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CybrSlydr

Blue Rock State Park - Cutler Lake, 1 APR 2017

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After the failed request in the regional forum asking where I should go, I chose to head back to Cutler Lake.  I reasoned it was a smaller body of water so I'd have a better chance of catching something if it were there - especially since it was stocked with trout back on the 23rd of March. 

 

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Weather was cool and brisk with a light breeze.  We've had a bit of significant rainfall the past couple days, so the rivers are high and fast - and as you will soon see, the lake is nearly opaque.

 

So there's a map of the lake and the route I took around it - I made my first cast around 2:00pm and left around 4:45.  The X's mark where I fished and the number in which order I stopped there (counter-clockwise around the lake).

 

Stop 1 - The Dam

 

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As you can see, the water is nearly opaque.  Absolute chocolate milk going on.  I already had a sexy shad-style squarebill from LTB tied on from my last trip somewhere, so I started out with that for about 15 mintues and had no success.  Quite a few swallows were flitting around the surface getting drinks.  Despite the opacity of the water, I figured I'd try some Senkos even though they're more of a visual bait.  Had some clear with black speck, which obviously didn't get me anything. 

 

Spot 2 - Trail

 

This spot was almost directly across from the main building and the beach - I don't have any pics from here because there were other people across the way and I didn't want them to think I was spying or something.  I started off with the clear/speck Senko and didn't get any results and switched to a KVD stick bait.  This one was green with black specks and had their coffee scent.  Tried this for a few minutes and then switched to one of my newer lures. 

 

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It's a Rapala BX Jointed Swimmer in Purplesecent or something.  I bought it prior to this trip a week or so ago and first tried it here.  Action is great, moves even when reeled in slowly but it's only 1/4oz and has a tendency to helicopter.  I can cast it maybe... 65ft or so with my rod.  It's a floater, so I tried a straight retrieve and a slow retrieve/pause with no luck.  I then put on a shallow minnow crankbait in a silver/clear/blue pattern with no luck either.  I then chose to move to the next spot on the trail.

 

Spot 3 - Trail

 

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It appeared someone had been catfishing this spot previously as there were quite a few Y-branches strewn around and one still stuck in the ground.  I started off with the Rapala and soon switched to a KVD jerkbait.  I tried this because you can cast it quite far and it's a suspending bait that has good action with little rod motion.  I nearly lost the jerkbait on some rocks about 3ft off shore in shallow water, but I managed to get it free with the rod tip.  I took this as a sign that I shouldn't stay there any longer lest I lose a lure or two!  So I moved to the next spot on the trail.

 

Spot 4 - Trail

 

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Initially, this appeared promising - prior to this spot, the bank was too steep and the water near it was full of submerged stumps and other things to lose your lure on.  I started here with the jerkbait and essentially tossed it in near the mouth and kept the bail open and walked it back to the corner where I then closed the bail and retrieved the lure.  This yielded no results so I pulled out the Rapala again since it's shallow water and trolled away.  After some more futility, I decided to pack up and move to the next spot.

 

Spot 5 - Trail

 

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This little steam was too shallow to attempt anything from this side, so I moved on to the next spot.  The bridge you see in the third picture is the farthest point I reach on my trip.  From here on I'm walking back towards the lake.

 

Spot 6 - Trail

 

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At this point, I was pretty much just playing around.  I had the Rapala tied on still, so I was just walking up and down this little part of the stream with the lure in the water and watching it move.  At one point, I cast a few times just to see if it would get hung up - it didn't, so yay!  I also attempted to see if there was any water moving fast enough that I could hold the lure in place with my line and still generate motion in the lure.  Unfortunately I didn't find any water fast enough.

 

Spot 7 - Lake off-shoot

 

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By this point, I'd pretty much given up.  I threw the Rapala out a few times before switching to a new lure I bought at the shop on the way to this lake.  It's a LiveTarget Golden Shiner rattlebait.

 

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After I put it on and retrieved it a few times I realized something - it's a rattle-trap with a fancy paint job.  It casts well enough at 7/16th oz, but I don't think it's worth the $12.50 it cost in the shop.  Actually, I think it's a combination of a Red Eye Shad (in shape and the way it casts) and a Rat-L-Trap (the way it sounds).  Didn't get anything with it and decided my next stop would be my last.

 

Stop 8 - Boat Ramp

 

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You can see the actual boat ramp behind the tree in the first pic.  I cast the LiveTarget a few times in each direction before I moved over to the floating pier.  I cast in a few directions in-between the ramp and pier and then while on the pier.  Didn't get anything, so I decided I'd walked around and failed enough and it was time to go home.

 

Parking Lot

 

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Just some shots from my car in the parking lot looking back at the lake.

 

I realize that I picked a pretty crappy day to go to the lake - but it was the one chance I had this weekend so I decided to take it.  Thought I might get lucky and land a stocked trout or two, but no.  As far as I can tell, I never had a single nibble the entire time I was there. 

 

Again. 

 

I'd love to laugh and then tell you all this was some April Fools joke and that I actually landed a few fish but that's not the case. 

 

So, yeah.  Sill 0-for-2017.

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What was the water temp? I'm also assuming by the pictures that there was a cold front with some rain that probably cooled that lake a few degrees or more? 

 

Either way spring is just starting, you'll be on some fish soon. I've managed a dozen or so this year but it's tough- water temps mid to high 40's. Good luck

 

*Also, with those conditions, I would've started with the lipless crank slowly cranked and a jig.  The jerkbait option would probably not be the best choice but then again I just caught a few today in muddy water and the only thing they'd bite was a drop shot hellgramite I go figure. 

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No idea on the water temp.  Air temp was in the 50s so I figure water was in the mid-high 40s.

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I would recommend getting a small thermometer to Check the water temp. Knowing the water temp, the current conditions, and the recent weather trends you can get an idea of where the bass should be and what mood the bass should be in. 

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9 hours ago, stk44 said:

I would recommend getting a small thermometer to Check the water temp. Knowing the water temp, the current conditions, and the recent weather trends you can get an idea of where the bass should be and what mood the bass should be in. 

 

Honestly, I figured that even if it were too chilly or the like for bass that I could manage to land some Trout that they stocked about a week ago.  No such luck there either.

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 I have caught plenty of trout on jerks and cranks, but I've caught many more on much smaller baits like flies, small trout worms, etc. Maybe try downsizing your lures so even if the bass aren't biting, you could get some trout, panfish , etc. That might hold you off until the prespawn kicks off. 

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23 hours ago, stk44 said:

 I have caught plenty of trout on jerks and cranks, but I've caught many more on much smaller baits like flies, small trout worms, etc. Maybe try downsizing your lures so even if the bass aren't biting, you could get some trout, panfish , etc. That might hold you off until the prespawn kicks off. 

The main problem I have with downsizing lures is castability.

 

1/4oz is about as light as I can go else they don't cast worth a darn.  I had a 1/8oz Rapala back when I first started and I could barely get it to go farther than 20ft.  The Rapala I used above doesn't cast as well as I'd like either and it's 1/4oz.

 

1/2oz+ is the sweet-spot for lures on this rod.  

 

 

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2 hours ago, CybrSlydr said:

The main problem I have with downsizing lures is castability.

 

1/4oz is about as light as I can go else they don't cast worth a darn.  I had a 1/8oz Rapala back when I first started and I could barely get it to go farther than 20ft.  The Rapala I used above doesn't cast as well as I'd like either and it's 1/4oz.

 

1/2oz+ is the sweet-spot for lures on this rod.  

 

 

Do you have a medium light - medium spinning rod? I use that a lot this time of the year. Couple this with some 6-10 lb braid and you are good to go for multi species. I use this setup mostly for SM bass- it's great for skipping plastics under brush piles and under docks and also great for tubes, drop shot, light trigs, shakey heads, etc. 

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2 hours ago, stk44 said:

Do you have a medium light - medium spinning rod? I use that a lot this time of the year. Couple this with some 6-10 lb braid and you are good to go for multi species. I use this setup mostly for SM bass- it's great for skipping plastics under brush piles and under docks and also great for tubes, drop shot, light trigs, shakey heads, etc. 

 

No, I only have a single rod.  It's a No.*** Blackout 6'6" MH.

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27 minutes ago, Yeajray231 said:

Bud how far are you from the Dayton area ?? I can probably put you on some fish . 

 

About 3 hours.  (2hr 51min according to Google maps)

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Ouch... Well ok then. Lol. I hope you get on some fish bro ! You obviously aren't lacking effort. 

 

Good things come to those who wait. So they say. 

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Cold and muddy water is the worst set of conditions possible in bass fishing, better fishermen than us blank under those conditions routinely so don't feel bad.  I probably would have turned around and left to fish a new lake after seeing that chocolate milk.

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10 hours ago, CybrSlydr said:

 

No, I only have a single rod.  It's a No.*** Blackout 6'6" MH.

I would recommend bringing two rods with you- your MH 6'6 will cover the mid-upper end of the lure spectrum, and the ML-M fast action rod with a 2000-2500 size reel should cover your more "finesse" techniques that can usually help you get bites when no other presentations seem to work. 

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4 minutes ago, stk44 said:

I would recommend bringing two rods with you- your MH 6'6 will cover the mid-upper end of the lure spectrum, and the ML-M fast action rod with a 2000-2500 size reel should cover your more "finesse" techniques that can usually help you get bites when no other presentations seem to work. 

 

I've Ned-rigged with my current rod before - 1/10th oz jig with a 3.75" Zman stickbait.  That's actually what I caught my most recent fish on back in November.  I've also done some wacky-rigging/drop shot as well with it.

 

Will it really work that much better than my current rod?

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Well, it all depends on your setup, but IMO, you can't do everything with one setup. Let's just say you have 30 lb braid on you bait-caster. I wouldn't use this for standard drop shotting, I wouldn't use that for a shakey head, jerkbaits, etc. I always try to use the lightest line that I can get away with.

 

I didn't see you mention any type of jig, ned rig, etc usage so maybe if you had another rod you could cover the same area with a couple different lures instead of having to retie to give the fish another look. 

 

In the conditions you just fished, I'm not saying the rod would've helped you, in cold muddy conditions, I would've picked 3/8 oz black jig with chunk trailer on braid which would be perfect on your MH (assuming fast) rod. You still may not have caught any fish in those conditions, but it is definitely doable. 

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