Posts Tagged Smallmouth Bass

How to Rig a Drop Shot

Leo shows us some tips and tricks on how to rig a drop shot rig.  He also shows us the different types of drop shot weights available, the different hooks and line, and a few choice soft plastics.

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First Trip of 2010 – Lake Arthur

Side Imaging Scan of a tree (Click to enlarge)

The ice came off this weekend, so we got a chance to head out to Lake Arthur.  I was excited to get on the water to play with my new Humminbird Side Imaging fish finder.  This weekend was the first time I got to try it out, so I spent most of my time on the water trolling around playing with some of the features of the new unit.   It’s some pretty cool technology but it’s definitely is going to take some time to figure out how to use it to its fullest ability. It was nice to be able to see what was down there.  I went to a brush pile, or what I thought was a brush, only to figure out it was really a tree.  It took a few passes around it to get a good clean scan but I was able to get this scan of what appears to be a tree top.

[singlepic id=26 w=320 h=240 float=left]We did do some fishing while we were out too.  The fishing was pretty slow. The surface temp was in the high 40’s in the coves and in the low 40’s in the main lake.   We were only able to manage two bites.  Both bites we got came on a Luck Craft pointer while it was sitting suspended.  The first bite we got was short lived and shook off after a few turns of the reel.  The second bite of the day turned out to be a nice 4 lb smallmouth. The fishing wasn’t great but it was nice to get back out of the water.  I  hope everyone gets to get out and do some fishing soon.

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Crooked Creek Lake

Nice Crooked Creek Lake Largemouth Bass

Do you want to go fishing on a lake that doesn’t get a ton of fishing pressure? In Pennsylvania it isn’t easy to find a lake that doesn’t get a lot of pressure, but I have found one that is a short drive from Pittsburgh and is located just South of Kittaning. Crooked Creek Lake is an Army Corp. or Engineer Lake, and is the perfect lake to spend a day or weekend. This small 350 acre unlimited horsepower lake runs over 5 miles in length in one of the most relaxing settings an outdoorsmen can dream about.

If you enjoy fishing a lake with a lot of weeds then this is not the lake for you. Weeds are difficult to find in the lake. There is however a ton of lake downs and bushes throughout the lake. It is not unusual to find debris build up at certain points of the lake when the area experiences heavy rains or snow melt off. Depth of the lake varies greatly from end to end. When you come out of the boat launch and head toward the dam (left) you will find deeper water ranging from steep banks and 30-foot depths to shelved banks that drop to that depth at a slightly slower rate. You can often find brush piles and fish habitats throughout this end of the lake. Some lay downs will be locate at this end of the lake and will be loaded with bass and crappie. If you head up the creek from the boat launch (to the right) you will find an abundant amount of lay downs, bushes, and debris jambs. This is a much shallow end of the lake and should be navigated very carefully. The water in the creek is usually muddy because the bottom is comprised most of slit run off from the creek. The dam end of the lake is usually clear or slightly stained in part because of the rocky bottom.

There are several species of fish that are abundant in Crooked Creek Lake. Let’s start by talking about my favorite fish, the largemouth bass. I swear that this lake was built for fishermen like myself who love to flip and pitch heavy cover. Needless to say, that I usually come out of the launch and head to the right towards the creek. This is one body of water that you do not need a gas motor to get to a good spot. Usually, I don’t even fire my gas motor until it is time to go home for the day. There is plenty of cover to flip and pitch all day long by heading up the creek.

Beaver style baits have become very popular among bass fishermen.

Some of my favorite flipping lures for the lake are tubes, jigs, beaver baits, and stick worms. Some other lures you should make sure you have with you include: spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, buzzbaits, and soft jerkbaits. I have found that sooner or later everyday you are on the water at Crooked Creek you are going to come across schooling fish feeding. You can catch a lot of nice sized bass in a hurry with the more aggressive lures once you see the baitfish busting on the surface.

While fishing for bass on Crooked Creek Lake, I have been able to catch a lot of good-sized crappie. There are plenty of areas to fish for crappie, but the larger schools of these fish tend to be in the 8-15 foot depth range. While fishing the main body of the lake I watch a couple of boats fishing slip bobber minnow rigs for crappie catch so many crappie that I changed my target species for the day. After the day was over I talked to them about their day as they took pictures of a stringer of 12” crappies. The group of guys told me that there was no reason to keep crappie under the 12” size because they are so abundant.

Some other features of this park include a swimming area, campground, picnic areas, spillway, hiking trails, and a horse park. There is a $4 per vehicle charge for use of the park. This includes the use of one or multiple features of the park in the same day. There are 6 pavilions for picnicking and can be reserved through the office. There is plenty of wildlife throughout the park and can be enjoyed while hiking the trails or just sitting in the fields. Campground information and reservations can be made by visiting the Army Corp or Engineer website. If you are looking for a great family location to relax and enjoy the outdoors, remember Crooked Creek Lake is right down the road.

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Wacky Rigging the Tornado Worm

The wacky rig is a staple in any bass fishermen’s arsenal.   Here is a demo on how to wacky rig one of the new Hag’s Tornado Worms with the use of a wacky rigging tool and an o-ring.

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Oneida Lake – New York

When traveling with the Bassmaster Weekend Series last year I came upon a couple fisheries that are truly amazing. Today I am going to focus on Oneida Lake in New York. Even though we are a Pittsburgh based website and try to keep the lakes local to Western Pennsylvania, I felt that I had to tell people about this lake. I will be the first to tell you that I am not an expert or even pretend to know a lot about this body of water. However, this is one fishery that you don’t have to know in order to have a great day of fishing. Through the article I will touch on the most abundant species, camping, fishing techniques, and geographic features.

First, I feel that it is important to know what kind of lake you are going to be fishing before you get there. Oneida lake is twenty-two miles in length from East to West and is anywhere from one to five miles wide North to South. The surface are of the lake is 50,000 acres. This makes it the biggest lake in New York State. Oneida Lake is located just North of Syracuse and was formed by glaciers during the ice age. Because it is a natural lake the water is clear to slightly stained most of the time. However, you could hit it during the algae bloom and see why it was nicknamed the green lake.

The first thing I noticed about the lake was the pure size of the lake. I had been on some large bodies of water, but next to the great lakes it was the biggest. For its size this body of water is relatively shallow. I fished the lake for 4 days and the deepest water I located was 30 feet. What you have to watch for is the islands and shoals that are thrown throughout the lake. These shoals are not always marked on makes and could be completely submerged if the water level is high. It is my recommendation to get a map or rely heavily on your gps unit while travel on Oneida Lake. Another thing that I notice was that because the lake runs east to West the waves can build very fast and can be very dangerous. High winds don’t necessarily have to seem high at this lake. 15 mph winds will cause three to five foot waves. You add in shoals that are all around and you can have a recipe for disaster.

Located at the South Western corner of the lake is Oneida Shores State Park. They have over fifty campsites which most of which have electric and water hook-ups. The bathrooms and shower house are very well kept. There is also a sand beach in the State Park. Launching your boat is free if you are camping in the campground, but there is a small launching fee if you are just using the launch for the day.

Oneida Lake may be one of the best smallmouth bass fisheries by sheer numbers that I have ever came across. There are many local bass tournaments held at Oneida Lake, but there are a surprising amount of professional tournaments held there ever year. Circuits such as the Bassmaster Elites, Bassmaster Weekend Series, Anglers Choice, and the BFL are just a couple of the many professional bass circuits to come to Oneida Lake every year. This species of smallmouth is somewhat shorter but very heavy. I was very surprised that a sixteen inch smallmouth bass was anywhere from 2.25 pounds to 2.75lbs. What I discovered was that when you found one of these guys there was a pack of them there. Once you turn on that school it was absolutely unbelievable. Prior to my trip to Oneida Lake I had probably only broke a spinnerbait about two times in my life. During my 4 days there I broke 8 spinnerbaits. Most of which were because of how vicious the hits are and how strong the fish are.

For anyone that heads up there in search of smallmouth bass I have a few suggestions as to what depth, structure, and lures to use. Knowing that smallmouth bass are predator fish the depth can vary throughout the course of the day. Also, the time of year will play a part in deciding what depth to fish at. As a rule of thumb, shallow points, points on the islands, or tops of shoals should be fished early in the morning or late at evening. The fish in these areas are aggressive can will hit topwater baits or other moving baits. My recommendation is to throw poppers with a rear red feathered hook or to throw a double willow spinnerbait. You may need to cover water until you find them but when you do watch out. The rest of the morning and the middle of the day I would focus on the eight to twenty foot depth range. I realize that this my seem pretty vague but typically eight to nine foot of water is a weed line that extend to the surface and when you back your boat off twenty-five or thirty yards (a minimum in clear water) you will more than likely be sitting in fourteen to sixteen feet of water. Several techniques seem to really work well in this depth range. I would start by covering water with spinnerbaits. Natural shad colors seem to work best and silver blades seem to be better than gold. Other moving baits that I would try are jerkbaits (hard and soft), lipless crankbaits, and in-line spinners. Yes, I said in-line spinners. These work surprising well up there and got bites when the bite would seem to have died. Dragging tubes and beavers were also effective. Drop shoting a wacky hooked 4” green pumpkin senko is also effective. The smallmouth bass in this lake are not hard to find but when you launch at Oneida Shores, drop your trolling motor and go to the right. There are a lot of tournaments that release a lot of fish there and it is well stocked. Just stay in the 8 to 10 foot range.

There is also a decent amount of largemouth bass in Oneida Lake. The largemouth bass tend to win bass tournaments but they are harder to find. I feel that the reason that they are harder to find is that most of the shoreline is covered in mat weeds and it looks very similar. Plus, the population of largemouth isn’t as high as smallmouth. Unlike the smallmouth I would stay fishing in the mat weeds. I would start by working frogs and buzzbaits overtop of the mat. Once I found an area that I felt would hold fish I would punch the weeds with a minimum of ¾ ounce weight with your soft plastic of choice. Personally, when I flip mat weeds I am using a one-ounce weight with a beaver or tube. I find the sender profile help get it through the mat. Other options are heavy jigs. Something that I noticed was when I can across a log that was in the weeds I typically got bit there. Big Bay and the channel have been known to produce big bags of largemouth bass. If you want to go off the beaten path check out 3 Mile Bay. I had some success there.

Walleye and perch are also abundant. I was able to catch multiple walleye while dropping my senko. I think if I had targeted walleye a little more we could have had a nice bag of walleye at the end of the day. Even more so than normal you are going to need light line because the water is so clear. May is supposed to be the best month for walleye fishing at Oneida Lake.

I found myself catching an unbelievable amount of Pickerel during my time at Oneida Lake. The pickerel were not always big, but they were a lot of fun. White buzzbaits in the shallow water over the weeds really seemed to get them going. Each day I was there I would say that I caught at least ten pickerel. If you like catching these guys this is the lake for you. I know I truly have a blast a throwing topwater and spinnerbaits for them. The first day of my tournament I managed to only land 3 bass, but caught about 30 pickerel. Not something I am proud of because I feel that I am a quality bass fishermen, but that just shows you how many pickerel are in the lake.

If you are heading up I recommend throwing a few other lures. For all of the mentioned species I would try some swimbaits. It is a misconception that northern fish won’t attack these big lures. Give them a try and you might be surprised. Another lure I would try are jigging spoons. I feel that the smallies would eat a lure falling down and hoping across the bottom just was well as a lure being cranked passed them. Don’t be afraid to experiment as well. Burning a spinnerbait over twenty feet of water sounds crazy, but it works and works very well.

The next time you are looking at taking a fishing trip, I highly recommend visiting Oneida Lake. It is close to wine country and offers something for everyone. Not to mention that fishing is some of the best that I have ever experienced. If you have any questions about the lake or information that you would like to share with me or everyone else feel free to add a comment at the bottom of the article or shot me an email.

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Lake Dardanelle-Weekend Series National Championship

After the regional competition at the Potomac River I started getting ready for the national championship at Lake Dardanelle.  For those who don’t know Lake Dardanelle is a man made lake on the Arkansas River system.  It is located about 2 hours north west of Little Rock, Arkansas.  This was going to be a first for me for a couple reasons.  I have never fished a tournament in the south, west of the Mississippi River, or longer than 2 days.

Lake Dardanelle had been off limits to all anglers in the tournament from October 4th until the first official practice day, November 1st.  My wife, Jessica, and I left from our house Friday around 8:00 pm and arrived at Lake Dardanelle State Park where we were going to camp Saturday afternoon.  I have stayed at a lot of state park campground over the years, but I believe that this could very easily be the nicest state park I have ever seen.  Once we got camp set up we walk down to the water to take a look.  To my dismay I say the darkest muddiest water that I have ever had to fish.  Arkansas had recieved 8 inches of rain the week before the tournament started, and since it was a river system the water color would never settle down.

Sunday morning rolled around and I decided that it was time to start practicing.  Not knowing a lot about the lake I had decided to practice in certain areas and really work them until I figured something out.  The first day of practice I decided to stay with 10 miles of the launch site.  I fished Illinois Bayou, Dardanelle State Park Bay, Delaware Bay, and a few other creeks.  To my dismay, I was only about to catch 2 bass and only 1 was a keeper.  The keeper was caught on a shaky head jig with a green pumpkin worm in about 22 feet of water.  The dink was caught on a berkley chigger craw flipping shallow wood cover.

Monday was the day I was going to travel.  I decide to make about a 20 mile run up to Shoal Bay and all the fingers it entails.  The water was still chocolate milk colored and then some.  I fished from the mouth of the main river all the way to the back creek with only catching 1 fish on a carolina rig in 8 feet of water.  It was my 1st dink of the day.  Once I got to the very back of Shoal Bay I found a creek that had 2 feet of water clearity and plenty of standing timber and stumps to fish.  I didn’t make it very far into the creek and I caught 3 14″ dinks and had another 8 hits that I didn’t set the hook on.  30 minutes in the area and I decided that this would be my starting spot on wednesday.  After a couple more hours fishing in Shoal Bay I decided to fun another 5 miles to Piney Bay.  The water color there was slightly better than the main river.  This excited me.  It didn’t take me long to get the first keeper of the day.  I nailed a 3 1/2 pound largemouth on a black and blue jig in 3 feet of water in viney weeds.  I manage to get only 1 more dink in that bay before I called it a day.

Tuesday, I decided that I needed to run back to Shoal Bay to look over the clear water in Shoal Bay and some other spots near Dardanelle State Park.  I went into the creek just looking and not sticking any fish.  There were other boats in the area and it was the day before the tournament started.  I went through a bunch of different lures, and I got hit on just about every lure that I threw in the creek.  Feeling very confident, I check a couple more areas in Shoal Bay with no success.  Then I ran down the lake towards Dardanelle State Park.  That is when I realized that the river had became very rough from the wind.  2 to 3 foot waves had developed and there was a very short distance in between them.  You add those waves with all the debree of a high muddy river system and you have dangerous conditions.  It wasn’t until I reached my next spot that I realized I have broken my locking pine to my trolling motor.  My practice was officially over because I only had 18 hours until the tournament started and I had to fix a trolling motor.  I managed to make a couple make shift pins out of steel later in the day because no one had Motor Guide parts that I needed.  Now it was off to the pretournament meeting and to bed.

Wednesday morning I was launching 10th in the first flight for the first day of the tournament.  I had made my mind up that I was going to fish Shoal Bay in the clear water most of the first day.  I got their and right away I started catching fish.  Before long it was noon and I had caught 12 dinks and no keepers.  I had lost the only good bite I had that morning.  Around 1:00 I decided to run back towards Dardanelle State Park and work a couple spots that I had in deeper water.  I had no luck for largemouth, but my rider and I caught about 30 white bass.  Day 1 of the event was over and I was tied in 108th place with zero keepers.  The only lure that worked for me was a swim senko and a paca craw.

Day 2 I was in the 2nd flight and decided to start the day in Piney Bay where I had caught 1 nice keeper in practice and 1 other dink.  Wouldn’t you know it at 8:20 I managed to get a 3.10 pound largemouth on a black and blue jig flipping the viney weeds.  It was the only fish that I would catch that day besides 1 other dink.  Though I was disappointed to this point I still had a chance to make a check because that one fish put me in 87th place and they were paying 50 places.

The 3rd day I was in the third flight and new I needed at least 6+ pounds to get into the top 50 and collect a check. I had scrapped all of what I had learned in practice and decided that I was going to run and gun fishing as much water as I could during the day. I was also not going to run more than 5 miles in any direction from the launch. It took a little while but at 10:00 I caught my first keeper of the day. A nice 2.4lb largemouth. I caught it flipping shallow viney weeds once again. At this point I had decided that I was going to flip as much weeds as I could find the rest of the day. Hoping to get 2 more good bites. It wasn’t meant to be. I had caught an 8 pound drum, but that was my only other fish. That one fish was enough to move me up to 78th place overall.

After the tournament was over I think that I should have traveled farther up river to Spadra. I don’t know if that would have helped me because over 1/2 of the field was fishing up there. What I would have liked to do is stick to my guns more that flip the entire event. The only keepers I caught were doing that. I learned some important lessons down there. Never be satisfied with the water you find in practice. There are always better spots out there. Another lesson which I relearned was to keep listening to your gut. If it says flip then flip. If it says throw a chatterbait, then throw a chatterbait. Once again I cannot put enough emphasis on how well this circuit is run. Take off was smooth, weigh-in was smooth, and even though the fishing was tough it was still an enjoyable tournament. I look forward to fishing the circuit again next year. I would like to end by thanking the ABA staff who put so much time and energy into the event and made it such a pleasurable experience.

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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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ABA New York West Division on Oneida Lake

This past weekend I fished as a rider in the last divisional event for the bassmaster weekend series, New York West Division on Oneida Lake.  This was the championship so it was a two day event held on Saturday and Sunday.  Much like Leo has said in the past, these guys from the ABA do a fine job at putting on a tournament.

Leo and I arrived at Oneida Lake Thursday afternoon and practiced both Thursday and Friday.  We found some solid spots around some of the shoals that littered the lake.  The main pattern was a 3/8 or ½ oz white spinnerbait over 10 or so feet of water.   Let me tell you that the smallmouth in Oneida are some of the strongest fighting smallies I have every seen.  In fact I didn’t talk to too many guys that didn’t have at least one spinnerbait broken by these guys, I myself broke two.  The secondary pattern was to pull a green pumpkin tube or beaver.

Day one of the tournament was not what I would call and nice day on the water.  Heavy winds produced some bumpy conditions, 3 to 5 footers.  Despite the bad weather conditions my boater was on good fish and I was able to get limit of solid fish using my ½ oz white spinnerbait on day one. This put me right where in needed to be for day two.

On day two the wind had died off a little but the rain moved in.  My boater had some smallmouth he fished in practice about half way down the lake so after a few stops in the morning we decided to run down and see if we could get into them.  We pulled up to spot and within an hour had a small limit.  We worked this area for the reset of the day and we were able to cull up but not quite to the quality of fish from day one.  Once again just about every fish came on a ½ oz white spinnerbait, a few came on a green pumpkin tube.

I was able to put together my first top 5 finish in this series, finishing 4th.  All in all it was a good weekend of fishing.  If I learned one thing from this trip it was that I’m more out of shape then I ever thought possible.  Throwing a ½ oz spinnerbait for four straight days had my arms sore.  I have no idea how KVD does it.

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Canandaigua Lake

This past weekend I participated in the fourth divisional event for the bassmaster weekend series, New York West Division.  As I have stated before these tournaments are the best run tournaments that I have everCanandaigua 007 taken part in.   Canandaigua Lake was the fishery where the tournament was being held.  I have truly fallen in love with the finger lakes because of the beauty and how healthy the fish are.

I arrived at Canandaigua Lake around 8:00 AM Thursday morning.  Since I have never been to the lake I decided to take a drive around and get a feel for the lake.  This is what I discovered.  The lake had shallow flats infront of the docks which did or didn’t have weeds.  In this finger lake the weeds were more sparse and hard to find.  I also found that some of the docks were in 20-30 feet of water.  That condition I had yet to find in New York.  But like seneca lake once you got into the 20 to 30 feet range then the water dropped off to 100 feet.  The lake is about 16 miles long with a creek in the South end of the lake.

Now lets get to some fishing talk. Thursday I devoted my first 6 hours to looking for smallmouth bass. Talked to some of the locals they told me that it was going to take 18lbs to win this tournament and that it would be smallies. I was drop shotting, dragging tubes and beavers, and powerfishing. I even gave jerkbaits a decent amount of time. I had no luck for bass, but the rock bass and perch were all over my drop shot rig in about 25 feet of water. Around 2:00 Thursday I decided that I was going to find some back upCanandaigua 003 largemouth bass. I went to the first set of docks that had weeds on them and started flipping. It didn’t take long and I had caught 2 keepers and stopped sticking fish on this stretch. I started heading back up the lake trying points and good looking docks. Still convinced that smallmouth bass would win this event I spent most of my time trying to find them. I did hit a set of docks that looked perfect and my first flip I caught a 3lb largemouth. I spent some time throwing a homemade chatterbait in the weeds and all I managed to get were pickerel. They are a very pretty fish. The last bass I caught for the day was my lunker. I found 1 laydown on the lake that had good water under it and I flipped in and bam. 4+lb largemouth. I stopped fishing around 6:00 PM Thursday night. After that day I realized that I could get a limit of largemouth that was decent, but not going to win the tournament.

Friday, Jon and I head to the lake early to see if we could get an early bite. I had a couple points that I had marked to try and we ran right to the first one. 10 minutes into the day I caught a 2lb largemouth on a popper. Off of that point was a nice weed line and we worked it down shore about a 1/4 mile to the next point. Jon had a nice smallmouth bass follow his swimbait to the boat twice but couldn’t get it to commit. We decided to keep looking for smallmouth. After alot of looking around we came back to the point where Jon had the smallmouth follow his lure in. The sun had came out at this point and all of the sudden there were smallmouth everywhere and they were big. We fished for these 4 and 5 pound fish for about 1 hour and the only bite I managed to get was a 2lb smallmouth. After that bit of frustration I decided I need to find more largemouth spots. Around 4:00 PM we called it quits for the night and went to eat and charge the batteries.

Now it is tournament day and we arrived at the launch at 5:30. The tournament was set to launch at 6:30 so we had plenty of time. Or I thought I did. I started pulling rods out and testing the equipment. I quickly realized that my front light wasn’t working. After messing with it until 6:10 I gave up. I couldn’t find anything wrong with the wiring and couldn’t get it apart to check the bulb. The next crisis was that my rider for the day didn’t get there until 6:15 and was getting a traffic violation. It doesn’t stop there. Because the light didn’t work we had to wait until 6:47 when safe light happens to leave the canal. We were the last one to leave and we were boat 12. If you think that is the end of my bad luck you are sadly mistaken. When I was finally able to run I went to pull my trolling motor up and I a couple strainds of my rope broke. I was lucky though and it made it through the day. Finally, we got to go fishing, but running full speed is out of the question because there is a 45 mph speed limit on the lake.

The first spot I wanted to start at was where I say all of the smallmouth. There were 5 boats sitting on that point so I decided to run to a largemouth spot. I didn’t catch a bass until 9:00 AM. It was worth the weight though. A nice 3lber. 5 minutes later I put a 2lber in the livewell. We decided to go try the smallmouth spot, but once again there were 5 guys there. I then ran to another set of docks and caught a 14″ and 12 1/2″ keeper. Not big ones but I was glad to have them. Then the bad luck hit again. A nice 2lber hit in a dock and I ripped his lips off, and left him in the dock. I tried a couple other spots and decide at 1:15 to try to get some smallies. No luck because my head took me to the docks in from them. I am glad it did because my first flip I caught a 4 lb largemouth. Now I have my limit and decided to fly through the docks until the tournament was over. I lost 2 more fish that would have called my 12 1/2 by at least 1 lb. I finished the tournament with 5 bass that weighed 11.65lbs. It was good enough to finish 8th place.

Currently I am sitting in 4th place in the standings and the last tournament is the divisional championship at Oneida Lake. I will be looking to hold that spot, so that I can head to the Potomac River for the regional qualifier.

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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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