Monday, March 17, 2014

Windy Weekend

The forecast for this weekend looked nice with the exception of one thing, the wind.  The forecast called for winds of at least 15kts with stronger gusts and I knew I wouldn’t be able to fish the larger lakes I have been fishing.  Plan B was to downsize to a small pond protected by wind.  I rigged up the SUPerFISHal for some bass fishing.  Since it is a small pond I was pretty sure the fish would be in a few specific locations.  One of these spots was a large laydown tree.  I ran a crankbait through the outside limbs and it was smashed by a nice 19.5in bass.

 After I released it I pitched a jig with a PowerTeam Lures Craw D’oeuvre trailer.  I hopped my jig once and then it was picked up by a 18in bass.  I kept pitching my jig and working my crankbait by some more cover and picked up a few more nice largemouths up to 20in. 

  My Dad was using a jerkbait and live bait and also picked up a few bass.  As the day went on we each caught our fair share of bass and pickerel and were going to call it a day. 

  My Dad pitched his last live bait near some cover and it was almost immediately nailed by a good fish.  After a short fight he landed a big pickerel.  He placed it on the board and it measured 24.75in, a Virginia Trophy Citation.  After snapping a few pictures, we watched it swim off and we called it a day.

The next day was forecasted to be a little colder with steady winds out of the north.  I loaded up my Cuda 14 and targeted catfish.  This time of year catfish invade the marshes and creeks of the lower James River, and it makes for easy and fun fishing.  I timed the tides so wouldn’t have to paddle against them and I paddled into a large creek and set up my baits.  After only 15minutes, I already had several small cats in the boat.

  The bite continued most of the day.  The action was so hot, at times I had double and even triple headers with 15in-22in catfish.  I fished until I ran out of bait and the current was too strong.  A short easy paddle back to the truck with a stringer full of good eating catfish ended the day.   

Monday, March 10, 2014

Slowing Down

As a weekend fisherman, I can’t count on perfect conditions every time I go fishing.  This weekend I faced post cold front conditions and muddy water from a lot of rain the previous day.  At least the weather called for some warmer conditions, so I loaded up my Cuda 14 and went to one of the local lakes near my house.  The bright blue sky and warmer air temperatures made for a nice day, but the fishing was slow.  I started the day flipping heavy cover in 9-12 feet of water with a small finesse jig.  I missed a few fish but couldn’t get any solid hookups.  I eventually worked my way into a small, deep creek, and I switched to a jerkbait.  After a few cast I connected with a decent largemouth.  It was suspended in 15 feet of water.

  I thoroughly fished the creek but couldn't get another bite.   I moved to another shallower creek, where my Dad connects with a nice fish. After a short fight he lands a chunky bass.  That fish hit a square bill crankbait in a craw pattern.  I hoped a change would increase the action so I decided to make a move and head way up lake to find some warmer water.  I started fishing a large stump field.  I picked up a small pickerel with my jerkbait, and missed a few more fish on my jig.  My Dad was working his jerkbait in a small pocket when it was blasted by a nice largemouth.

  After a quick fight he landed it and I took a few pictures.  This one was fatter and a bit longer than his first.  The fish kept me guessing the rest of the trip and I couldn’t get another bite. 

The next day I went to a smaller, shallower lake hoping for a better bite.  I fished my normal spots without a bite.  I switched to slow rolling a spinnerbait and fished it down drop offs and near spawning flats.  I managed to pick up 2 small bass and a pickerel.

  The fishing was slow but the weather made for another nice day on the water.  When you are fishing the action can’t always be great, but slow days are what make you realize how special a great day is.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Surprise Citation on the SUP!

Today’s forecast showed light winds and 65 degree temperature, so I loaded up my SUP and went to one of my favorite lakes in Suffolk.  My plan was to catch perch, crappie, and some smaller bass on my ultra light rig.  It was spooled with 4lbs test line and a small live bait rig.  I pulled up to my first brush pile and pitched my live bait as close as I could to it.  Almost immediately my bobber went down.  I set the hook and after a short fight I landed a small bass.

Nice pickerel on my ultra light 

  The action continued and I caught several more bass and some pickerel on my ultra light.  I move to another spot looking for perch in a little deeper water.  On my first cast my live bait was slammed by a good fish.  It made a few good head shakes and pulled a lot of drag.  Once I played the fish closer to the SUP I saw that it was a NICE bass.  The first time I got it close to the SUP, it launched into a tail walk and I got my first good look at the hawg.  With only 4 lb test and a perch hook I lightened the drag and hoped for the best.  The fish made a long run dumping half my spool, but luckily it headed to the middle of the lake, away from the structure.  I kept fighting the fish and eventually lipped the beast onto the SUP.

  I quickly put the bass on my hawg trough and measured it at 22in, just enough for a VA trophy citation.  I was stoked that I had landed such a nice fish on my ultra light.  After a few quick pictures I released her and got back to fishing.  
Decent bass on a crankbait

Once I realized the perch bite wasn’t going to turn on I switched over to throwing swimbaits and crankbaits for bass.  The bite came in flurries, where I would catch 3 or 4 fish quickly and then have no bites for a while.
15in bass on a slow rolled swimbait
  I ended the day with over 20 bass and pickerel as well as a few perch.  Most of my bass came on swimbaits and live bait, while the pickerel liked crankbaits and jerkbaits.  All of the fish were suspended near brush piles, and laydowns in 4-8 feet of water.