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Potholes Lake Report
Grant County, WA



81° - 85°
Bottom Fishing From Boat
Smallmouth Bass
All Day
66° - 70°

This report is from 6/2-6/6. Camped at Potholes State Park.

Monday, 6/2. We arrived late and by the time we ate and setup camp and ready to fish, it was about 5:30PM. Started off along the rip-rap cranking and was smacking them. Mostly 9-13" SMB. 1 hit 15". Don't remember the count there. But I did lose my hot striking crank in something. Had something close enough and that worked.

On the way back, decided to hit that bird island nearby. Saw a few nip at my crank, but didn't connect. Found they liked the tubes. These were better fish. In the low 2# range. I think we caught a handful of those around that spot. Even had a double.

Tues, we decide to try some morning LMB in the dunes. I was surprise to see deer stuck on the dunes.... Didn't know they were good swimmers. Anyways, spotted several LMB in about 3-4' of water around what I would call a bush I guess. Little clusters of them. But couldn't get them to bite. They would react at my lures thrown at them, but couldn't commit. After a couple of hours of no bites, we started trolling for trout and maybe walleye.

We got a HARD strike on the wedding ring. I don't know what it was exactly, but if I had to guess, it had to have been a trout due to the depths. Grabbed the rod and a couple of sections later, It popped off.

Get another HARD strike and fish on! Told the wife to grab the rod, because I know she wants a big fish! Saw it jump way back there, but couldn't tell what it was, but it was big! Halfway to the boat and it just pops off. Ugh. She was very disappointed. Well, she gets another chance! FISH ON! I see it jump and it's clearly a trout and a big trout at that. The strike was vicious. She gets it right by the boat and I'm holding onto the net ready to scoop. I see the fish coming closer and WOW, it is big. Had to have been ~22-24". Havent seen a trout that big in ages, since Rufus. Anyways, the fish sees the boat and makes a run and all of a sudden, it was gone! It broke off near the hook and I see the little beads sinking into the water.... SO close!

Headed back out later that evening for the SMB. Didn't caught that many, only a few. I did get a solid strike on my crank. Felt like a snag at first, then felt the head shakes a second or 2 later. It jumped and splashed and my lure comings flying off. DOH! Didn't get a good look at it, so no idea on size, but just from the strike alone, it had to have been big!

Wednesday, we tried for some SMB early on with very little action. Then started trolling a bit. Still cant land anything while trolling. Got another trout on. This time, I was reeling it in. It was close to the boat, maybe 15' away. This was a jumper and it was big too! Over 20". On the last jump, it broke the line again! Near the hook. I guess those big trouts have shape teeth. This is with 12lb test that they are breaking off on. Heart breaking.

Decided to try a bit of a Got our bottom bouncing setup and tested it for a bit for walleye. Headed towards Lind Coulee but I pulled off and started targeting the back pockets long the way there. Broke off a tube on something and landed a small SMB on a senko.

Then it got windy and decided to head back in. Long 20 min boat ride. A little on the rough side, but very manageable.

Thurs, woke up and notice the lake is pretty windy....But it doesn't look that bad..... Put the boat in and started heading out. 3 mins into the boat ride and we're like fuck this, we're out. Just too rough. I don't know how big the swells were, but they were starting to splash over the front and back.

Even though it was only like 3 mins out, it took us about 15 mins to dock due to the wind and waves. I smacked my trolling motor into the dock and cracked a plastic casing. I hope it'll be alright....

We stayed at camp and hanged out. We checked again at late afternoon and it was much better. Tried trolling for trout first for about 2hrs without a single bite. Then decided to put those bottom bouncers to use for about 20 mins and a slow death worm with nada. Went back to old faithful, the SMB. Didn't want to get skunk.

Good thing but it was hot hot hot again! Caught about 15 or so.
But biggest was only 2lb 9oz. I want to say this was caught on a tube, but I'm not 100% sure anymore. But after setting the hook and knowing it was a pretty good fish, I handed off the rod to the wife so she could "catch" it.
On the dock when we got back, there was a WDFW employee doing surveys about the quality of the fishing and types and experience.

Friday, depending on weather, we were going to head out 1 more time before we left for home, after packing up and it was a good thing we did, cause we smacked them again for that ~2hrs or so we were out there. I made 3 straight casts with a fish on! Got big fish, at 3lb 12oz. I lost another one same size or bigger too right at boat side. Don't know wtf happened there. That one smacked my crankbait hard and looked like it was hooked really well. Get it to boat side with net ready and all of a sudden, it was off. The one in the pic was caught on a dropshot. We landed about 10 SMB in the 2hr span. It was awesome!

Stopped off at the Pothole Store for some ice cream, yummy. Good drive home. Hated the Friday traffic back home though. Lots of mosquitos. Several annoying bees. We made friends with several squirrels at the campsite. One of them would finally pick food out from our hand. Cute little buggers. Saw lots of different variety of birds.

Good times. Will cherish these memories.


6/7/2014 9:52:00 AM
Sounds like a decent week. Also sounds like maybe you should back off on the drag. :-) Or at least check your knots more often. Or both. And yes, sometimes they 'just come off' There are a couple reasons for that, such as the hook only going under a slight sliver of skin/flesh, and the skin breaks = gone fish, and the fish can seem to pop the barb out, and fish gone again.
6/8/2014 7:25:00 AM
thanks for the report? I am heading over there this coming weekend. So you fished the resavoir the whole time? I like to hit the seeps lakes myself. Howd deep where you trolling the weed rings? I am after the smallies mostly though. I love me a crank bait for sure. Thanks again.
AJ's Dad
6/8/2014 11:26:00 AM
Nice detailed report. Sounds like a good time. However, please remember this is a family type website and the "F Bomb" could easily be elliminated. :)
6/8/2014 9:26:00 PM
Amx, with the trout breaking off, I don't think it was the knots fault. I believe it to be the way it was hooked and the way the fish reacted. I always give my knots a good tug after tying.

Bazzdude, yes only fished the reservoir, didn't venture out. I guesstimate the depth of the lure was at about 15-20'. We did s-patterns ranging from 30-50'.

AJ's Dad, ooopsies. Can't edit reports.
6/8/2014 9:39:00 PM
I forgot to mention. One of the ~2#ers I caught on a crank, I noticed there was a line and weight hanging out of it's mouth.... I looked inside and saw the end of the hook and white soft plastic in the gullet? Too deep to try to remove. Not sure what it is. Maybe a senko, but it was much thicker. I cut as much line away as possible and put the fish back and kept the weight, lol.
6/9/2014 9:49:00 AM
Great report! Sounds like it was a really good trip. I need to get east this year too. Nice work!
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Available Guide

Available Fishing Guide:
Website: Ross Outdoor Adventures

Phone: (509) 750-7763