Small Fish at Cody Ranch

Sep 20 2017

Tom Dillon


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Since the PWF Fall Cody Ranch trip is only 8 days away, I guess this is a timely report for those members planning to attend. I fished both of the Twin Lakes yesterday. The ranch hands have put down gravel and clay in the two really bad washouts from the hard rains in July between the barn and the Twin Lakes. I had no problem pulling the pond boat and trailer with my little Forester to and from the lakes.

Fishing began at South Twin just as the sun topped the trees at 0730. I fished there until around 1:00. Thewater visibility was about 3 feet and the water temp at trolling motor depth was 76.0° (I didn’t even look to see what it was when I left). There wasn’t even a hint of a breeze; nor was there a cloud in the sky, and the forecast was for the ambient temp to reach almost 100°. The water was within 4” of the overflow. In the 5.5 hours I was on the water,  I fished hard, but even though I caught fish, it was not nearly as good as I expected it to be. I boated a total of only 13 bass, the biggest pulling the scales down to only 3-00. Nine of the 13 hit weightless, wacky-rigged Senkos – 5 on watermelon/red flake, 1 on a green pumpkin/black flake, and the other 2 on black/blue flake(including the 3-00 and a 2-12, the two biggest I caught from the south lake. One dink hit the black/blue after I followed up a missed strike on a purple buzz bait. Three of the other fish hit a ¾ oz chrome/black back Rattletrap, one hit a frog-pattern River2Sea HB frog, and all three were all over 2 pounds. I did catch one additional dink there, and although it was only 7 inches long, it tried to eat the ¾ oz 'trap. About half of my fish came from the vicinity of the old, demolished beaver lodge.

As y’all might remember, Steve Cody had the lotus pads sprayed by a weed control helicopter two years ago. Well, they’re back, maybe even thicker than they were before spraying. Yesterday was the first time I’ve ever seen them growing near west end of the dam. Also, the dollar pads have grown out from the bank about as far as I’ve ever seen them

By 1:00, I was getting both hot and hungry, and hadn’t caught anything since 10:37, so I decided to move to North Twin and both eat lunch and cool off on the way.  North Twin was down about a foot from my last trip there in July, which made for muddy launching. In July, I launched on the north side of the feeder, but had to put in this time north of the berm. Visibililty was about the same as at South Twin, and the water temp rose from 81.3° to 81.6° while I was on the water. The fishing at the north lake wasn’t even as good as it was at South Twin. Between 2:15 and 7:30, I caught only 11 bass, but although the heaviest was a 2-04, at least I didn’t catch any dinks. Other than a couple over 2 pounds, the others were between 1.5 and 2 pounds. One hit that same frog-pattern R2S HB frog, one hit the big chrome/black ‘trap, and the rest fell for the black/blue flake 5” Senko (primarily as I was reeling it in fast to keep it over the grass. I missed 2 bigger fish on the red shad O’ Monster worm.  By 4:00, the wind had increased to about 30 mph, and the only fish I caught after that was the 2-04 I caught on the ‘trap at 5:04. The wind made for pretty difficult fishing, especially added to the lake level, thick grass, and lotus pads.

Yes, I did catch 24 bass, but none over 3-00. Not a bad day, but not even close to my expectations based upon prior trips to those wonderful Cody Ranch lakes. The fishing might have improved at sunset, but by then I was on my way back to the hotel in Ada.

For those of you going up there for the fall trip, best of luck, tight lines, and lots of big fish for you!

What didn’t work:

South Twin:  jig & pork eel,  squarebill, deep crankbait, Rattletraps smaller than ¾ ounce, vibrating jig, swim baits, 7” Senkos, popping HB frog, big Super Fluke, and single-spin

North Twin:  Vibrating jig, any color Senko other than black/blue flake, red shad Ol’ Monster worm, creature baits, and HB frogs that don’t pop

Posted By: Tom Dillon

Sep 27 2017

Zach Milwood


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Thanks for the report Tom!  Wish you were joining us this weekend.  Hope we find the big girls that we all know are in there!  We've got some newbies coming with us this trip and I want them to experience Cody Ranch as I have - catching a bunch in the 3-6lbs range, and hopefully a few over 7.  Take care my friend.