Mosquito yields booty of bass on first foray

My tackle was prepped, the boat was serviced and winter was long gone, so I decided last week that it was time to visit the lake to see whether I might wrangle a bass or two.

Some days on the water are better than others. The day I chose for my first Mosquito Creek Reservoir bass trip of the year was one of those good ones — so good that I have to think long and hard to recall a better one.

I launched under an overcast sky and found the water temperature at the ramp was 50 degrees. That’s to be expected in April. As the day progressed, I knew I’d find warmer water and that would be where the bass were holding.

Clear of the breakwall, I throttled up the Mercury and the BassCat planed off for a two-minute dash to my first stop of the day. The water temperature there was 51 degrees and within five minutes I had my first Ohio bass of 2019.

It was just the beginning of a very good day on the lake.

My plan was to check multiple locations to learn how much progress Mosquito’s largemouth bass had made in moving up from their winter holes to the miles and miles of willow bushes, buck brush, tree trunks, root masses and other woody cover.

To my delight, each stop produced a bass or two before I fired up and moved to another stretch of good-looking bass habitat.

I finished the day with 10 largemouths. Several were in the 3-pound class, one was a solid 4 and another topped 5 pounds. A bonus to all that bass booty was a 3-foot-long northern pike that smacked my jig and tail-danced spectacularly in a futile effort to shake the hook.

Rare is the fishing day that unfolds without a glitch, especially the first trip of the season when we are a bit rusty. But everything aligned during my day on the lake. The engine fired on the first crank, the lures glided exactly where I directed them, I experienced no snags, the trolling motor didn’t miss a beat and the Power Poles held snug so I could cover all the nooks and crannies on wind-tossed points.

Even the weather cooperated. The overcast broke for a couple of hours and solar energy warmed up the shallow water.

Bass like warm water in April. Even a two- or three-degree increase can activate a wave of incoming largemouths. I imagine they enjoy the warmer water like you and I enjoy a hot shower streaming on our shoulders.

It’s a great time to be on the water. The water is warming, the fish are hungry and the weather is in our favor. Whatever fish winds your clock is available now.

Bass, crappies, walleyes, northern pike, yellow perch, bluegills, catfish and all the other species that live in Mosquito are active in April. Even the carp are patrolling the shallow flats like bugle-mouth submarines.

I figuratively pinched myself midway through my opening day on Mosquito. Yep, it was real.

Just to be certain, I stopped on one last stretch of bank on my way back to the ramp. The water temperature was 54, the warmest I’d found that day. Two spunky bass found my offering too tempting.

There is nothing like double exclamation points to close out a great day on the lake.

Jack Wollitz is a lifelong angler who loves to write about fishing in Northeast Ohio. He appreciates emails about his stories and your experiences. Email him at

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