Fishing at Deep Lake,
always in search of great small water fishing. I think it's
because smaller bodies of water are less intimidating. I
don't have to worry about my batteries running out of juice
and not get to fish all corners of a large lake or impoundment.
And, I don't have to worry about pushing the limits of my
small boat. I like the intimacy that I can develop with
a small lake. I'm much more able to focus on the lake's
composition than I would ever be able to with a large lake.
For those reasons, Deep Lake inside Millersylvania State
Park is a gem.
At only 66 acres, this small lake offers up a variety of
fishing opportunities. The lake has a small launch for carry-in/hand
launch types of crafts only. Perfect for float tubes, canoes,
and small aluminum boats. The name of the lake is kind of
misleading. The deepest parts only go to about 17 feet.
Understandably, trout fishing can be great during the opener
but once the weather warms up, the trout fishing tapers
off to a crawl.
From my observations, trolling is quite effective as well
as fishing from the banks of the lake. There's a great fishing
pier on the eastside of the lake that seems to produce consistently
throughout the season. This lake warms up fast and you can
definitely expect to tangle with submerged vegetation as
you haul in your bait rig.
Summer time in Deep Lake is primetime for Bluegills and
of course, my favorite - the largemouth bass. Late May through
June is a good time to sight fish for bedding bass. Start
immediately to the right of the launch area and work your
way around the lake. This is one of the shallowest parts
of the lake and you'll encounter grass and some timber along
the edges. The water clarity is usually great. Because of
this, a pair of polarized sunglasses is imperative. While
in this area, it's important to keep an eye for cruising
fish. If you do see one that isn't too spooked, go after
it with a small Slug-go or a Senko.
As you round the corner towards the roped swimming area.
Pay attention for the field of Lilly pads that surround
the swimming hole. I've seen some good-sized bass hiding
and cruising in and around this area. The key to this section
is the deep-end of the swimming area. Fish relate to this
change of depth for protection. They patrol the shallows
for an easy meal, but as soon as they are threatened they
head for this deeper area. I've caught a few fish here using
a Fat Free Shad crankbait.
Another thing you might notice is the abundance of small
bass. The lake may be over-populated and some of the fish
have stunted growth. Nevertheless, it's quite a sight to
see a gang of small bass ambush your lure. As you work your
way towards the south side of the lake, the possibilities
of hooking larger fish becomes greater. The south side has
the distinct feature of large submerged timber combined
with depth change. I've been able to pull bass out of their
hiding places by dead-sticking a Senko or small Slug-Go.
Also, pay attention to the tree line. Some of the branches
and sometimes half of a tree are reaching out towards the
water thus producing shade. In the heat of the summer sun,
bass tend to hide in these shady spots. Skip a Senko in
one of those of spots and you just might be surprised that
something will grab your offering. You might loose a few
hooks and lures, so practice on your skip casting techniques.
Towards the resort, there's another roped swimming area.
My friend Michael and I have invested some considerable
hours fishing beyond the ropes without rousing the resort
owners. We've seen probably some of the biggest bass of
this small lake in this area. I've even witnessed Michael
catch three 2-lbers consecutively using a Rat-L-Trap one
summer afternoon. It was simply incredible and I was never
able to better that feat.
Head north from the resort area and you'll come across another
vast shallow and weedy area. Don't pass this up. Grab your
ultra-light gear and rig up to catch some bruiser Bluegills.
This is a great area to take your kids. There are Bluegills
everywhere. We found that the best and most consistent method
of catching them is to use a simple worm and a bobber set-up.
Don't hesitate to toss out a Senko among the weeds, you
might yet again get a surprise.
From the northeast corner, work your way back north. You'll
encounter two more swimming areas as you work your back
to the launch area. Don't pass up the in-between areas.
Use Rat-L-Traps to cover water and varying depths. If you
pay attention, you might see the clumps of weeds at mid-depth.
These isolated clumps of vegetation attract bass. Try a
spinnerbiat and rip it through the vegetation to trigger
Look no further for a fun small lake to explore. If you're
a bass enthusiast, Deep lake should be on your list as one
of the lakes to try this coming summer.
From Olympia, S on I-5 to exit 95; go E on Hwy. 121 through
Maytown; follow Hwy. 121 N 3 mi to Millersylvania State