Posts Tagged largemouth bass
March 26th was the Mariners Buddy Tournament held at Cross Creek Lake in Avella PA. Team members Brad Bressler and Derek Severns teamed up to fish this event. 40 degree water temps greeted the guys in the morning with the air temperature only being 28 degrees. Slow, slow fishing was the name of the game. Around 1 pm Brad got the team’s only bite and only fish a 3.40 largemouth came off a deep lake point. This fish gave the guys a 4th place finish, the tournament was won, with one fish that weighed in just over 7 pounds…a true Cross Creek trophy.
April 10th was the first of three TBF District six events that the team would fish. This event was held at Lake Erie, but this was a bay only tournament, held inside of Presque Isle Bay. Team members Rich Wolota, Brad Bressler and Derek Severns, fished this event. Again, cold water temps greeted the anglers and the fishing was slow. Only a few boats caught fish. The boys only caught a few fish, none of them made the 15” minimum. The short fish that they caught came off of jerk baits and spinner baits. Throughout the day the anglers tried many different techniques, none of which would produce any keepers. The next two events will be held at Pymatuning Lake in June and then Conneaut Lake in August, the boys will be looking for a little redemption.
As soon as the event at Erie ended, the team packed up and headed to Washington DC for the week. The TBF Mr. Bass East event was being held on the Potomac River April 15th and 16th. The team would pre-fish for four days prior to the tournament in hopes of locating some big fish. The 4 practice days prior to the event did not help the team too much, as the fish were pre-spawn and still hadn’t moved up onto the spawning flats. Most fish were still out in the main river and this made them hard to find and catch. The further north that you went from the launch, the water seemed to clear up and the fishing was better, so both days, Rich and Brad went north in hopes of finding some better fish. The tide is very important at the Potomac River; you have to fish the falling and rising tides and know where that puts the fish, and at what times of the day this all happens. It adds a new element to fishing that we don’t have at home; the guys that master the tides and the river always seem to come out on top. Rattle traps, senkos, chatter baits, spinner baits and jigs seemed to be the weapons of choice for the week. At the end of the week the guys didn’t get the results that they had hoped for Brad finished 35th and Rich was 37th on the boater side, while Derek was 37th and Bob was 44th. Though the results were not what they had hoped, each trip to Washington DC and the Potomac River is a learning experience and teaches you a lot of new things. The Bass Hounds would like to thank all of their 2011 Sponsors, Valvoline Oil, Nervous Waters, Metal Menders, Strauss Automotive, Poor Boy Baits and FishPittsburgh.com, Bowser Collision Center, without the help of these companies this would not be possible.
This past weekend was one of the most unbelievable fishing weekends that I have ever experienced. It started with fishing the KBBC event at Pymatuning Lake on Saturday. My dad had practiced for the event on Thursday and was confident in his spots and what made me happy is where and how they were getting them. Plus, I had been there the previous saturday for a 1/2 day and my spots were close to his. That makes for a maximized fishing day. It took me about 3 flips and I had our first keeper and we never looked back. We had our first limit in the first hour of the tournament and had 1 good fish in the well. Then it was time to start culling. And boy did we cull a lot of fish. Switching between flipping, working soft plastic on breaks, and topwater we were able to boat between 45 and 50 keepers. The majority of which were largemouth bass. More than likely we caught 4 limits of 6 fish that would have been over 12lbs. It was a record setting day for the Keystone Bass Buddy Circuit. 81 limits were brought to the scales and over 1100 pounds of fish were weighed in. If it wasn’t for a 1/2 pound dead fish penalty we would have collected a check, but we still finished 22 with 15.11 pounds. More importantly we moved up to first in the standings. It is a long season, but this is by far the best start we have ever had.
Sunday we got up and decided to ride to Presque Isle Bay to try and get into the smallmouth bass. We got there and there was a very strong wind out of the northeast. These are not good conditions to fish the bay. Especially when the wind is blowing 20-25mph and raining hard the entire time. Unlike the weather the fishing was unbelievable. Between the 2 of us we boated over 50 smallmouth in 6 hours. A couple were over 5lbs and about 10 were probably in the 4lb range. most of the fish were in the 3lb range though. The key to the day was actually getting your lure to the bottom. If you didn’t you weren’t catching fish, but as soon as you got down you were getting bit.
If you are looking for somewhere to fish this weekend I highly recommend both of these fisheries, as this could be the best weather we have had in weeks to fish during the weekend. Good Luck.
Located in the Allegheny National Forest is one of the largest lakes in Pennsylvania. The Allegheny Reservoir spans through Warren and McKean Counties in Pennsylvania and Cattaraugus County in New York. This reservoir is part of the Army Corps of Engineers. At normal summer pool the lake is 24 miles long and covers over 12,000 acres.
The Kinzua Dam was initially built for flood control of the Allegheny River in the 1930′s. It is estimated that the dam has prevented over 1 billion dollars worth of damage. However, since the dam was constructed many other uses have been utilized. The hydroelectric power plant located below the dam may be the greatest of its uses. Check out the Big Bend Access Vistors Center to see more information about the power plant and how it works. There are many campgrounds, water sports, fishing opportunities, and other outdoor activities possible around the reservoir. Not to mention it has some of the most beautiful scenery in the state.
Now let’s talk fishing! The Allegheny Resevoir is a very deep body of water with steep sloping banks. The water is also very clear as long as the weather has been consistent with no rain. Remember this is a river system and the water level fluctuates daily. These conditions stated there is a little something for everyone on this body of water.
Let’s start by talking about toothy criters. This body of water is know for producing giant Musky and Northern Pike. Not to mention that you can catch large numbers of both species. Like always trolling is an option and a lot of guys use this method. Just remember that the water is clear. My experience is that you don’t have to work that hard to find the Northern Pike. If you want fast results I would head up into some of the no wake bays and go to the back of the bays. Almost every bay has a small stream coming into the bay and the northern pike will move up into those areas to feed. Try some firetiger jerkbaits, firetiger topwater lures, or jitterbugs. My experience is that brighter lures attract pike and triger more stikes. However, if the sun is high try black. It puts out a great silouette. Most of the bigger pike and musky will be on the main body of the lake near the cliff faces. The best approach to fishing these areas is using a vertical style. My favorite is to use large red/white daredevil spoons and cast them parallel to the shoreline right against it. You will find that the spoon will be sinking and just stop on the fall before the lure hits the bottom. When that happens hold on because you got exactly what you are looking for.
There is also a decent walleye population. Coventional walleye tackle will be necessary. Light line and flourocarbon is a must. Trolling is probably the most effective way to fish for walleye there. However, I have had great success throwing plugs such as Rapala Shad Raps, Hot n Tots, and jerkbaits in the morning. Remember the water is clear so you will want to you natural colored lures. Some other methods that work well include jigging minnows, trolling worm harnesses, and using blade baits on the cliff faces. My favorite end of the lake for walleye tends to be towards Red Bridge.
There are plenty of panfish in the lake as well. Perch and rock bass dominate the panfish population, but you will also find crappie and bluegill as well. Shallow rock shorelines tend to hold good numbers of rock bass. Try throwing nightcrawlers on a small jig head. You will find the perch almost everywhere that you catch a walleye. Check 10-25 feet of water for you best chance. Unfortunately, you may not find the size of perch desired for keeping. This body of water is like every other body of water that I have ever fished in that when you catch one crappie sit there and work the area because you may get a bunch of them in a short period of time.
Now let’s talk bass fishing. Smallmouth are the dominate species, but there are largemouth around the lake. There are a lot bass in the lake, but it can be difficult to locate them and it can be even more difficult to find good sized fish. To me the reason for this is because the lake is very clear and there are large numbers of preditor fish in the lake. My recommendations for catching bass are as follows. First, trust your electronics for locating flats or shoals as well as bait fish. Throughout the lake there is only so much bank that doesn’t drop straight down. Finding feeding flats will greatly improve your odds. Also, you will want to head to the back of the no wake bays. The reason for this is that most of them are feed by some sort of stream or runoff area. Because of this the bass as well as Northen Pike seem to really stack up back in these areas. One of my favorite things to throw is a firetiger size 9 original floating rapala. Other natural colors work as well, but it just seems that I get more strikes on firetiger. Some other things you will want to try are tubes, drop shot, grubs, poppers, and spooks. Crankbaits can be a good option as well.
The largemouth are a little more difficult to find. In fact I only have 1 area on the lake that I consistently have caught largemouth and usually I only get a couple of them to bite. Usually, I am able to get these fish on soft jerkbaits or spinnerbaits. Like I said, the numbers just don’t seem to be in this body of water so I would spend my time looking for walleye and smallmouth.
There is plenty of camping opportunities around the Allegheny Reservoir. Red Bridge Campground, Dew Drop Campground, and Kiasutha Campground are on the Pennsylvania side of the lake. There are several areas set up for primative camping where there is no running water and no bathhouses. Some of my best memories of family camping trips were when my parents took my sisters and I primetive camping. It was on of those times in life that there were no rules and you could just have fun.
Scattered throughout the lake is hiking trials and overlooks. You will find some of the best scenery in the state at these overlooks. All watersports are legal here. There is a beach by Wolf Run Marina. Wolf Run Marina is the only Marina on the water on the Pennsylvania side of the lake.
When thinking about a weekend get away with the family you should really consider taking a trip to the Allegheny Reservoir. Make it a mid May trip when everything is in bloom and you will the some of the best senerio you could ask for. Not to mention the best fishing.
One of the best fisheries in Pennsylvania is located in Erie County. Presque Isle State Park on Lake Erie is home to some of the best fishing I have ever experienced. Everyone knows how good Lake Erie can be, but no one thinks about how fishing the Presque Isle Bay. There are many species of fish and certain times of year some species are more abundant than other times. The Erie area is thriving right now so there is plenty to do inside and outside the state park. It truly has something for everyone.
Let’s start by talking about all of the species of fish that can be found in Presque Isle Bay. The most abundant species in the bay depends on the time of year in which you are there. The most consistent species you can find is largemouth bass. Fisherman can experience some of the best largemouth fishing in the state from the time the ice comes off the bay until the bay freezes over. From mid April until early July you can find a huge population of smallmouth bass that move into the bay to spawn. Panfish such as perch, crapie, bluegill, rock bass, white bass, and sunfish. During the cold water temperature time of the year you can find steelhead and trout that have migrated in from the main lake. There is a healthy population of northern pike. Some other species that can be found include: muskie, freshwater drum, carp, catfish, and alligator gar. Whatever your target species there are ample oppurtunies at Presque Isle State Park.
As many species as there are in the bay there are many more ways to catch fish depending on the species. In the spring and fall months fishing aggressive tends to be the best when fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass. Spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, crankbaits, jerkbaits, and topwater lures are my favorite lures. During the water summer months I tend to switch gears and pull out more of my heavy punching gear because of the abundance of weeds. Heavy weights and heavy line are a must to get fish out of the mat weeds. No matter what time of year that I there I expect to boat 50 bass a day. It doesn’t always happen, but it happens more often than not. Some of my favorite soft plastics include berkley chigger craws and tubes of various colors. Creature baits such as brush hogs are also very effective.
Early in the year steelhead move into the bay. You can effectively catch these fish on your typical lures for them. Spoons, blade baits, and jerkbaits are some of the common lures used. For muskie and northern pike you should start with white spinnerbaits and swimbaits. Everytime I fish this lake I catch a couple of these guys early in the morning while I am fishing aggressively for bass. Try fishing Misery Bay for these toothy guys. Try looking that the beginning of the penninsula for carp and panfish. However, panfish can be found throughout the bay. If you are looking to find an alligator gar you should look in the lagoons and horseshoe bay.
There are ample opportunities to fish from boats and from shore. There are e public boat launchs in Presque Isle State Park. There is the Vista Boat launch which is more for small water crafts and jet skies. Niagara Boat Launch and the Lagoons Boat Launch and handle small to medium sized boats. The largest boat launch is the West Pier Launch. It will handle whatever boat you choose to launch. There is a marina attached to the west pier launch with plenty of slips to accommodate. There is also a boat launch on the city side of the by on Chestnut Street.
Presque Isle State Park offers many more activities that just fishing. There is a paved bicycle trail that can be jogged, biked, or walked on that goes the entire way around the penninsula. At the beginning of the park there is a shop that you can rent bicycles. On Graveyard Point there is a boat rental where you can rent kayaks, canoes, or multiple types of boats. There are plenty of picnic shelters that can be rented or used on a first come first served basis. Scuba diving is permit is certain areas of the bay, but you must be a registered diver and check in with the park before doing so. Water skiing is also permitted as this is an unlimited horsepower body of water. Except for the no wake and lagoons (electric only) area.
My favorite time of year to be at Presque Isle State Park is May. At this time the trees are turning green and the flowers are blooming. Let’s not forget that the smallmouth bass are in the bay spawning or getting ready to spawn. The largemouth bass fishing is unbelievable as well.
Week #11– 528 Launch
|1st||Blain Bartley, Jr./Blain Bartley,Sr.||3||7.39|
|3rd||Jim Lambert/Steve Longwell||2||4.44|
|4th||Jeff McMasters/Rich Gavula||2||3.54|
|5th||Randy Rose/Jim Bohrer||2||3.37|
|6th||Keith E. Brown/Dawn Schaffner||2||3.3|
|7th||Larry Schmeider/Jim Mitchell||1||3.29|
|8th||Justin Mazzanti/Jeff Hall||1||2.07|
|Lunker||Blain Bartley, Jr./Blain Bartley,Sr.||LM||4.18|
Recently I competed in multiple tournaments on Lake Arthur. First, dad and I fished the KBBC Event on August 14th. We were in the second flight so we fished from 7-3:30. Flight number and boat number didn’t matter much because we haven’t been able to put a pattern together and we haven’t been able to locate fish at Lake Arthur all year. Before the tournament started we decided to come out junk fishing.
We started the day by fishing a couple brush piles which yeilded zero fish. Then we tried powerfishing a weed line. Once again nothing. We decided to slow down and fish a couple of small sets of lilly pads. It was slightly better because dad managed to catch a dink. After that we decided to run to a stump and a beaver hut. Again we came up empty. So we decided to try to fish another weed line, and each of us caught a dink. Continuing to struggle around 9:00 I decided I wanted to flip a bush that has given me numerous keepers throughout the years. Before I got to the bush I caught a dink outside it swimming a jig. My next cast was a pitch into the bush. And like it has done many times it gave me a keeper. It was a start. Then after a couple minutes I remembered where another bush was I wanted to hit. First cast was another keeper. The jig bite was one and so was the flipping bite! Neither have been working all year for me. Dad lost a keeper smallie shortly after my second keeper. On that lake you just can’t afford to loose fish and we knew it, but we kept our spirits and ran to another tree. It was now 10:15 and I nailed another keeper. This time it was a decent 3.78lb largemouth. With 3 keepers in the well and nearly 5 hours to fish we felt really good about our chances for more fish. However, the rest of the day consisted of short strikes and plenty of dinks. At least until 2:45 when we caught another keeper largemouth on a jig. That day we ended up finishing in 10th place with 9.28lbs. Not bad for not being on any type of pattern until that day. Check out the Lake Arthur KBBC standings here.
After a good tournament with dad, I fished the Kyle Mcfeely Tournament with Jon the next weekend at Lake Arthur. It was a well run benefit tournament hosted by Jerry Hanna and CDS Sporting Goods. Jon and I felt good about our chances going into the tournament because now both of us were on fish and they were in the same end of the lake. That almost never happens for us. I will not go into too much detail because we only were able to catch 1 keeper and it was a baby at that. However, the tournament was a success in raising money and a job well done by the CDS crew. I look forward to fishing the event next year and supporting their cause. For tournament result and stats check out the CDS Sporting Goods webiste.
Here the Linders give some tips on how to catch largemouth bass on crankbaits.
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.
Some friends, my dad and I spent the weekend camping and fishing at Shenago Lake. The campground was not crowded at all. Which was due to the forecast of rough weather that was going to hit that area. With the recent rains the water had risen, but not an excessive amount. My estimate was that the water was nearly 1 foot high when we arrived, and rose another foot while we where there. The water clearity varied greatly. On the main lake there was 4 feet of clearity, but in the feeder creeks you were lucky to see 6″ in the muddy water.
Friday evening we started fishing around 8:00 pm and fished until 9:30. We wanted to see if the striper were active, and if we could get a topwater bite. The night was pretty successful with the 3 of us catching over 10 bass. Most of which were on top water. None of the fish were big, but topwater is fun no matter what the size of the fish is. Tony, one of my best friends, even managed to hook up with a nice walleye on a spinnerbait.
Saturday Dad and I headed out on the water and fished from 7-12 in the morning. It was probably the single best morning I have ever had at Shenago. We managed to boat 26 bass and a catfish. We caught fish on buzzbaits, spooks, multiple crankbaits, tubes, beavers, and brush hogs. Colors were wide ranged, but the ones that seemed to work best were transparent/natural colors. The depth of water we caught fish varied greatly. We caught them flipping the shallows, topwater shallow, and deep and shallow cranking. It seemed like the fish were all over the board, but when you found 1 you found multiple fish. We headed in for lunch and ended up sitting out a pretty severe storm until 3. At that point we wanted to get on the water. The three of us started fishing again. I tied a crankbait on and never put it down for the next 2 hours. I caught 2 pike, catfish, multiple bass, and a couple crappie. Then the next severe storm came through so we called it a day.
We woke up Sunday to bad weather and high winds. That being said we thought it best not to head out on the water. For the amount of time we were able to fish we were pretty successful, which makes me anxious to get back out there.
April 23rd and 24th mark the dates for the Mr. Bass East TBF tournament. Four members of The Bass Hounds team headed down for a few days of pre-fishing and then the two day tournament. Boaters Rich Wolota and Brad Bressler left on Monday night and arrived at Smallwood state park Tuesday morning to start fishing. Co-anglers Jeff Spencer and Derek Severns left Wednesday night and arrived Thursday in the am to fish a little and prepare for Fridays first day.
During the couple days of pre fishing, Rich had his spots and fish dialed in, a limit both days should have not been a problem. Rich was having excellent luck with a Poor Boys darter jig, with a Poor Boys KISS Craw trailer, both in green pumpkin. On the other hand Brad found fish, but not as many keepers as he had hoped for. The size limit at the Potomac is 15” and most of the fish Brad was on were 14 ¾ inches. Brad was catching a lot fish on Poor Boys Dixie Darter in black and also using green pumpkin. Even though the fishing was slow as far as keepers went, the fishing overall was very, very good, each angler reported catching anywhere from 30 to 50 fish a day.
On day one of the tournament Rich went straight to the spot that he had found this week and was very happy to find that he had this area all to himself. He was able to boat about 25 fish that first day but only two kept. Rich said, “I broke off two fish early in the day, both were really good fish, I also missed a couple bites, I am pretty disappointed, but we will see what tomorrow brings.” Brad started the day off with a keeper on his first cast, a largemouth weighing in at 3.81 lbs. A great start he thought, then he caught 3 short fish in his next 5 casts. Believe it or not Brad caught around 35 fish on day one but that first fish on his first cast was his only keeper. Co-anglers Jeff and Derek did well, Jeff finished the first day off with 2 keepers for 5.41 lbs and Derek had 4 keepers for 10.23 lbs. Both Jeff and Derek reported catching a lot of short fish, which seemed to be the way it was for most anglers.
Day two brought new hope of better results than the day before. Brad started his day off by running to a new area in hopes of some bigger bites. He did find them; Brad used his Poor Boys 4” tube in watermelon color to find these fish. He ended the day with 3 keepers for 11.89 lbs. Rich on the other hand went back to the spot that he fished the day before and today he did not lose or miss any fish. Rich did indeed catch his limit and his five fish weighed in at 13.57. Rich threw the same Poor Boys jig and trailer that he used the day before. The co-anglers on the team did not fair as well, Jeff had two more keepers on day two for 6.11 lbs. and Derek had only one fish for 2.22 lbs. Derek mentioned that he caught around 30 fish on day two, but only the one kept.
All said and done the trip did not produce the results the team had hoped for but everyone had a great time…Rich Wolota finished 15th and Brad Bressler finished 22nd in the anglers division…while Derek Severns finished 17th and Jeff Spencer finished 21st on the co-anglers side. The team looks to improve on these finishes next month at the Western 6 Man Team event on Lake Erie June 26th and 27th. The team would like to thank all of there sponsors, Valvoline Oil, Strauss Automotive, Nervous Waters, Ardent Reels, Poor Boys Baits, Metal Menders, Fish Pittsburgh.com and Nowak Commercial Refinishes.