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CybrSlydr

Anglr Report: Griggs Reservoir, 25 AUG 2017

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Had to take my car up to Columbus today as I had to get the airbag replaced due to recall.  Closest BMW dealer is in... Columbus.  So I decided to make a day of it and hit up a local reservoir that's got a great smallmouth fishery - Griggs Reservoir.

 

According to Game and Fish Mag 2017, 

 

Quote

As for bronzebacks, “The best lake in the district in terms of size and numbers of Griggs Reservoir,” said Carter.

 


“Griggs has an abundance of gravel and rocky habitat that smallmouth favor, and the smallmouth fishing can be exceptional in the Scioto River below Griggs all the way down to Columbus.”



Read more: http://www.gameandfishmag.com/fishing/2017-ohio-top-bass-fishing-spots/#ixzz4qpLFrMJe

 

 

 

And the Ohio DNR, 

 

  • Griggs Reservoir has healthy populations of both largemouth and smallmouth bass. Most bass are shoreline oriented throughout the year, so anglers should concentrate their efforts on shoreline cover and structure including submerged timber, riprap, and water willow. Soft plastic creature baits and tubes work well pitched to cover, while in the fall, minnow-imitating crankbaits and spinnerbaits are effective as bass feed on schools of young gizzard shad. For smallmouth, fish the north end of the reservoir near the islands and the Rt. 161 bridge with crayfish-imitating crankbaits and tubes.

 

To this end, I decided to hit up the river below the dam and try to catch my first ever smallmouth bass.

 

Prior to heading out to the reservoir, I went to Cabelas and stocked up on some employee-suggested lures for smallmouth.  I got some 1/4oz chartreuse jigs I paired with a couple different color bags of Berkley Power Grubs, I got a Rebel floating craw crankbait, a rapala shad bait, some 2/0 Trokar EWG worm hooks and some 5" pumpkin and flake senkos.  Also picked up a pair of polarized sunglasses so I could hopefully spot fish in the water easier.

 

36635149572_1821ed7c3c_h.jpg

 

The water just below the dam was waaaaaay too scummy for me to even think of trying to fish, so I worked my way down the river bank.  The river level appeared to be quite low.

 

36635155262_064913be31_h.jpg

 

35971119984_019e6c1f9f_h.jpg

 

I started off here with a Whopper Plopper 90.  After about the 4th cast, I managed to lodge it in the ONLY FREAKING TREE on my side of the river within 50 ft.  I then attempted to use my KVD jerkbait to pull it free by breaking off the branch but only managed to get it lodged in the tree as well.  At this point, I decided to chalk it up as a loss before I lost any more lures.  -sigh-  Whopper Plopper was less than a week old and had been fishing once.

 

This is the tree (on the right) - 36635159262_b24ab01280_h.jpg

 

I then tied on the 1/4oz jig with power grub and tried that.  I tried letting the current pull it downstream, I tried jigging, I tried swimming it across the bottom, etc.  No joy on bites.  I cast into calm pools on the other side of the current as well as into the current.  So I decided to move further downstream some more.

 

35971114124_1cc60f9595_h.jpg

 

This was about as far as I decided to go.  Tried the jig again, cast across and upstream, let it carry down, jigged, swam, etc.  No luck.  So I switched over to the Senko on the 2/0 hook.  Tried it through the deeper pools I could see as well as let it carry down stream and swam it along the bottom.  After about the 10th cast, I managed to separate the senko from the hook and watched it go flying off into the trees.  -sigh-  So I put on another.

 

36635150152_fc290ae63f_h.jpg

 

Tried in the little pool to my left in this pic, tried downstream with the senko, etc.  By this time, I was plain frustrated, hot, and sweaty.  So I decided to pretty much head home.  I tried the senko as I trekked back up the river but didn't get anything with it either.  I then made it back to my car and promptly drove to Taco Bell for some consolation food.

 

Here's my GPS track of where I went - I started the tracker at the riverside and ended it when I got back to the car.

 

36637422702_7d7453dc67_o.jpg

 

35973342224_71482af7e3_o.jpg

 

So, yeah.  Another trip, another abject failure at angling.  

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9 hours ago, CybrSlydr said:

According to Game and Fish Mag 2017,

 

As for bronzebacks, “The best lake in the district in terms of size and numbers of Griggs Reservoir,” said Carter.

“Griggs has an abundance of gravel and rocky habitat that smallmouth favor, and the smallmouth fishing can be exceptional in the Scioto River below Griggs all the way down to Columbus.”

 

Ask for a refund!

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3 hours ago, deep said:

 

Ask for a refund!

lol

 

Well, it was a freely accessed article online, so I'm not exactly sure what they would refund!  Bit awkward to refund time or energy. :)

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I like these reports of yours even if the fish are elusive. It makes me think about whether I would have done something different and what it would have been:

 

1. I would absolutely have fished the scum below the dam before moving on. I know it looks nasty. But it's also going to be well-oxygenated and probably has some attractive holes. I would have worked it with perhaps the rebel craw, or a spinnerbait or inline spinner, or hopped a tube or grub around.

 

2. In the river section, i would have started immediately with a weightless, weedless rigged senko, and thrown it so it drifts into any current breaks or obstructions (boulders, wood) I saw. It is far and away my most versatile and productive river smallmouth bait (I find 4" senkos hook up more reliably than 5"). And if I only had one rod, I would have switched away from the senko only if I thought I saw a hole I wanted to drop something weighted down into.

 

3. I might have put the grub on a 1/8oz head instead of 1/4; a bit slower fall and less likely to get wedged between rocks. I would use it specifically for working deeper pools I came to. Smallmouth like to hunker down in the deepest spot of pools in low water and grab stuff as it drifts by. They often face upstream. I would try to position myself to cast upstream to head of the pool, let it fall, and then hop it downstream into the pool proper.

 

4. River smallmouth are really aggressive... to survive in current, they must attack potential food sources quickly and often, or they lose opportunities to feed. If they are there, and they are in the mood to bite, you will know it. I will change locations much more readily than I will change lures.

 

Rivers are their own sort of animal and pose a different set of challenges than lakes. A good resource for river smallies is the book "River Smallmouth Fishing" by Tim Holschlag.

 

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10 hours ago, MIbassyaker said:

I like these reports of yours even if the fish are elusive. It makes me think about whether I would have done something different and what it would have been:

 

1. I would absolutely have fished the scum below the dam before moving on. I know it looks nasty. But it's also going to be well-oxygenated and probably has some attractive holes. I would have worked it with perhaps the rebel craw, or a spinnerbait or inline spinner, or hopped a tube or grub around.

 

2. In the river section, i would have started immediately with a weightless, weedless rigged senko, and thrown it so it drifts into any current breaks or obstructions (boulders, wood) I saw. It is far and away my most versatile and productive river smallmouth bait (I find 4" senkos hook up more reliably than 5"). And if I only had one rod, I would have switched away from the senko only if I thought I saw a hole I wanted to drop something weighted down into.

 

3. I might have put the grub on a 1/8oz head instead of 1/4; a bit slower fall and less likely to get wedged between rocks. I would use it specifically for working deeper pools I came to. Smallmouth like to hunker down in the deepest spot of pools in low water and grab stuff as it drifts by. They often face upstream. I would try to position myself to cast upstream to head of the pool, let it fall, and then hop it downstream into the pool proper.

 

4. River smallmouth are really aggressive... to survive in current, they must attack potential food sources quickly and often, or they lose opportunities to feed. If they are there, and they are in the mood to bite, you will know it. I will change locations much more readily than I will change lures.

 

Rivers are their own sort of animal and pose a different set of challenges than lakes. A good resource for river smallies is the book "River Smallmouth Fishing" by Tim Holschlag.

 

 

1.  As turbulent as the water was I figured the smallmouth wouldn't stick around near the dam.  Learn something new every day, eh? :)

 

2.  I don't recall if I bought the 4" or 5" (I think 5") senkos, but I had 'em texas rigged on a weightless EWG Trokar hook and tried exactly as you described.  I cast it into the current upstream and let it drift down (just like I was bottom bouncing steelhead eggs), I tried bringing it through the current from the other side (far shore was in shade and fish like shade/cover, so I figured I might entice some that were resting or whatever they do in the shade).

 

3.  I would have also preferred the 1/8oz but Cabelas jig section was nearly empty.  The whole of the pegboard was just empty.  The employee who assisted me said he prefers 1/16 and 1/8 for smallmouth jigging as well.  So I went with the 1/4oz since it was the closest they had.  I could have tried a ned rig but I didn't think to bring that along with me.

 

Thanks for the reading suggestion, I'll look it up at work on Monday. :)

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22 hours ago, MIbassyaker said:

I like these reports of yours even if the fish are elusive. It makes me think about whether I would have done something different and what it would have been:

 

 

That's mainly why I keep doing them.  Hopefully someone will see what I'm doing wrong and learn what not to do to make their trips more successful.

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On 8/27/2017 at 9:31 PM, CybrSlydr said:

 

That's mainly why I keep doing them.  Hopefully someone will see what I'm doing wrong and learn what not to do to make their trips more successful.

I keep hoping to read one of these where you slay them!!

Keep at it, it'll happen

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1 hour ago, BassNJake said:

I keep hoping to read one of these where you slay them!!

Keep at it, it'll happen

Hopefully if I keep at it, someday it'll happen.

 

But it does get frustrating.

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16 hours ago, CybrSlydr said:

Hopefully if I keep at it, someday it'll happen.

 

But it does get frustrating.

By your reports it seems like you are trying the right stuff

It's not like you're drop shotting a deep diving crankbait.

 

Sometimes it is just little adjustments going smaller/larger, moving faster or slower

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, BassNJake said:

By your reports it seems like you are trying the right stuff

It's not like you're drop shotting a deep diving crankbait.

 

Sometimes it is just little adjustments going smaller/larger, moving faster or slower

 

 

 

 

Well, AJ says Bass should start to get more active around here in a few weeks once it starts cooling down.  So, maybe I'll get something then.  I'm also going to take a trip back up to Cleveland with my brother and buddy to do some steelhead fishing with a guide - hopefully we can catch some nice chrome as well. :)

 

I also hear that WVa next door is also quite good for trout fishing as well.  May look into that as well.

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That steelhead fishing is off the hook up there.

Guys are serious about the fall steelhead run on the rocky river.

Good luck if you go.

 

Quite a few electric motor only lakes in NE Ohio that produce pretty well you might check out on your trip up north.

Nimisila, Mogadore and Ladue Reservoirs are all owned by the City of Akron and have good bass and panfish populations.

An old fishing buddy just broke the tourney record on LaDue with 22.6, not bad for an electric motor only lake.

The year I moved away they started renting boats out at Ladue but not sure if they still do and I know that is quite a drive for you.

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