Banks Lake is a 27 mile long reservoir sustained by The Grand Coulee Dam. While many species of fish are caught here year round, the bass fishing is starting to show its strengths after a few years since the big Banks Lake drawdown. The weedlines are continuing to grow and the largemouth population seems to be a very crucial aspect to all tournament weigh-ins. The smallmouth are as fiery as ever and the feeling surrounding the fishery seems to be extremely positive. So what lures are the most productive here?
Reaction baits are a tough favorite followed by finesse techniques such as the dropshot. If you are fishing for largemouth bass, targeting weedlines should be of the utmost importance. The largies play an important role when it comes to weighing in weights above 12 pounds and quite frankly, it’s tough to win here unless you have them on your side. Rattletraps and crankbaits, such as my favorite Rapala DT-6 are proven fish catchers in early Spring. Location plays an extremely important role, so pay attention to water temperatures. Once the water hits above 44°, crankbaits should be a staple on the deck of your bass boat. Color success can vary depending on the location of the lake you’re on, so try crawdad patterns and a mix of silver/black and gold/black. So why does the DT-6 excel on Banks Lake? It has the combination of a perfect diving depth for the months of April and May, as well as a perfect action for catching the big female largemouth that come up first from their Winter locations. Click to see what Rapala has in stock!
Secondly, jigs are one of the best big fish baits from Washington State throughout the West. Football heads from Warrior Baits are what I’ve caught most of my fish on, but for this tournament, I had a BassTEK tungsten flipping jig. The largemouth in this photo was the biggest of our Banks Lake bag – it snatched up the BassTEK jig with a Warrior Baits Quiver Bug trailer. The difference maker for this tournament was using 3/8 to 1/2 ounce lures because with light bites, the fish wouldn’t hang on for more than a couple of seconds. This BassTEK jig was light enough to be natural, yet heavy enough to cast in the wind. The biggest advantage was fishing tungsten over lead which I think helped keep my profile small, yet full of hook point punch . These will be a mainstay in my box moving forward. Check out BassTEK’s website and Facebook to give them a shot!
Last but not least, I would like to say ‘thanks’ to my partner Tyler Brinks. We had a crazy day full of ups and downs, yet we persevered to overcome some setbacks. With a limit of largemouth by 8am, we ceased to catch a fish from 9-3. Yes, that’s right…we culled several of our largemouth with bronzebacks in the last hour just before our 4pm weigh-in time. If we can fish and stay mentally strong throughout an entire day yet come back to put a solid bag together, we’ll be enjoying much more success as the season progresses. For full results for this Northwest Bass Banks Lake tournament, please visit Northwest Bass.