Posts Tagged Roadbed
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.
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.
Took at trip to Lake Wilhelm on Sunday with my Dad. It wasn’t the warmest day on the water but it is October so fishing in the cold comes with the territory. It was 38 degree with 15-20 mph winds, brrrr. Water temp was 49 degrees. We launched around 10:00 AM from Launch #4. We started fishing on some humps and roadbeds with a shad colored crankbaits and jigs for the first 2 hours without a hit. I’m pretty sure there were fish down there, see sonar, they were just not willing to eat for us. Next we moved down the lake to a weed bed and was able to get two hit on a black and blue jig but didn’t get hooked up. We then went to some laydowns but still couldn’t get hit. We made one finial stop on the way back up the lake in a small weed patch in 5-7 feet of water and I was able to finally get a fish. I nice 3lb largemouth on craw tube. The fish were not eating as good as I was hoping but it was a beautiful day on the water.
With the bass spawn going on and gorgeous weather my friend and I decided to head to Lake Arthur for a Bass/Striper combo evening. We started by fishing for largemouth and man did we get them. if just 3 hours we boated 20 bass and lost about 15 more because the fish were on beds and just not trying to eat the baits, but they wants them off the bed. At around 8:00pm I decided to go try my favorite striper spot. Each of us were able to hook up with 1 striper and they were both around the 20 inch mark. We were also lucky enough to have a couple walleye strike our jerkbaits. I can’t wait to fry those guys up! Usually, I am a catch and release guy, but occassionally I like to keep walleye or crappie to have a little fish fry.
I spent another Friday and Saturday at Pymatuning Lake with my dad this past weekend. Friday was a practice day and man things couldn’t have gone better. Everything we threw we caught largemouth and smallmouth. We had a spot where crankbaits were working, another spot where buzzbaits where working, and we even found what we thought was a school of smallmouth on a roadbed. In about 5 hours of being on the water we had boat about 20 bass in about 10 spots and did not set the hook on the same number of strikes.
In the Keystone Bass Buddy Tournament Saturday things went south. We decided that we would start by fishing the roadbed for smallies. Instead we found a school of 13 inch largemouth and about 5 nice crappie. It gave us a nice limit, but these fish were not going to help us win the tournament. We decided to go to the crankbait spot next because the size of the fish should have been better. However, the only thing that we caught in that spot was a 8lb walleye. After a couple of quick stops we decided to go try our buzzbait spot. Instead of a buzzbait bite we found a spinnerbait/chatterbait bite that help us call multiple fish. Unfortunately, we lost 2 fish in that bay that would have help us greatly. In the end we were very disappointed.
Sunday my wife, my friend and I decided to head up to Presque Isle and Lake Erie to try to get some spawning bass. The wind had another idea. It was a very rough day, but we still managed a couple nice smallies and a handful of largemouth.
I spent last night at Lake Arthur with a good friend trying to find crappie for a fish fry. We were only able to get a couple crappie in the live well which we end up releasing. I haven’t been to Lake Arthur since the KBBC Tournament in early April, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the lake. First, we hit a couple of brush piles and we were unsuccessful. Then we tried the weeds and once again unsuccessful. Finally, we went to a beaver hut and caught 3 crappie. There wasn’t any size to them so we released them.
Around 8:00 we decided to quit crappie fishing and see if we could get into the hybrid stripers. After driving to one of my favorite spots on the roadbed I could see some bait activity, but less than normal. It took us about 15 minutes until we caught our first striper and it was only about 12 inches. After that my friend and I each caught a 26″ hybrid striper. Both fish were taken on light weight tackle and we were using Rapala X-Raps. We had a few more stikes, but no more hook ups. Those big stripers made the night even better than it already was.