Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Shakey Head Worm Day- May 27th

Dad and I fished Bluestone from 6am to 12pm on a cool overcast 70 degree day with a matching water temp. It stated slow. I caught 5 bass on five differnt tactics - jerkbait, crankbait, fluke, senko, and spinnerbait over 4 hours. Fish just didn't want to chase and didn't really seem like they were wanting any one thing. Then in the last 2 hours I put a shakey head worm on for completeness sake and it was on. I went on to catch 14 more bass on a 4 inch Strike King finesse worm rigged with a 1/8oz. shakey head in green pumpkin. The largest bass was 2.3lbs.I lost at least 4 more and missed at least 5 more strikes. Those fish were all about the shakey head. They didn't want to chase and they didn't want anything flashy, but that little worm was gettin under their skin in a big way. It pretty amazing how the right bait in the right place can turn a slow day into a really good day in a hurry. I also caught a bonus channel cat and 2 bluegills on the shakey head. I even got Dad to throw the shakey head for a while.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Concord Bass Club Tournament - May 25th

Jason Brown and myself entered the Concord Bassin Club Open Tournament on Bluestone lake. There were 25 boats total that entered. The tournament was from 7am to 3pm on Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. We drew #21 of 25 and headed for the slide once we got out of the gate. To my suprise there was no one there, at least right off. I caught a 4.09lbs. largemout on a fluke at 8:20, a good start for the day and my first tournament fish. Jason, an excellent jig fisherman, started catching fish on a jig pretty good and I started picking up some keepers on a spinnerbait. We got our 6 by 10am and culled 3 more fish my 12. By 12 all of our fish were 13 inches or better and we were look to upgrade. At 1:30 I had a good sized fish break off my spinnerbait due to the fact that I neglected to retie after hours of running it across logs, a total rooky mistake. The fish I lost was 2 to 3 lbs. Losing one like that really hurt. Around 2pm Jason lost a good fish on a crankbait. At 3pm we went and weighted in. We finished 6th out of 25 boats with 9.25lbs. I had the 2nd biggest fish of the tournament at 4.09lbs, but one guy had a fish that was 5.01lbs to take the big fish money. Braxton Huffman won the tournament with 13.65lbs. He caught is fish on brushhogs mostly at the slide and near the dam off of both sides of the lake in those areas. The tournament was fun but stressful and very tiring. There were some really good bags despite there being tons of holliday weekend boat traffic and fishing pressure. The weather was overcast with water temps right around 70 degrees. Nearly every boat had a limit and most people caught between 20 and 30 fish per boat. We ended up with ~ 25 total fish for the day.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Solo on Bluestone Lake

I fished Bluestone for the first time in about a week due to the massive water/mud run off. I fished alone from 6am until 11am. There were only 2 other bass boats on the lake and the conditions were pretty good. Stained water although it was falling water, light clouds, warm air, 63 degree water, with a slight breeze. I caught one LMB on the pit bank on my magic LC pointer, a spot on a spinnerbait below the fridge rock, and another spot on fluke before I decided to slow down and start throwing senko's on cover. The senko on wood pattern was working, I caught 6 and lost 4 more on 5 inch baby bass senko's with a 4/0 EWG Gamakatsu hook. The 4 I lost were due to the fact that I didn't real my slack out of the line before I set the hook so the bass ended up getting pulled around with a straight tail worm in his mouth but no hook engaged. Of the 9 fish I did boat 6 were good fish the largest being 16 inches and 2.6lbs. After seeing some other area lakes I think people underestimate just how good Bluestone Lake is or has the potential to be. I also netted a wounded shad. I can't get over how much blue/teal he has on his back, something to think about next time you pull a crankbait when the shad are running.

Tough Sailing at Claytor Lake - May 13th

Brad and I fished Claytor from 7am unti 4pm. Brad caught 9 and I caught 8, all were < than 12 inches and all were spotted bass. We tried everything and ran all over the lake. I think the fish over there maybe spawning; either that or we just suck at fishing. The fish we did catch were off of spinnerbaits around wood. Brad hooked and lost a small musky right a the boat on spinnerbait as well. The weaher was really comfortable and the water was 62 to 68 degrees with a slight stain. In the afternoon the wind picked up and by 11pm we went from catching a few fish to no fish.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Don't Go to Lake Stephens - May 12th

Bluebird skies + ultraclear lake Stephens water + bright sunshine = no bass. Joe and I fished 4 hours I caught one 10 inch bass on a drop shot worm and Joe caught one on a fluke. The water was 62 degrees. I hate clearwater LMB only fisheries but until the water clears in another day or so I don't have many other options.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Lake Moomaw - May 11th

With everything local flooded, closed, and rolling with pure mud Joe and I made drive to Lake Moomaw to fish. We got on the water at 7am, just in time to get rained on. The water over there was up but still crystal clear. The water surface temp over much of the lake was 62 degrees. We fished a lot of the wooded coves and a couple small stretches of riprap. The air was cold and damp and there was very little fishing pressure, only saw 3 bass boats all day. I caught 8 bass and a chain pickerel. Joe caught 6 bass and a bluegill. Most of our fish came early. A small front blew in around noon and the bite slowed way down. Of the bass we caught half were smallmouth and half were largemouths but all were keeper sized. We caught our fish on crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and senko's. I had a 2 or 3 pound brown trout hit a 3/8th oz. spinnerbait 3 times but didn't get a hook up. I also had a 17 or 18 inch smallie pound my spinnerbait but miss the hook. Joe also missed a very large LMB real close to the boat. The water over there is so clear that when those fish hit at a lure late on a cast they see the boat during the strike and they pull off a little. I tried a jerkbait some, but no takers. I also had a pretty nice bass break off a senko around some wood. The clear water game is not my strong suit, but at least with all the dirty water back home we got to fish. The good thing about clear water is you almost always get to see the fish strike. Until today I had never caught a chain pickerel before or fished Moomaw. It's a pretty lake with a lot of deep open water, some deep standing timber, and very sparse shallow cover. There seems to be fish on the shallow cover you do find but there's just very little of it. We ran all over the lake and saw a good bit of it as well as some of the Jackson River. I would go back but it's pretty tough fishing, just not as tough as fishing in the mud back home.

Mother's Day Fishing- May 10th

Aleshia, Avery, and I went for a hike to Longbranch Lake at Pipestem State Park to do a little fishing on a very sunny Mother's Day. Because it was the first pretty day in awhile there were people everywhere hiking, fishing, throwing rocks, you name it. We gathered up some poles and meal worms and took Avery to the quietest cove we could find. We couldn't get any fish to bie at all. We saw a couple of bluegills and little bass but they seemed pretty stressed and pressured from all the human activity they had seen. Avery had a good time anyway casting and reeling her little plastic red fish, hiking around the lake and smelling blooming flowers. She actually fishes pretty good to only be 2 years old.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Dirty Water on Bluestone Lake

It just keeps on raining. More and more rain. We have been lucky up till now in that even though all our local rivers are flooding, Greenbrier, Bluestone, New, and Indian Creek, Bluestone Lake has remained very fishable; that is until today. The lake was was up 2+ feet and flowing with trash/debris when we got to the lake at 6am. We put it and started fishing the pits when Bret Mcmillion, the Bluestone Park Superintendent, came by and said they where closing the gate that goes into the pits due to rising water. I drove the truck to the launch ramp below the park office and Dad drove the boat down the lake and picked me up so we could contine to fish. We were 1 of only 4 boats on the lake all day due to the limited access and rising water. The water was very heavily stained and so full of trash that it was pretty hard to fish. We fished the pits and down the bank as well as up the river below Bertha. We couldn't hardly find a fish up river, but we did good on the pit bank and down below it going towards the triangle rock. We caught most of our fish on Strike King P+ spinnerbaits. I did catch one LMB on a LC CB flat and 5 or so on the ever popular LC pointer. Dad caught most of his on a Excalibur crankbait that looked like a crawfish. I ended up catching 16 bass the biggest being 1.5lbs. Dad caught 10 with the biggest being a 2 lbs. Dad also had a musky flash at his spinnerbait but he didn't get a hook up. One spot I caught had a crawfish tail lodged in his mouth.
I'm off for the next week with plans of chasing fish, but finding a place to do it with all this muddy water is going to be a real challenge and put me out of my comfort zone. Right now I'm looking at fishing Moomaw, Stephens, or Plum Orchard and maybe a quick trip to Pipestem's Longbranch lake for an afternoon trip, anywehre that doesn't flood and turn to chocolate milk.

Monday, May 4, 2009

White & Chartreuse Day at Bluestone Lake

It didn't matter what type of bait you used today so long as it was white with chartreuse. We had gotten and inch plus of rain in the last couple of days so the water on Bluestone Lake was up, getting higher, and had moderate to heavy stain in it. Dad and I caught fish on white and chartreuse deep crankbaits, shallow crank baits, spinnerbiats, and jerkbaits, all of them the same color. The rain stopped and the wind started sharply at 8am when we got to the lake. The pit bank produced only 2 crappies so we headed up the lake, started picking apart the bank while letting the wind shove us up the river. It felt a lot like a float trip because the wind created a backward current and kept us moving without the aid of the trolling motor. I started catching several keeper sized largemouth on a Strike King P+ spinnerbait and Dad started catching bass off of a sexy shad looking Grave Digger shallow crank. We worked from cliffs up to Bertha on some of both sides of the lake catching 23 fish, all but 5 were bass 12 inches or better and 3 were crappie. Dad had the big fish of the day weighing in at 2.9lbs, yeah I finally broke down and got a set of scales. And I had 13 total bass including one that was 2.4 and another that was 2.5lbs. I caught one of my bigger fish off a LC pointer in yep you guessed it white and chartreuse.