Page 40 - ISS September 2012

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b a s s
f i s h i n g
By Chuck Bailey (courtesy of
Established in 1938, Western Bass Club is
the oldest bass club in America, which is
surprising considering it is located in the
Northwest, near SeattleWashington. But
it’s my bass club, so when I announced
my intention to create a website called
Crankbait Central, it was only natural
to ask the guys onWBC’s forum,
(, if they had any
recommendations of “master crankbait
fishermen” I might interview.
When John Sewell’s name was suggested
I was surprised to discover he lived only
two hours away on Silver Lake, near Castle
Rock, Washington. Which is strange,
because everyone knows that “Silver Lake
isn’t a crankbait lake.” Right? Compared to
some of the larger deep-water reservoirs
in easternWashington, Silver Lake is a
small basin lake on the west side of the
mountains that is sometimes described
in tourist websites as a “marsh”. Nestled
in a scenic mountain valley, this beautiful
2,996-acre lake reflects what is left of Mt.
St. Helen in the background. But best
of all, this unique shallow water lake has
largemouth bass, big ones.
Several decades ago the lake was filled
with vegetation; at least three types of lily
pads, and half a dozen varieties of aquatic
weeds. It was a bass fisherman’s heaven;
where weedless jigs, plastic worms, and
spinnerbaits ruled. I remember warmly
a number of “50 bass before noon”days.
And then… came the grass carp. Shoreline
property owners, swimmers, water skiers,
and trout fishermen convinced the state
to fill the lake with a species of grass carp
that could “help keep the vegetation
from choking the lake”. The carp were
genetically altered so as to be unable to
reproduce. The plan looked safe enough at
But It
Isn’t a