at its deepest, is just 9 ft in the channel, but the majority of the water is really in the 3-5 ft range and is stained with about 2 ft of transparency. Sunday, however, it was more like 8 to 12 inches.  The prior evening's 2 inches of fresh winter rain made sure of that.