Fall is here and that means school, cross country and soccer have really cut into my fishing time. I only get a few opportunities to get on the water. This weekend I was lucky with two free days and good weather.
On Saturday my Dad and I went out for some late season speckled trout. The reports lately had been good and I was excited to get on them. After a long paddle out to our spot, we found gill nets all over the area we wanted to fish. The water was extremely clear and we could see countless trout, stripers, and redfish in the nets. Fishing was really tough and we only caught a few schoolie stripers. The only baits that produced were PTL Swinging Hammers and Mirrolures.
After a slow day in the salt, we looked for some redemption on Sunday. We went to one of my favorite lakes looking for bass. The conditions were perfect, with cloud cover and little breeze. When we got to our first spot my Dad quickly hooked up on a small bass. A little while after that he hooked up on a much nicer fish. After a few runs he landed a NICE bass. It measured out to 22.25in and enough for Virginia trophy citation. He released it and we got back to fishing.
My Dad caught several more bass on live bait while I struggled for a bite. I tied on one of my favorite baits, a lipless crankbait and threw it near a laydown. It bounced off of a stump and I thought I snagged some timber, but a big head shake proved my bait was inhaled by something huge. The surface erupted with a massive splash and I instantly knew that this was a gigantic bass. I carefully worked it to the boat and grabbed the fish. When I sat the fish in my lap, I was utterly speechless. I knew right away this was a new personal best. The bass measured 25in and weighed about 10lbs. After a bunch of pictures I released the beast back to the lake and kept fishing.
The nice bass kept on biting with my Dad and I both catching several more bass over 18in. The bite slowed down after a few hours and we were ready to head back in when my Dad made his last cast. He pitched a live bait into a large brushpile looking for another big bass. His rod doubled over and his drag started screaming. He locked up the drag attempting to pull the big fish out of the brush. Fortunately, he got the fish to turn its head and it swam away from the brush. We both hoped that it was another big bass since it was fighting so hard. After a good fight the fish rolled on the surface and to our surprise it was a big channel catfish. My Dad landed the big cat and we knew it was over 30in, the minimum for citation. The catfish ended up being 33in and my Dad’s second citation of the day. He released the cat and we called it a day. The hot baits were lipless crankbaits in red craw color, PTL Bull Nosed Jigs, and live bait.
Also this winter at Appomattox River Company, its Meet the Prostaff. Several of PaddleVA's prostaff will be speaking about winter time fishing here in Tidewater. I will be speaking about Wintertime bassin on January 15! For more info click here...http://www.paddleva.com/kayak-fishing-clinics-aka-meet-pro-staff/