Saturday, August 26, 2017

Weekly trip report 08/26/2017

SUNDAY: 8/20

Another great day on the water.  It was the weekend so on the crowded side and I headed off to find a hidey hole. A small pond covered with milfoil was just the ticket and I attacked the grass beds with Plastics and Hollow Body Frogs.  The water was unbelievably clear and in spots was running 90°. Our Florida strain bass could care less about water temperature and were very active. The frog got some nice strikes but the swimbaits really got hammered. In the clear water you could see the fish run from up to 20 feet away and slam the bait.  They were still hitting when the heat and humidity drove me off the water around eleven. Final total was 25 bass with the top five a 1-4, 1-8, 1-8, 2-0, and a 4-0 for a total of 10 lb. 4 oz. Can’t believe my luck lately.

4-0 Bass

My streak continued today. Maybe it’s my upcoming birthday and I’m getting an early present. It was the same scenario as Sunday. Find milfoil beds with super clear water, anchor in the middle of the grass, fan cast around the boat with Hollow Body Frogs and paddle-tail swimbaits,  and prepare for a big explosion. No pansy pickups today, they destroyed the frog, sometimes as soon as it hit the water even before I could close the bail.  I also took along the big 8WT fly rod to see if they would be interested in deer-hair poppers or Clouser Minnows. The popper got one and when I found a three foot deep channel, the Clouser landed eleven on fifteen casts. Think I cleaned out the school. Best fly rod fish was 2-5. Water temperature was upper 80’s again and it 90° around noon. An unbelievable total count of 38 bass today, the best five were 2-1, 2-1, 2-5, 2-12, and a 3-0. A 12 lb., 3 oz. day is not to shabby. I hope the cold front that’s coming through tomorrow doesn’t kill the bite.

3-0 Bass


Another good day in the books. Did some research on Google maps and picked a remote spot that might hold some grass beds. Turned out the grass was absent but the bass were still present. The current was really boiling with the north wind but the water was still fairly clear and had dropped 10° from the last trip. I played around with the 8WT again today and got several nice bass on a deer hair popper and a Clouser Minnow. They hit everything I threw including Swimming Senkos and regular Senkos. Also working were a Yo-Zuri 3DS, Yo-Zuri 3DB, and a hollow body frog.  Once again the bite lasted all day and was still going strong when I packed it in around 1PM. Top five fish today were 1-14, 2-0, 2-0, 2-0, and 2-5 for a total of 10 lbs. 4 oz. One lone striper rounded out the day. Hope to get out this weekend with the good weather predicted. It’s been one heck of a week.

A Deer Hair Popper fly rod bass.

Squeezed in one more day this week and wound up with another big day. Not much was going on until the wind picked up about 8:30, then the current started to flow and the bite was on. I fished mainly crank baits in deep water today and plastics along drop-offs next to undercut bank. Everything worked and fish were landed on  a Yo-Zuri 3DS, Yo-Zuri 3DB, swimbaits, and Swimming Senkos. Top five today were 1-6, 2-11, 2-12, 2-14, and 3-2 for a total bag of 12 lb. 13 oz., the best day of the week. The four day total was 114 bass, probably the best week I ever had. Oh ya, almost forgot the 4-0 Channel Cat that went for the 3DS, three dink stripers, and an assortment of small white perch.  Can’t wait to see what’s in store for next week.

3-2 on a swimbait.

4-0 Channel Cat on a 3DS.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Weekly trip report 08/18/2017


Due to weather and other commitments I only made it out once this week. After last weeks success with hollow body frogs I went looking for grass again. This trip grass was not on the menu and a good a bite never developed. Time to change to plan B, crank baits in grass free holes. The water was 84° and on the murky side because the stiff south wind was pushing the water in from the bay and the current was running strong stirring thinks up. Not a lot of fish this week but a couple of good ones. I did get a 1-8 on a frog in the grass but it took three hours. The crankbait event lasted one hour and produced one 2-4 on a Yo-zuri 3DB Wakebait, and a 4-6 on a Yo-zuri 3DS shallow crankbait. The heat and humidity drove me off the water by eleven but a good haul nevertheless.  Maybe next week will have better conditions.

4-6 on a Yo-zuri 3DS
The 1-8 on a frog.
And the 2-4 to end the day.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Weekly trip report 08/12/2017


Tried an old spot in NC today that I haven’t been to for a while and found 7 dink bass, one at 3-0, plus a 2-12 bowfin to end the day. No grass there, water up to eight feet deep in places, so tried mostly crank baits and swimbaits. A few taps here and there but still the majority wanted a swimbait.  Most dinks went for a small beetle spin. The big bass hit the swimbait with no keel weight this time.  When I got to my favorite spot first thing in the morning, a bass boat was sitting on the hole and stayed there for an hour. I don’t know if he had any luck, at least none that I saw. Latter, when he passed me on the way out I went back and tried my luck and got the big bass. A pleasant day weather-wise for a change. 

3-0 On a paddle tailed swimbait.


I was out early today to try and miss the rain.  The water was in the upper 70’s and clear in the grass beds. Calm winds and an overcast sky made for some really active fish. The bite was steady all morning and if I hadn’t had a doctor appointment I’d have stayed a lot longer, rain or not. It was that good. It always surprises me that they will prefer one bait over everything else you throw. Swimbaits were the ticket on Wednesday but today they wouldn’t touch it. I still got a few on alternate baits but the hollow body frog was the killer this morning. While the Whopper Plopper got 8, the frog got 16. I missed a lot of strikes on the Plopper for some reason, and the ones I did get were hooked everywhere except the mouth. The frog on the other hand was almost always completely down the throat after some tremendous explosive strikes. Very cool!

So today’s totals were 24 bass and one white perch. Top five bass went 1-10, 2-0, 2-4, 3-8, and 3-9 for a total of 12 pounds 11 ounces.  It just doesn’t get much better than today. I’ll take the weekend off and from the forecast, the first part of next week too.

3 - 8 On a Hollow Body Frog.

3 - 9 On a Hollow Body Frog.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Weekly trip report 08/05/17

Three - eight fish of the week.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted so I owe everybody an update. From now on I think I’ll post a weekly report with what has worked for me and skip the video.  One camera has died and I’m not ready to blow a few hundred on another one.

This week was killer to say the least. Weather was perfect for Back Bay, my only go to place in the summer, with light winds and reasonable temperatures. I made two trips searching for milfoil beds, just about the only places I fish, and was rewarded by hitting the bite both times. Each lasted from sunrise to about eight or eight-thirty then the switch was thrown and I could have gone home.

The only baits used were big and of the weedless variety, Johnson Silver Minnow, 10” ribbon tail worm, Shadalicious, Zoom super swimming fluke, and a new bait for me, a Reaction Innovations Skinny Dipper. As it turned out that was the best bait, so of course I went to Dicks and got all they had in stock.  I rigged everything on 4/0 or 5/0 Gamakatsu spring-lock wide gap hooks or something similar that was keel weighted.  I would sit in the middle of a weed bed and cast 360° around the kayak. The retrieve was a slow steady crank over the top of the grass or with the weighted hook, I let it drop when it passed over a hole in the grass. I got some of the biggest blow-ups I’ve ever seen. Wish the other camera had been working.

I also ran a Whopper Plopper and a Yo-Zuri  2-3/4”  3DB Wakebait along the shore line when there was an open spot but only got one dink on the Plopper.  Went back to plastic and stayed there.

So here’s the totals for this week. 42 bass were boated with only a few dinks. Most were in the one to two pound range.  Six weighed in between two and three pounds, and four went over 3. Top fish of the week was 3-8. Here’s a sample.

Three - zero

Three - five

Friday, June 30, 2017

29 June – Fly rod trip to Beggars Bridge Creek.

Click on map to enlarge.

My longtime friend and fellow fly rodder Jerry, joined me today on Beggars Bridge Creek to see if we could put a dent in the local Crappie population. We boated a substantial number of crappie, bluegill, yellow perch, white perch, and bass with small flies. While the long rods were responsible for the majority of the catch, we also tried ultra-lite gear in and around grass beds. My catch of the day was a 1-12 bass on the fly, while Jerry captured the big bass title with a 2-2 on a plastic worm out the Milfoil garden. Conditions today were pretty near perfect. Clear water with accompanying lower heat and humidity made for a great outing. Later this summer we plan to do it again on Knotts Island and see how fly rods stack up against spinning tackle.

Jerry's 2-2 Milfoil bass.

Monday, June 26, 2017

26 June – A killer day on Back Bay

First 3-0 of the day.
The weather and water conditions today were perfect, and as it turned out, the fishing was also. I launched just after sunrise at one of my few remaining secret honey holes and started with the Whopper Plopper and a Yo-Zuri 3DB wake bait. It didn’t take long before the bite started and it lasted all morning. The smaller fish went for a white Yo-Zuri 3DS and the bigger ones destroyed the 3DB. The Whopper Plopper landed all sizes. When there was grass I tried the Johnson Silver Minnow but never got the first tap, so stuck with the crank baits along the edges of the bank. The channels between ponds ran about 3 – 4 feet and running a Rapala BX Minnow a little deeper didn’t excite anybody, they wanted the wake bait. By the time I ended the day at noon, I had boated 31 bass and one striper. Most were dinks but the best went 1-4, 1-6, 1-8, 2-3, 2-6, 3-0, and 3-0. An awesome day to say the least. 

2-6 ain't bad either.

3-0 number 2.

A nice striper that really slammed the 3DB.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

21 June – A fun day with a fly rod.

Click on map to enlarge.

I decided to take a break from chasing largemouth and just have some fun targeting a variety of species on a lightweight fly rod. There were no drag smokers but plenty of action. I fished mostly points where the current was rounding a corner with an eddy on the backside, and it was really ripping today after the wind change. It was like trout fishing, cast up stream and let the current carry the bug down the bank to the eddy. I was catching Crappie two and three at a time back to back. The water was 4 – 6 inches deep on Pleasant Ridge Road so I knew the bass would be way back in the brush. The Crappie, White Perch, Bluegill, Yellow Perch and baby Bass however were everywhere. Using small #14 Crappie Charlie’s on the 4WT and a larger version in white and black on the 6WT, I collected at least 30 fish. One bass was an even pound but most were only about 8”. In fact most everything was in the 8” range. I started about 9 after the rain ended and stayed on the water until 2, plenty of time to satisfy my fishing urge. Next trip, back to bassin’.