Archive for category Kinard’s Fishing Blog

Post Spawn Transition Areas

Summer is now here and the bass fishing, in Western PA, has heated up along with the hot temperatures. The Largemouth Bass have completed their spawing for the year and are now in a post spawn pattern. Post spawn largemouth will hold in the transition areas in post spawn until they enter their summer patterns. Bass fishing is all about opportunities and catching the fish at the right moment. Post spawn largemouth feed heavily to gain weight after the spawn. This is a fine opportunity to locate schools of bass on staging areas. A staging area can be anything from a point, hump, roadbed, wood, rubble, etc. The key factor to locating the school is finding where the bait is and also finding the areas closer to deeper water. If you can find these areas, all you have to do is look for the cover on the structure and that’s where you will find success. The baits that work this time of year depend on the forage and also the lake that you are fishing. Covering water with fast moving search baits will give you the clues you need to locate the fish. Although the post spawn can be breif, it is a great opportunity to hit your local waterway and test your skills to find the bass. Here’s a few videos I took from a great day on a small lake. Boated or lost around 40 bass all in the 3 to 4 lb range and a couple over 5+! Post spawn patterns and transition areas can equal big bass days for the opportunistic bass angler.

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April Bass Fishing in Western PA

After a long cold winter we are all anxious to get back out on the water. Here in Western PA it can take a while for the water to warm up though. After the ice is off it usually takes 6 weeks or so until the water comes up to a temperature that is more suitable for bass catching. It’s now the last week of April and the action is heating up on our local lakes. We are fast approaching the best time of the year to be on the water. With water temps approaching 60 degrees or more the bass are preparing to spawn. Pre-spawn bass will group up on staging areas close to where they plan to spawn. These staging areas may be deeper or shallow area but are near deeper water where they can pull back to when the water de-stabilizes. Staging area to focus on include creek channels, roadbeds, and drop off’s. Finding these areas and then determining the cover they are holding on is key (stumps, logs, brush, weeds, etc). I’ve caught a few decent bass so far this year while practicing for local tournaments… but no real giants yet. This fact should change in the coming weeks with the predictability level of big bass movements for the spawn. My suggestion for May is “get out and fish”! No matter what body of water you are on or what species you fish for, May has something for everyone and is the best time of year to hook into a true trophy freshwater gamefish.

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Fall Smallmouth Bass Fishing

We all know that fall is here… leaves are turning… weather is getting cold… water temp is dropping… but the fishing is getting hot! Fall is always to short and seems to be gone before it even starts. While most have already put their boat away for the year, those that seek trophies are still on the water every chance they get. Fall is truely a “trophy” time of year. This holds true especially for the Smallmouth Bass. Living in Western Pennsylvania, we have the privilage to live in an area where you can find big Smallies in both Lakes and River systems. Of course the Allegheny River holds Smallmouth, but the true trophy hunter this time of year heads to the big water of Lake Erie! We all know it’s reputation for being tempermental with the weather conditions, but if you can pick the right day, you can have the time of your life catching these giants. This is the time of year the Smallmouth start feeding up for the winter. They will group up at a certain depth and feed on Threadfin Shad, Gobies, and other bait that is abundant in the big waters. Use of your electronics and drifting around to find the right depth is key. Once you have located the fish, you will find them in that depth elsewhere on the lake. Of course the best lures to use depend on the weather conditions and how effectively you can present the bait. Good fall choices will be lures that mimic what the bass are feeding on… jerkbaits, crankbaits, plastics, and of course the favorite Erie lure, the tube. Select your colors to mimic the bait… get the bait to where they are… and you can have the trip of a lifetime. I fished Lake Erie this week in “perfect” conditions with a good friend of mine (Ken Pate). Had a great trip and landed 20 or more Smallies in the 4 and 5 lb class with at least 2 over 6 lbs! … True trophy Smallmouth Bass. Although the weather and lake conditions may not allow another trip to Erie this year I’m always hopeful and watch the weather an marine forcasts looking for that perfect window of opportunity to capitolize on. More videos at www.skinard.com

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Cold Front Movement of Summertime Bass

Although I have been fishing a very limited weekend tournament schedule this year, I took the time this past Sunday (August 23rd) to fish the Kyle McFeely Benefit Tournament at Lake Arthur. This benefit tounament is hosted by the guys at CDS Sporting goods in Grove City. Jerry, and Brandon Hanna have been running this event for the past several years and do a great job! Money from sponsors of this tournament go to a scholarship fund in the memory of Kyle McFeely who was tragically killed in a auto accident a few years ago. The tournament is for a good cause and worth the time of all who are involved.
My partner and I have been doing well on Lake Arthur in evening tournaments and practice days. We had a great feeling about our chances this past Sunday. Our practice days have been productive with each of us finding an area that had enough fish to possibly win the tournament. With our hopes up, we failed to accomplish our goal. Although we did not do well, I learned a valuable lesson on predicting bass movements in post cold front conditions. The bass that I found had been hanging out for weeks in a small, wind blown, shallow flat. This flat is very close to a deeper drop off with sunken weed points and brush piles. During practice I had not stuck too many, but would check every other day or so for movement and signs of life. I actually hooked a couple nice ones there in an evening tournament, but lost them because the cover was so thick. I was confident of my pattern until a cold front moved in on Saturday and blew up my spot! The chilly wind, clouds, and temperature drop drove my fish from the shallows out into deeper water off points. After realizing this, my partner and I spent some time searching the day of the tournament, but did not find that sweet spot that we needed. Our theory was correct because the winners of the tournement did find these fish and brought in around 16 lbs or so. Although we lost, a valuable lesson was learned. You have to think quick and adjust to the weather changes. Weather conditions (sunny) drove fish into the shallow heavey cover… The weather once again reversed the migration out of the cover and back into the deeper areas. Knowing where the fish will pull back to once a front comes through is the key to being successful. Being able to adjust your presentation and technique quickly is a skill that all tournament anglers must understand and perfect if they want the success and consistancy of the pros. Here’s a video of some practice time I spent on the water.

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Small Water, Less Pressure

With the July weather here (cool July weather) and the boating season in full swing, it’s a great time to find smaller waters to fish and have some fun. Although we all enjoy the competition of tournament angling, we all need to take the time to just have some fun. Traveling to the smaller waters can pay off with nice fish year round, but waters that do not see the tournament angling pressure can be a real producer of big bass. Smaller waters also make it easier to pin point bass migrations and develope patterns that can pay off with the right presentation. All waters are different when it comes to lure selection and techniques, but smaller waters offer the advantage of finding the fish quicker. Once they are located, then you can play with different lures to figure them out. With the cool weather, patterns have been difficult to see and are changing daily. This makes consistancy in tournaments very difficult. With any luck, August will produce more stable summer weather and more stable summer Bass patterns.

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Lake Erie Smallmouth Bass

In recent weeks i’ve moved from pre-spawn Largemouth fishing to spawning Smallmouth Bass. In western PA, that means one place… Lake Erie (the Smallmouth Capital of the World)!! As you all know, May is a great month to take advantage of the great Smallmouth fishing that Lake Erie has to offer. In May, the Smallies head into the shallow bays to spawn. This time of year you can have a blast in shallow water sight fishing for these pigs! Although you can see the smallmouth in the shallows, it takes a good presentation to capitalize on these fish. Light line, and a stealth presentation is very important in the super clear water. I prefer the sunny days where you can see the fish and cast to them, but cloudy days can produce also by covering water. Most people throw soft plastics of various types and days of 100+ Smallmouth are not uncommon with the right presentation. Lake Erie produces world class size Smallmouth and days of multiple 4 pounders are quite common… 5 and 6 pound Smallies are also common and make the trip worth while. In my last two trips in may i’ve landed many 4 lb fish although the 5 lb’er eluded me, it’s always a blast to fish Erie in May!


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Late April, Early May Bass Fishing Western PA

I’ve been pretty busy over the past month fishing, making video, and working on the new website (coming soon). Although i’ve been pretty busy, I am still taking advantage of the prime time for big Bass in Western PA! This is the time of year where fisherman can hawg hunt! It’s very important for all you fellow hawg hunters to pick the right conditions and take advantage of the opportunities. With the water warming, the bass are moving up and feeding in certain areas where they are preparing to spawn. I prefer the sunny days to warm the water. With the sun, the water warms quicker and can turn the fish on into a feeding frenzy. Traditional spawning area’s in many lakes are producing large bass right now. Please keep in mind that during the bass spawn, if you choose to catch them, please return the bass into the water as quickly as possible and as close to the area that you caught them. These big females are gaurding their nest and need to be released quickly to ensure the proper spawn. I have taken the time to fish a few tournaments in the past few weeks but have not performed very well. This time of year, conditions change very quickly and when the right adjustments are not made, you bite can be off as quickly as it turns on. For fun, I would suggest that pond fishing is the best option for most anglers in search of big bass. The bass in ponds can be easily found on the traditional spawning areas. This is a great choice for big Bass! Over the past couple weeks, I have caught several 4+ pound largemouth and one over 5 as seen in this video. Have fun on the water and enjoy the nice spring weather!

 

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March 28th Practice

It’s the weekend before the upcoming KBBC Tournament on Lake Arthur. Teams are all out trying to find the sweet spots and patterns. Unfortunately, the weather in April can change quickly and I believe it will be the final couple days prior to the tournament that will prove usefull to many competitors. The water temp is still stuck in the high fourties and it does not appear that it will change this week. I predict a tough tournament, although they are calling for sunny skies on Saturday which will help many anglers figure out what to do. I have been practicing for several weeks now and am consistantly catching a keeper every time out. I have not been pounding my spots and believe I will get a few on Saturday. The spots I have an eye on are holding bass and I believe with the right conditions, I will get them to react to my presentation. This time of year in Western PA, it’s not about finding the bass and what they are doing on a practice day… it’s about finding your fish and predicting where they will be at and what they will be doing the day of the tournament. This takes a lot of practice, patients, correct assumptions about weather patterns, and making the right decisions when it counts. Most of the anglers I have spoke to are all using the same techniques to have success. Here’s a small keeper from Saturday….

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Nice Weekend on the Water

I managed to fish all weekend in preparation for the upcoming tournaments in the area.  As others are doing, I have been trying different areas to locate potential spots that may produce on tournament day.  Fishing is still a little slow this weekend with the water temp in the high fourty’s although I managed to catch a few on Saturday.  I set out to fish for Pike, but managed to catch a few largemouth instead.  Although the fishing is slow going now, many clues are being seen to forecast the bass movement that will occur in the coming weeks.  Can only hope I guess the correct movements to capitalize on when it counts!  The Pike appear to be spawning right now in the local lakes.  The pike are very shallow doing their business and do not seem to be interested in my presentation to them.  I would guess this will change in the coming weeks as they move off the shallows and out onto the weed flats and weed points preparing to gorge themselves on the shad that seem to be abundant in certain areas.  As you can see from this video, I did manage to stick a large treble hook through my hand while catching a nice largemouth bass on Saturday.  This brings up a good safety tip… keep the hooks out of your hands and in the fish’s mouth!

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Early Season Lake Arthur

I’ve been spending time on Lake Arthur so far this early spring.  As other blogger’s reported, water temp averages around 48 degrees or so depending on where you are at.  The bass bite is difficult as it usually is this time of year. Trying to entice a lethargic bass into striking a lure can be difficult with a lot of time on the water with few bites.  Every bite counts this time of year and slow is the key! I’ve had success on jerkbaits.  Will be heading out this weekend to fish fo Pike…. just want to get out and have fun this time of year.  I have heard the pike and musky action is very good right now……

Another VIDEO…Big One Lost!

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