Fishing Report :: 3/30/2014
Here’s my disappointing fishing report for today. We launched out of Elm Hill around 3pm and took out around 7pm. Idling out, the water temp was at 52 – same as last week. So, I assumed the lower end would be similar to last week even with the rain and colder evening. Since we had located some fish in Old Hickory cove last week, we ran straight there. The water temps had dropped several degrees from last week [now 48-51] and the sun was high and bright. We didn’t catch anything shallow on red eye shads, umbrella rigs, or flat sided crankbaits. We worked out a little deeper and I tore up my squarebill after getting snagged in braid [lure retrieved, hooks bent straight and one split ring broken]. Cue the beginning of my frustration. I switched to a #6 Shad Rap in Craw pattern and immediately caught a barely keeper largemouth about 1.5lb out of 6ft of water. My partner then immediately hooked up with a 2.5lb non-keeper smallmouth on the umbrella rig in around 10ft of water. We had moved from the shallow water out to a secondary point close to deeper water.
After 30mins with no other bites, we moved to Goose Island. There we encountered a mix of colder water [49-51 degrees] with a couple of funky stains to it. Some of it was muddy. Some of it was chalky [limestone]. Some of it was the color of rust [clay?]. I promptly hung my shad rap up in some more line… Within site of the surface, while pulling it free, my line broke. My shad rap was quickly pulled back into the rusty colored water by the tangled line and my frustration continued. We fished around the rest of the island with no bites.
We ran back to Old Hickory cove and fished the same stuff again – shallow rocks and secondary points. This time we caught one on an umbrella rig, but it was a short largemouth. After another 20mins, we left and headed back to Elm Hill. The thought process being that since fish were in there last week, they shouldn’t have moved too far out after the colder nights and rain.
To our surprise in Elm Hill, the surface water temp in the back of the marina was up to 58 in some places. In the most shallow water [0-1ft with a mud bottom], there were shad flicking. My partner caught several short largemouth on the umbrella rig. We talked to some guys fishing for crappie who had caught a couple [not sure if they were keepers]. I then caught a squeaker/keeper on a lucky craft deep diving crankbait in a darker craw pattern. It was in 4-6ft of water that was 55 degrees [per the trolling motor temp]. All of these fish came off of drops from shallow rock shelves.
At this point, it was time to pack it in. We had figured something out a little too late in the day, which is a recurring theme for us. It seems that down lake, the water on the West and NorthWest banks was a lot warmer than on the East side of the lake [duh… I don’t know how many times I have to read this for it to sink in].
For the day we caught 6 largemouth and 1 smallmouth – with probably 2 keepers in the bunch. If I had to do it all over again, I would have spent more time fishing further back in the pockets in Sailboat Cove, Elm Hill Summer Ramp, or maybe Smith Springs due to the possibility of warmer water. The variation in water depth/clarity was huge on the lower end. There were areas on the main lake that were warmer today than last week, and other areas in pockets and shallow that were substantially cooler. The clarity was really good in some places and really iffy in others.
Hope this helps anyone who is heading out early this week. I can’t help but feel that next weekend is going to be better after several days of warmer weather this week.
lake area – Lower End :: Main Lake Islands, Coves and Pockets
Water Temps :: 48-58
Water Clarity :: Variable – crystal clear to muddy to strange rusty colored water
Successful Lures :: #6 Shad Rap in Craw, Umbrella Rig w/ variety of swimbaits, Lucky Craft DD Crankbait in Craw
Keepers :: 2 LMB btwn 1-2lbs
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