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.