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Live! From the water. 18 June 2023


casts_by_fly

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Hi all,

 

I’ve got a full day available to me for once so I’m going to chronicle it when I take a minute to rest. It was an early start but I love the two hours either side of sunrise. It’s going to be a tough one today. 

 

IMG_3836.jpeg

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definitely going to be a tough one. Fished all of the shaded banks minus one I’m motoring to. high blue sky. Flat water. All of the grass is gone this year. Like every strand. A couple reed beds with tullies exist and that’s it. I guess that’s what winter at 25’ low will do. 

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Im not sure how to count innings but im on hour five now and only one in the boat to show for it. Everything just shut down entirely after the sun popped up. Off to do some exploring and see what I can find. 

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Hit a mid lake hump that has a couple stumps on it that I found when the lake was 20’ low. Fish were on it when I got there (confirmed in live view) but they promptly left. My initial thinking was that since the water hadn’t warmed much after post spawn that the fish might have just stayed shallow. I think that was probably wrong so I’m checking out the off shore structure now. 

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6 minutes ago, casts_by_fly said:

Made it home, final tally three bass. Learned a few things. Once I grab a bite to eat I’ll type out my thoughts. 

Thanks for taking us along!

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Cool ~

I'd give this a shot on the water.

But not sure I'd have cell service the whole time.

:smiley:

A-Jay

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Some days you go fishing for a quiet place and maybe a few fish.  Some days you pick a place because it’s convenient.  And then there are those days when you have all of the time in the world and want to catch numbers, size, or both. That was my hope for today. I had all the time in the world for once, so I picked the biggest and best of the lakes around that I like to fish. It’s 1200 acres or so and is a Great Lake.  It’s a mixed largemouth and smallmouth lake and I’ve done well here before. It’s the same lake I took my dad this spring and lost a 5/6+ lb largemouth and landed one at 4.5. It’s been an odd early summer for temperatures and weather, but I figured I’d be in a good place today and had high hopes for some early topwater and hopefully some decent fish.

 

it was not to be. 
 

last year this lake bottomed out at 25’ low and it stayed that way well into the winter. I’d read in another local lakes management guide that in order for winter drawdowns to be effective at killing weeds, it has to be low enough to freeze the seeds dry. That must have happened in the Christmas freeze this year as the lake was entirely devoid of all aquatic vegetation. The tullies survived in a couple places where they live but otherwise all milfoil, pond weed, pads, etc were gone. That threw me for a loop for sure. There was a lot more wood in the water which I actually prefer, though a lot of it was <3’ of water and with nothing around it (and most of it was not holding fish for whatever reason).

 

My plan was to cover some water with top waters or chatterbaits until I found a couple fish and then slow down and poke around the grass nearby that I expected to be there.  When the water was low last year I took a ride around the lake to learn the structure. I found some old roads, mid lake humps (that have cover on them you wouldn’t know was there), steep banks, etc.  Last year (pre drought) a lot of those areas had grass across them and held fish. If the bank wasn’t doing it, the plan was to use my electronics and see what was on them.  If none of THAT was happening, I had the full day to keep working at it and I figured I would pitch grass beds with plastics and find a couple that way. 
 

Of course the grass not being there flipped a lot of that on its head. I beat the bank in the usual spots and fished the shade side when I could. I pulled up a couple fish to a sexy dog but none hit it enough to get a hook.  I had a jig ready as a follow up bait and eventually one of them grabbed it (about a 1.75-2# fish).  I thought maybe I was onto something but that’s when they stopped coming up for a dog.  Since I was throwing to cover and pockets, I swapped to a popper and the first cast had a 10” fish swipe at it. I thought I might be onto something, but it was just a lucky cast. Given where I was on the lake (and not having the ability to jump around a ton in the kayak), I figured I would switch to some of the offshore stuff.  I checked out a bunch of places where I knew decent structure, and there were fish on some of them, it nothing was eating. I could watch fish with mega live and spent a lot of time locating and positioning on them. I was mostly using a sonar minnow or similar but the fish didn’t want it. 
 

after spending a bunch of time with mega live, I decided to do another lap of a normally productive area and see what I could find. After fishing one particular tree/bush, I motored up to it just to see if I was wasting my time fishing it and similar ones. There was a ~15” largemouth on it that slunk away. That at least told me there were fish, even if they weren’t hungry. At that point I did the thing I hate and tied on a wacky yum dinger.  Since it was bright hot sun and no grass, the bluegills, carp, and that one bass were all holding as tight as they could to any wood that was giving shade. I decided to jump from tree to tree that had at least a foot of water and a speck of shade. That turned into two small bass that grabbed the dinger and made a break for open water. At this point I was tired (10 hours into an 85 degree day) so called it. 
 

What I could have done differently.

 

  • By 8AM I recognized it was going to be a tough day. But I’m stubborn and stuck with the moving baits and hard baits until at least 10 or 11. I should have cut my losses and moved finesse sooner. The wind also wouldn’t have been up like it got a little later and I could have finessed better in more places.
  • I spent a lot of time with mega live. That’s not the worst thing since I’m still learning it a bit, but I spent a lot of time messing with fish that wouldn’t eat. In hindsight, I should have thrown a few different lures and worked the structure a little more thoroughly and not just cast to visible fish. In one spot in particular, I think the fish were circling the mid lake hump (hence why I lost them so much on mega live). A Carolina rig would have helped me cover more water more thoroughly than either a crank bait or the sonar minnow. Even a Texas rig or wobble head would have been a good choice. I considered a football jig but I just wasn’t in the mood to drag bottom. 
  • I say it all the time, but I should fish a senko more. I tried it last time and couldn’t get into it and didn’t give it much time. This time with a better setup it was better to fish. I think I need to rig up one rod for it and leave it rigged. 
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Some days are diamonds and some days are stone " John Denver ".

My day was stone as well....... one fish ?

 

 

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17 hours ago, A-Jay said:

Cool ~

I'd give this a shot on the water.

But not sure I'd have cell service the whole time.

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

This idea popped into my mind because on one of the specialist hunting forums I'm on there is a 'live from the saddle' thread during the season.  When people get in and set up they drop a picture and blurb into the thread.  Its cool to see who's out and doing what if you check into the forum during daylight hours.  Also cool in that case because the specific forum is about tree saddles and saddle hunting and you get to see other guys setups (of which is there is a lot more variety than seeing fishing rod setups on the water!).  

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