Thursday, August 21, 2008

Panther Lake and "Cookie Cutter Bass"

Wes Coy Jr. holding a "cookie cutter" bass caught in Panther Lake.

While fishing for photos and up-to-the-minute news for my last blog, I mentioned to fishing buddy Wes Coy that I hardly ever hear or read (besides what's in my book, "Fishing Western New York") anything about Panther Lake.

After telling him its location and the species swimming there, he eagerly volunteered: "let's go there next week."

So there we were last Wednesday.

Wes brought his son along, Wes Jr. The kid shined. He cast a Bass Bone into some weeds on the west bank and caught the first fish, a respectable 17-inch pickerel. Before Wes Sr. could wipe the slime off his hands (he removed the hook from his son's toothy trophy), Jr. had another one about the same size.

With all the pickerel flashing before my eyes, I put down my jig and picked up a rod baited with a spinnerbait.


A couple minutes later, Wes Sr. caught a largemouth of about 1 ½ pounds.

Then Jr. got one.

I finally nailed one; and we were off to catch a batch of what Jr. cleverly called "Cookie Cutters." I mean the kid's just 11 years old and he was perceptive enough to notice all the bass ranged the same size, and created the ideal metaphor to describe them.

We drifted the entire north end. The wind would blow us south, into the middle of the lake and Wes Sr. would row us back to the upper end.

The father/son duo caught a couple more bass on Bones tossed over submerged weeds. I caught one on the other side of the boat--off the deep end--on a black jig tipped with a YUM Grub I was throwing for walleyes.

The action picked up considerably along the east bank. It seemed every dock, pocket of lily pads, cove, and weed bed harbored bass.

In a less than four hours, we each caught our limit of keeper "cookie cutters." I finally broke the trend by catching the only one that was too short.

A hard surface ramp is on Co. Rte. 17. Owned by Pine Grove, the watering hole across the street, it's open to the public free of charge. Park in the park next to the bar.

Jr. holding a respectable, 17-inch Panther Lake pickerel.

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