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Showing content with the highest reputation since 04/22/2018 in all areas

  1. 27 points
    Pickwick treated me really well this week, I caught lots of big fish and had a blast! My fishing partner and I competed in the BASS College Series Southern Tour event on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. There was a field of 266 boats from schools all across the country, many traveling even farther than we did from WVU. Fluctuating water levels were a big factor this week. On Sunday, the lake rose 3 to 4 feet from heavy rains, and the current was RIPPING! We didn't start practice 'til Monday, so we never saw the lake before it rose. This definitely helped us out in my opinion. Many teams found fish over the weekend and then the water levels changed everything. There were two main approaches taken by anglers at this tournament, largemouth fishing in the lower portions of the lake, or smallmouth fishing at the base of Wilson Dam in an area named "The Horseshoe". The horseshoe is notorious for producing incredible numbers of giant smallmouth, many teams who fished there would only end up with 4 fish, but still have 14-16lbs! I decided to not go near that area of the lake, I don't like fishing community holes and it was the craziest one I have ever seen. 50+ boats there fishing each day. The even crazier part is how 20lb+ bags were caught there each day despite all of the fishing pressure and boat traffic. All of the locals seemed to agree that 99% of the smallmouth in Pickwick are at the dam this time of year, but I found that hard to believe. My partner and I spent a good bit of time fishing rocky current breaks on the main river, and while there weren't many, we found some BIG ones! My friends who live down there didn't believe us when we told them our smallmouth weren't coming from the dam. I think we found 4 smallmouth spots on the main river during practice. Three of them produced fish during the event! The go-to bait for smallmouth this week was 'ol uncle ned. It's incredible how effective that darn thing is. We used a ZMAN 1/6oz weedless shroom head and a TRD. We spent most of our time this week flipping for largemouth. There was an abundance of flooded bushes, and with it being this time of year with 60 degree water temps, there is absolutely no reason for the fish not to be in them, so we worked hard until we found some and figured it out. As the water dropped, the flipping bite got better. Fish would pull out to the deepest piece of cover, and you could almost call your shots. The main way I caught fish was to find a laydown or bush with current pushing on it. This would pile up sticks and debris, creating what we call "trash mats". I was flipping (okay TECHNICALLY I was pitching @Catt) a d-bomb with a 1/2oz tungsten weight on 20lb fluorocarbon, and it was deadly. The key was to drop the bait in the middle of whatever your target was, there were tons of boats around but they were throwing moving baits around the edges and making pitches to the edges of the cover. I'm sure that worked too, but I wanted to target fish that no one else was bothering. Our main dilemma on tournament day was to figure out how much time to devote to smallmouth, and how much time to devote to largemouth. We decided to hit our smallmouth stuff early, then go flip once the sun got up. Day one produced a 4lb smallmouth in the first 10 minutes, it was actually the same fish I had caught in practice, it was on the same current break in about 15FOW. We spent a good bit of time looking for another one but it just didn't happen, so we put down the spinning rods and picked up the big sticks. I caught about 30 fish flipping the bushes on day one, more than I wanted to, but I never got a kicker bite, and had to make up for it via culling by ounces all day. 17lbs 10oz on day one put us in 22nd place, I knew I made the right call by catching so many of them, you just have to bring your a-game on the Tennessee River. I also knew that with our area being so close to the main river, and it being time of year for the bass to do their thing, the area would probably reload overnight. Day two did not start with a big smallmouth, there was a boat sitting where we planned to go, so we started early on largemouth. I put a limit together quickly but it wasn't very heavy. Luckily I caught about a 6lb largemouth at 10am, the kicker bite we had hoped for on day 1. I made a few more upgrades while largemouth fishing, then we headed to our smallmouth spot. My partner caught a big smallmouth as soon as we pulled up on our spot, it was the only bite we got there, but it was the right one! We then went back to largemouth fishing for the remainder of the day, and ended up with all quality fish besides one that was around 2&3/4 that we wanted to get rid of. With 15 minutes of fishing left, we headed to a spot that never produced a big smallmouth, but had the potential, and I cracked a very nice one to trade for that largemouth. Day 2 was definitely our best day decision-wise, we made the right calls at the right times and the bites happened when we needed them to, it was a perfect day! Our 5 fish limit weighed in at 21lbs, 2oz, jumping us from 22nd place all the way to third! Going into the final day, we knew we needed to catch 20lbs in order to win, nothing less. Once again we started on our smallmouth spot. We always caught some spotted bass while smallmouth fishing, but they are Kentucky strain fish, so most of them aren't very big, and they aren't worth targeting in a tournament where 20lbs is a strong possibility. To our surprise, we popped 3 very nice spotted bass in the first 30 minutes, all of them very close to the 3lb mark! Within the next 10 minutes, I caught a 3lb meanmouth, and my partner got a largemouth that was barely over the 15" size limit. At 6:51am we had 5 fish with plenty of time to go upgrade... Well the day didn't go as planned, at all! The water had been dropping every day, and had finally gotten so low that there was no longer any brush in the water to flip to, the fish were swimming around in the sloughs in 2FOW that used to be 5-6FOW, and they were extremely skittish (probably because I had already caught most of them!). There was also a large high school event, and a BFL taking place on the lake. Couple that with it being Pickwick on a Saturday in April, and you have a LOT of boats on the lake. You really couldn't try to go fish a new pattern because there were boats sitting on everything. We hit our smallmouth spots HARD, hoping for one or two big bites, but it just never happened. I did a good bit of flipping too, but everything I caught was tiny. I finally got rid of our small largemouth in the last 15 minutes with a largemouth that was a little bit bigger. We had 14lbs, 9oz on the final day. I figured we would get bumped down several places, but the conditions were tough on everyone. The guys higher up the leaderboard had a tough time, but the guys lower in the standings almost all had a great day, one of them bringing in 21-11! I would bet money that the guys in the top had fish leaving them, and the other guys had fish come to them, no idea what the circumstances were but it was easy to see that the fishing had drastically changed compared to the first two days. We finished in 2nd place, brought home some hardware, new rods, some money, and some good publicity for the team and our sponsors. I am extremely blessed to get to do this, and it really is the coolest thing in the world to me. Thanks to everyone on BR for the support and just paying attention, there aren't a lot of people who understand what any of this stuff is, so I gotta talk to you guys about it!
  2. 26 points
    Fished yesterday with board member Topwaterspook for smallies. We had a rough morning with lots of wind, lowering lake temps & very dirty water. After a beatdown we decided to try plan B. It saved our day.
  3. 25 points
    Oops he did it again..... not me but this guy I stopped at the lake from work to fish a little bit with top water lure. Tried a good 10 mins with no take so I switched to my old friend Husky Jerk 08 which caught me 2nd PB last year. This is a trusted lure supposed to be just a second cast and score this one.
  4. 25 points
    Caught a few good fish this past weekend. Most came on the @Siebert Outdoors fogy. Great chatters if you don't own 1 already. Mikes a heck of a guy too. Big fish was 4lb 12oz.
  5. 24 points
    Got the good news that my boat is done today. Didn't help on my days off when the wind was blowing 20-30+ both days but toughed it out in the still under construction johnboat both days. Dad went with me for the first half of Monday to try out a new lake I'd just been told about this winter that is supposed to be a low numbers, high quality type lake, right up my alley. Everything I'd expected. Shallow, nutrient rich water, big shad everywhere, all kinds of shallow cover, low numbers of bites, but the quality was there. Dad got 2 bites, both were his new PB. It was 4 pounds but he caught a 4 1/4 and then a 4.43, both on a 10" blue fleck power worm. My first bite was my best bite but didn't weigh it due to the wind blowing us around like a leaf. Dad was done fighting the wind and he'd drove to this lake so we went back to my house and dropped the boat so he could head home. I just got a new custom jig mold I wanted to test more so I hooked back up and went to a little lake close by well known, really only to me, for it's fat little jig eaters. The water was clearer than I've ever seen it, which was a bit discouraging, but I still found some willing to munch a 5/8oz jig I'd tied with some flatline rubber, including one of the bigger ones I've caught from out there, that dang near swallowed my jig. Tuesday I went on my first expedition to the local mudhole despite stern instructions by Mrs.Blue to do anything except going fishing (I did clean up the house a bit and hauled off some junk on my way that she'd wanted gone for a long time to soften the blow a bit). Water was down and much colder than I'd expected, at least it hurt my feet while I was pushing the boat off, one of these days I'll remember to add a rope to the boat so I don't have to walk it out knee deep to launch. Didn't have high hopes when a lot of my favorite stuff and most of the grass line was dry, but when I flipped to the very end of a what was little more than a stick and got slammed by a fish I never saw because I wasn't expecting anything, I felt a bit more optimistic. I think I missed the next 5 or 6 bites before I finally stuck what would be my smallest fish of the day at about 1.5 pounds. A couple cast later I pulled a 1/2oz War Eagle through a V in an old tree near the shoreline when a Killer Whale sized wake kicked up behind it and all the resistance left my line. Slammed the rod back and Shamu did everything she could to get to the other trees in the area but I was able to wrestle her back to the boat. At 5.74 pounds, made her my new lake PB. I ended up with 13.92 pounds for my biggest 5 on a lake that guys regularly blank on when they have the whole 5,000 acres at their disposal. Sometimes it helps when we just have to make the best of it and fish what's in front of us instead of running all over looking for the motherload.
  6. 24 points
    My buddy came down to visit from NY this weekend so I took him out to Fountainhead Park here in Northern VA. The boat rentals are cheap and there are some nice bass lurking in the reservoir. The water was blown out chocolate milk with tons of floating trash but we still managed 8 bites. I boated 6 and my buddy missed 2. The two biggest went 4 and 4.6.
  7. 24 points
    We are at the end of our spawn, a few stray males still holding out hope, but all of the females seem to have already dropped their eggs and are in postspawn mode. The bass below was the 47th & final one I caught yesterday in about 8 hours of fishing. She hit a 5" wacky rigged Senko, color green pumpkin/amber laminate, skipped under a boat dock in about 4 feet of water. She weighed in at 6 lbs, 2 oz, 23" long. With her length & build, she may have pushed the 7 lb mark last month when full of eggs or next month after feeding up a bit. She was blind in one eye, so she now is nicknamed "Sami" in case I ever catch her again (short for Sammy Davis Jr.).
  8. 23 points
    Dink city gave up a major non-dink this morning. Super shallow wood. Only had an hour to fish, so fished from the banks. Going to take out the yak there this evening and see if I can coax out another decent bite from one of the dozens of laydowns lining the shoreline.
  9. 22 points
    Fished yesterday and caught my first smallies of the 2018 season. Had six in the boat & lost one. All bites came after lunch as the water was warming. Water temps were 43-45 degrees.
  10. 22 points
    Part of a 21.90 limit. Missed big fish by .05 pounds. Got lucky and won the event.
  11. 22 points
    Had an extended weekend that started terrible but ended much better. Started with a lost phone and broken boat the day before my wife and I left for Table Rock. Thankfully, I have great friends and a buddy loaned me his bass boat to take and I was able to discover a very good bite in what sounded like was tough conditions. Lots of guys reporting very few fish and even no bites for multiple days, but I had over 30 fish Saturday with a couple limits worth of keepers. No big ones, but lots of super fat fish in the 2.5-3.5 pound range. They were gorging on tiny threadfin shad that were dying all over and ignoring bigger offerings. This was the average sized shad I was seeing, next to a 3.8 Fat Impact and 4" Swing Impact for size reference. I was getting all mine on small Keitechs or a Duo Rozante 77, white was by far the best color for me. Slow tapering, nothing banks were key. If a bank looked good, I couldn't get bit on it. Sand or gravel with a few big rocks mixed in (spawning banks), were best. I also had a few docks that would reload with schools of spots that would fight over a jerkbait. It's the time of year you can catch a 15" spot on Table Rock that will push and sometimes exceed 3lbs, like this one. Also caught several really nice smallmouth, this was the largest that was my first fish of the day on Sunday. Came back and had a guide trip Monday, which I had to borrow another friends boat for. Went to a lake that has been extremely tough the last few years, but we whacked them. I was busy explaining how tough it had been, trying to brace for what may be a very tough day, when a 2.5 pound smallmouth ate my jerkbait next to the boat my very first cast. Small jerkbaits and a Ned rig accounted for nearly 50 smallmouth and a few largemouth, plus a bonus 19" walleye. It was a father and son team, learning the lake for a high school tournament next month. If they can duplicate anything close to what I showed them, they will be tough to beat. My second fish of the day was big fish of the day at just over 17" and 3.55 pounds. They were straight swallowing that little Duo Rozante! Reed had the hot hand on the bigger fish of the two, especially when I switched him to a Nishiki 78 Pointer. Randy got in plenty of nice fish also. He seemed to have the touch with the Ned rig.
  12. 21 points
    Since we were discussing the old Charlie Brewer slider in another thread earlier today, I decided to tie one on tonight and get an hour or two of "Do Nothing" in after dinner. Thirty fish later, the old slider worm still works as well as ever. This one sure didn't hurt my feelings any 😉
  13. 21 points
    Some WV multitasking this morning
  14. 21 points
    Did my first Kayak Bass Fishing tournament this passed weekend at Lake Berryessa. I placed 49th out of 138, I just couldn't get rid of my little guy! Oh well, it was a great experience and won't be my last. Here is my best from tournament day. She smacked this itsy bug swimming over vegetation!
  15. 21 points
    23" at 5.2lbs The picture doesn't do it justice, this fishes mouth was enormous! Got this one on a shaky head. Seemed like most Bass were on beds up shallow and I can't be sure but this one came out of about 7 fow. No real signs that it was a bed fish, but it wasn't fat and fed like some of the smaller fish I caught out on timber in deeper water. It didn't have the shape of a big spawned-out female. Kinda thinking this was a BIG male bass and was guarding a bed that I couldn't see. I cast into a spot between two trees and when the lure hit the bottom it thumped and line started moving. Set the hook and it had carried it off under a branch. After a VERY tense 5 seconds of feeling flouro strain across tree trunk the fish shot straight for the surface and went 3 feet in the air. Back in the water, then it ran around and drug the line across another tree and jumped and tail walked into the net. All of this happened with 10 feet of line out. Good thing it was 17lb P-Line. Really impressed with the VMC hook! Hooked it well in the fat part of the lip and didn't bend at all. Caught a handful of other 2-3 pound fish through the weekend, and also landed a nice 4lb honey dragging a lizard through her bed. Water was murky and the wind had it choppy so beds were hard to spot, but when we found cleaner and calmer water back in some of the coves we could pick a few bass off beds if they were willing to hit the lure.
  16. 20 points
    Caught my first bed fish today. Really wild experience. She was guarding her freshly hatched eggs, and I could see her following them around. Worked her for 30 minutes with a creature bait and watched her get progressively more aggressive. She broke water with my bait in her mouth. What a cool way to catch a fish! She went for 2.4#.
  17. 20 points
    Buddy took me out, and put me on this, plus a couple other fish today.
  18. 20 points
    Good to see lots of nice fish being caught! Lake Anna today. She wasn't so hospitable. Cool and foggy this morning. Muddy water, maybe a foot of vis where we were fishing up beyond the splits. We landed a couple dinks. About mid morning after the fog burned off I managed a 4.6lb chunk on a spinner bait on a main lake point. The rest of the fish seemed to have lock jaw. Eventually we had to call it as the wind picked up and boat traffic got to be too much for our little boat to handle. We also ended up in what felt like a sand storm of pollen! It was like breathing saw dust. My eyes are still burning from it. Historically, Anna has always been tough for me. This is my biggest catch from there yet.
  19. 20 points
    First smallmouth of the season, approximately 4 lbs. A blade bait assembled from components is hanging from its lip.
  20. 20 points
    My New PB fishing with my students!!! Huge girl for around here!
  21. 19 points
    Figured I'd throw swimbaits for a while yesterday and had some pigs follow and dinks commit. Pretty surprised to see the little fella absolutely hammer the Slammer. After losing a Gan Craft AND Deps last week (serioulsy, same trip) I gave BlueBasser's Shine Glide a shot and have to admit I was pleasantly surprised with the action and draw power. First double on a Plopper and it was a spot/LM combo. Really cool if you ignore they're both under 12".
  22. 19 points
    My first trip and first fish of the year, and first fish caught on my homemade jig (if you call designing your own skirts and puting them on prepainted bought jigs homemade). Caught these guys off beds. Just pitching to bed looking spots a few feet back from the shoreline... Kind of fishing blind, but reading the shoreline. Not bad for a 1 and a half hours of fishing.
  23. 19 points
    we caught 34 spots this morning and put it on the trailer a little after noon as the heat builds in the western foothills of NC. my cousin caught this one on a Zoom lizard in 20 fow.
  24. 19 points
    I had two finals today, so after I finished up with them, I hooked up the boat and took it to the river that borders campus to fish for a couple hours and de compress. I didn't expect much, because you can't expect much from the Mon river in terms of bass. It is one of the three rivers that the Bassmaster Classic was held on in Pittsburgh, and if any of you know how that tournament went, it is a good example of the fishery. In most any body of water, no matter how poor the conditions are for bass or how much stunting occurs, there will always be a select few that break the mold and grow very successfully. Today I found two of them, and I couldn't be happier! Officially my PBs for both species on the Mon, and my 2nd biggest smallmouth ever. Largemouth was 4.23, smallmouth was 3.94! I caught the largemouth flippin' a netbait paca slim 3.5" on 3/8 tungsten, and the smallmouth was on a norman little N in a craw color. Over my left shoulder is Woodburn Hall, the most photographed building at WVU. Figured I should follow the trend!
  25. 19 points
    Found the smallies this weekend beating the bank. Landed 9 fish, with 4 fish over 3lbs, biggest at 3.57. Another was very long but skinny, wish I had gotten a measurement (over 20" if I had to guess). Got a couple on a keitech + jig head and then switched to a jerkbait and it was on. Next day, same spot, very similar conditions, same tactics and not a bite....go figure. Oh well, was nice to be out in this great weather.