Posts Tagged buzzbait

Lake Wilhelm

Located in M.K. Goodard State Park, Lake Wilhelm offers a great opportunity for the serious angler or family outing. Lake Wilhelm is 1680 surface acres of water. The majority of the lake (1440 acres) has a horsepower limit of 20. The remaining 240 acres that is managed by the PA Game Commission is electric power or non-power water craft only. This area is marked on the water, but if you cross until I-79 bridge heading northwest you will come to the electric only end of the lake in a few hundred yards. There are 5 main boat launches. Launch 1, 2, 3, 4 and the marina. The 241 slip marina has the nicest launch with 4 lanes and the most parking. Boat rental is available at the marina from May 1st through labor day. There is also a handicap pier at the marina.

Wilhelm Marina

Wilhelm Marina

Another nice feature of the lake is that launch 1, 2, 3, and the marina have pavilions for public use. They may also be rented and reserved. For the family there is a bicycle trail that runs 12 miles around the lake. In the winter it is acceptable to ride snowmobiles or cross country ski on the trail as well. There are also a total of 14 miles of hiking trails along the lake. Ice skating, ice boating, and ice fishing are also permited. There is a one acre hill near the dam designated for sled riding as well. M.K. Goddard State Park has 1550 acres of land that is opened to hunting during the Pennsylvania Game Commissions seasons. There truly is something for everyone here.

There are many species of fish to target. Recently, the walleye population has improved and many catches of 20″ and over have been reported. The lake also has an excellent pan fish population. Crappie, perch, bluegill, and sun fish are caught regularly. Although the size of these fish is generally small, I can promise you the numbers will keep you and especially kids entertained for hours. Some other species include multiple species of catfish, crap, and Muskellunge. Many local clubs have targeted the lake for bass tournaments. The population has shrunk in numbers and size, but the lake still offers some great largemouth bass fishing.

BuzzbaitSome of my favorite techniques for bass fishing include throwing buzzbaits, senkos, Carolina rigged lizards, and 10″ worms. Some key areas to focus on are the numerous roadbeds in the lake, offshore brush piles, but don’t over look the laydowns on the bank. Some of the best bass and pan fish fishing is located in the standing timber in the electric only section of the lake. It takes time and a calm day to be able to fish this timber, but it is well worth the time. For walleye trolling worm harness & medium range crankbaits on the roadbeds are the most successful baits. Muskellunge seem to be most active early in the morning and late in the event around the main lake points. The points at Lake Wilhelm are more settle than most lakes in the area but don’t overlook these area. Although I have never done it myself, I have seen bow fisherman have great success for carp as well.

If you looking for a place to stay near the lake you have two options. First, there is Camp Wilhelm Campground. Campsite prices range from $25 to $35 per night and there are also multiple cabin rentals. The second option is Goddard Park VactionLand Campground. This campground has daily, weekly, or seasonal rates for camp sites and cabins. Visit website for more information.

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Night Trip

I went out to Lake Arthur from 5:30-8:30 Monday night. My goal was to test out my new battery and experitment with some soft plastic baits that I poured. I managed to boat 20 bass in those 3 hours. I also lost 6 fish and missed about 6 or so hits as well. Some lures that worked were chatterbaits, buzzbaits, and a beaver like lure that I poured myself. The water temperature was between 55 and 59 depending if I was in the back of the bays or on the main lake. If we would get some consistent nice weather I feel the fish are getting ready to spawn. Hopefully, I can get back out there tomorrow night.

I fished for about 30 minutes for stripe bass as well, but I didn’t even get a hit looking for them. I threw some jerkbaits, red eye shad, and even trolled for a few minutes. I really want to get into them right now. They are one of my favorite fish to eat.

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Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day weekend is typically about picnics and getting together with friends and family for me. This year was no different with the exception that I fish a bass tournament at Pymatuning Lake. West Penn Bass Hunters and I went out of Manning Launch at 6:00 am and weighed in at 2:00 pm. It was a good thing we fished the earlier time slot because it was almost unbareable during the last hour. The weather was sunny hot and very little wind.

I started my morning by fishing a roadbed in about 10 feet of water. With the water temperature nearing 80 degrees I felt that the fish would be retreating for deeper water. I proved myself wrong in the first couple hours. I spent nearly 1 hour fishing deep and only caught 1 bass. Then I decided to head to Tuttle Bay and throw some buzzbaits. I left having caught 7 bass and probably had near 7lbs of fish with our 3 fish limit. Around 9:30 I decided to run south and try the other end of the lake.

When I got to my weedbed in the south I quickly notice that the water temperature was 3 degrees color and the water clearity nearly reached 6 feet. In my first 10 casts I caught 2 nice bass, one was on a white buzzbait and the other was a creature bait. Being able to see into the weeds gave me a huge advantage. Mainly because I discovered that the bass were spawning all over the weed flat. Quickly, I switched to finesse gear and proceded to catch bass after bass off of the beds. Boat traffic started to kill my bite around 12:00 so I moved to the drop off and caught several more fish. Although I didn’t managed to catch any more good ones it was still fun. I cannot give you a definate best lure to use, but I managed to catch fish on senkos, buzzbaits, frogs, swimbaits, chatterbaits, creature baits and beavers. Once thing was for certain the fish were only willing to hit finesse baits on the beds but there were plenty of feeding bass to catch in between the beds.

I ended up winning the tournament with a 3 fish limit that weighed 8.66lbs. My limit was anchor by 2 fish around the 3lb mark and lunker of the tournament. Looking back I believe the move to the south was the correct move to make because everyone else fish the north end of the lake.

The next morning I took a couple friends, Nick and Steve Black, out for a couple hours to see if I could show Nick spawning bass. We were a little disappointed because the wind was blow enough to eliminate sight fishing, but we were still able to catch around 20 bass on buzzbaits and finesse gear. Steve had hooked into one bass that I believe was 5lbs. Overall it was a great morning on the water and I look forward to my next trip with those guys.

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Pymatuning Cold Front

This past weekend I fished 2 tournaments at Pymatuning Lake. The Keystone Bass Buddy Circuit (KBBC) was there on Saturday, and Sunday I fish in the West Penn Bass Hunters club tournament.

Saturday dad and I ran to one of our favorite weed beds that also has some lilly pads. We had little or no success until we decided to run to a community hole to catch some fish. It didn’t take long and we caught 3 nice keepers. One was a nice 4.46lbs. At that point it was 9:30 and we had a great start. The size limit in the tournament was 13 inches, but dad and I had agree not to keep anything under 15 inches. What a mistake. Through out the day up to 10:00am we only release 5 legal fish because we were concerned that they would die because of the spawn. All of them were in the 13 to 14 inch range. At 1:00 I caught our 4th keeper. We were allowed to fish until 3:30 and needed to fill the limit. I lost 1 keeper late in the day, but we never filled our limit. We need up finishing 33rd and only 1.6lbs off collecting a check. This may be the dumbest thing Dad and I have ever done fishing a tournament. Everybody makes mistakes, but too release keepers is just stupid. Overall it was a very valuable lesson because more than likely it cost us a 14th place finish and a decent check.

Sunday I was looking for a little redemtion. I started by fishing for smallmouth. I only managed to catch 1 keeper in 1 1/2 hours so I decided to jump spot to spot. I managed to catch 6 more keepers from 9:30 to 11:30. I still only had 1 good fish and 2 14 inchers. The spot jumping continued and I caught nothing. Around 1:45 I revisited a community hole that had produced nothing in the morning, but I knew there were good fish in the area. I caught 10 keepers in the last hour of the tournament on top water. Throwing buzzbaits was not only exciting, but extremely fun. The reason I believe that it worked was the cold front had pasted and the sun was very warm. I ended up winning the tournament with a 3 fish limit that weighed 7.64lbs and I had lunker which was 3.25lbs. Without my last hour I don’t even finish in the top 5.

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East Brady

Sunday morning Jess and I went up to East Brady for the morning to chase some river smallmouth bass.  This is probably my favorite stretch of river to fish in the Western part of the state.  For those who are unfimiliar with East Brady it is located on the Allegheny River.  There is a public boat launch just off of the main drag across from town.  East Brady is know of its campers and pleasure boating, but the fishing can be unbelievable. 

We got there around 7:00 am and fish until around noon.  My first stop gave me too nice smallmouth.  Both were over 15 inches long.  I caught 1 on a white buzzbait and the other on a chartruse spinnerbait.  The fish that I caught were very aggressive.  Later in the morning I managed to catch another keeper (about 14″).  I also lost a true monster on a popper.  Their were a weird set of circumstances with the hit, but lets just say that she broke  my line and heart on the initial hit.  I got a good look at the fish because it jumped to throw my popper back to me.  I am guessing that the smallmouth was in the 20″ range.  The rest of the fish that I managed to catch were dinks, but still fun.

In a couple of weeks the fishing at East Brady will get increasingly better until november.  Then the fishing will get difficult.  I am looking forward to my next trip up there.

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Cheap Buzzbait No Problem

“Modifying a $1.00 Wal Mart Buzzbait” This video is awesome for guys that are having trouble finding the cash to buy the $5 buzzbaits.  It proves that with simple modifications that the $1 buzzbait that you get from walmart can be just as effective.  Buzzbaits can be very successful when fishing for bass, northern pike, and muskie.  It is one of the most exciting ways to fish because of the explosive strikes.

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Memorial Day Weekend

jess-with-a-3lb-smallieThis year memorial day weekend was a truly special weekend for me.  Not only because I spent an amazing weekend at Chautauqua Lake in New York, but because it was my 1 year aniversery with my wife Jessica.  About 2 months ago I had asked Jess what she wanted to do for our aniversery and she told me she wanted to go somewhere and camp that we had never been to.  Since I am fishing the bassmaster weekend series this year in New York we decided that we should go spend a weekend at one of those lakes.  What guy gets to spend his entire aniversery weekend on the water.  The kind that marries someone that loves the outdoors as much as him. 

It didn’t take us long to find some nice fish morning on saturday.  Since we had never been to the lake we decided to just use the trolling mototank-from-the-dockr in the morning and try to find some kind of pattern.  What we had discovered was there there really was no pattern.  We caught fish in the prespawn, spawn, and post spawn cycles.  If you were going to target the spawning fish the only time your were truly able to do so was before 11 am.  The boat traffic was at a minimum, and the sun was perfect for help you see the fish.  Typically in the middle of the day we were hanging out at the campsite, but we would head back out for the evening and fish for post spawn fish with jerkbaits, soft and hard, and chatterbaits.  Dock fishing did work, but after saturday it was harder to get fish off of the docks because of the boats coming in and out of them. 

Monday morning was the best day for me out there.  Obviously it should have been because I had never been to the lake before this weekend, but my expectation were low because of the fishing and boating pr4lb-smallie-2essure of a holiday weekend.    I decided to start fishing by running to a spot that I had located a couple of spawning smallmouth bass.  The night before I had seen about 3 or 4 nice smallmouth bass on a stretch of water and when I went back the next morning, there were about 30 nice smallies on beds.  You could say that I had hit the jackpot.  I spent all morning working these fish and managed 11 nice smallies and 3 of them broke the 4lb mark and most were over 3lbs.  I lost about 5 more of these monsters, but that is bed fishing for you. 

My recommendations for Chautauqua is that everyone should go there at some point in their life.  It is a beautiful lake and everyone up there is happy and very nice.  The fish are big and the water is awesome.  The boat traffic can be overwelming, but don’t let that discourage you.  I would try fishing green pumpkin lures and baitfish colored lures.  Hard and soft jerkbaits worked well matching the shad color.  Long casts are extremely important in the super clear water.

Overall it was a great weekend and I can’t wait to get back.

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