Monday, February 24, 2014

Trying Something New...

Trying Something New…

After a week of warm temperatures I was excited to get back out for some largemouth bass action.  Since Saturday was shaping up to be 65 degrees with a light wind, I decided to fish a new large lake instead of going to one of my old favorites.  I launched my Cuda 14 mid-morning, and set off for my first spot.  With the weather warming, I was hoping to find some bass starting to move into a pre-spawn pattern so I targeted secondary points and ledges leading to spawning flats.  I picked up a few small males on a crankbait as well as on a suspending jerkbait. 

  After a few hours I figured it was still too early for the big girls to start their pre-spawn pattern so I switched to fishing deep water.  I started working bluff points and steep banks with a deep diving crankbait.  I picked up a few decent fish this way and saw a few other boats pick up a few as well.  As the temperatures increased, so did the action.  When I started working deep, the fish were suspended in about 20 feet of water. Once the surface water temps rose to about 50 degrees on the fish moved to about 10 feet.  I then switched back to my jerkbait and caught a few more fish. 

Breaking down a new body of water can seem intimidating, especially for a kayaker.  A kayak doesn't have the option of “running and gunning” from one end of the lake to the other.  We have to decide where we want to work and fish it thoroughly.  For finding my spots this time of year, I first looked for the parts of the lake with the most northern exposure.  Then I looked for main lake points, secondary points, and steep drop-offs.  These are the places I target.  Electronics play a crucial role when breaking down a lake like this.  If you don’t have a depth finder, then look for topo maps of the lake.  These are amazing tools when trying to locate ledges and points.  Another good thing to do when you hit a new lake is to watch the locals.  If they are flipping jigs into cover then you might want to try doing the same thing.  The last tip I have is to hit the internet.  Look for recent reports from the lake, blogs and websites to see what’s biting and what baits are working.

With spring coming, the fishing is likely to improve. So, give these tips a try and catch some big bucketmouths! 

     Once we were off the lake, we headed to the Tidewater Kayak Anglers Association (TKAA) monthly meeting.  The meeting was held at Wild River Outfitter in Virginia Beach, and the topic was SAFETY, including "Rules of the Road", PFD's, cold water survival, float plans and communications.  Some of the speakers included the United States Coast Guard, VA Marine Police and the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.  They did a great job and answered a lot of questions.  Next months meeting will feature a Kayak Fishing 101, which will be a great help if you are new to the sport.  Go to TKAA's website for more details.  

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Chilly Bass on the SUP

Since the forecast showed light winds and slightly warmer temperatures, I decided to load up the SUPerFISHal and head to the Suffolk Lakes.  I launched in the early afternoon with the water temp reading 39.5 degrees.  My Dad joined me in his Cuda 14.  When I arrived at the first hole that I wanted to target I pitched my live bait near some structure and it was instantly nailed by a feisty pickerel.

  As soon as I released it, my Dad picked up a small bass.  The action continued throughout the day with bass and pickerel hitting almost everything I threw.  Most of the bass were in the 14in-15in range with a few up to 20in.
  The most productive baits were suspending jerkbaits, crankbaits, PowerTeam Lures 3.5” Craw D’oeuvre fished on a football jig and live bait. 
  I even got out my ultralight and caught some bass and crappie on a small spinnerbait.  The crappie were schooled up over a submerged brush pile in only about 4 feet of water.
 Most of the fish were suspended over offshore structure and near thick cover. Overall, we caught around 25 bass and pickerel.  It was a great day and with the water still warming the fishing will only get better.  

Monday, February 3, 2014

Cold Water Bassin'

Since the latest winter storm passed through the Hampton roads area, I have been watching the weather like a hawk looking for a warming trend.  When I saw one forecast for last weekend, I rigged up the Cuda for some winter time bucketmouths.


VA Cold Water Largemouth

Most of the local lakes were completely iced over limiting my options, but fellow Werner Paddles teammate Richie Bekolay ( to see his blog Click Here ) told me that one our favorite lakes was open so we set out in hopes of getting some pullage.  When I launched the temperature on my fish finder read 40.1 degrees.   Shortly after I started fishing I heard a “Fish On!” and turned to see my Dad’s rod doubled over and a lot of splashing. Shortly afterwards he landed a nice 21in pickerel.

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            A few minutes later and he was hooked into a second pickerel around the same size.  I was throwing my suspending jerkbait when it was hit by a feisty 15in Largemouth.  I kept throwing my jerkbait and soon connected with a bigger fish.    This fish stayed deep and bulldogged into the grass, but soon I boated a chunky 17.5in largemouth.


Photo Credit: Richie Bekolay

            I hoped that the bite would continue to improve as the water warmed, but it did the opposite and dropped off.  I kept fishing and picked up a nice 22in pickerel near the end of the day.

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            As the weather warms and the local lakes thaw, break out the kayak and try some winter bassin’!    


Photo Credit: Richie Bekolay