Fishing Report :: 4/19-4/20/2014
Sorry for the delay in these reports.
Got in late on Saturday night, then went straight from easter egg hunting to fishing with my 5yo that morning.
Launched out of Elm Hill at around 4pm. We ran straight to Old Hickory Cove to see if we could run into any more hybrids. The water back in those pockets had cooled substantially after the cold nights last week into the upper 50s up to around 61. Clarity was good, but wind direction was optimal for what we wanted to do. We didn’t catch any hybrids back in there on umbrella rigs, jumping minnows or crankbaits. We then poked around a little longer and caught a couple of short largemouth.
We headed from there to midway back in Hamilton Creek. We fished the point on the left, the flat to the left of it, and the pocket and secondary point to the right. Back here we caught a 2.5lb largemouth and a short post-spawn smallmouth [tail rubbed raw, skinny, banged up sides] on the umbrella rig. I also had several followers on a flat sided and squarebill crankbait. Water was clear and temps were between 62-67.
From there, we fished the Anderson Road Point [where the old ramp is located]. Nothing there, but wind and waves. If it were summer, I think that spot would have been loaded up. Another boat left [if you’re looking at the closed ramp] the flat on the left as we pulled around the corner. Not sure if they were catching fish or not, but the way they left so quickly made me think they were on to something.
Next up was a quick run to sailboat cove. Headed into the back, we fished the right bank from the point to the crappie pocket. I don’t recall the water temp there, but I’m thinking it was somewhere around low to mid 60s. I missed one on a wiggle wart and caught a barely keeper largemouth on the wiggle wart right at a transition from shelf rock to smaller rocks.
After a few more minutes with no action, we headed to the cove at Elm Hill Summer ramp. Back there, we caught a couple of short largemouth on the umbrella rig. The water back there had a lot of clumps of algae floating around. There was also some more of that red bloom happening back in there. Temps were in the mid 60s with funky water clarity [greenish tint, sediment, algae blooms, etc…]
On our way back to the ramp, we fished the channel side of the point heading back into Elm Hill and caught three decent hybrids [3-4lbs] on umbrella rigs. They all came out of 30+ feet of water.
We fished in the marina for a few minutes before dark and I caught a keeper largemouth on the wigglewart off of a roadbed [there are several back in there] and my partner caught a couple of hybrids on the umbrella rig.
Launched out of Elm Hill around 11:30. PSA :: If someone is backing you down for the first time, remember to unclip the front of the boat! Otherwise, you’ll end up with your truck WAY too far down the ramp. 😳
We ran across the lake to Old Hickory Cove to start. I was hoping to put my son on some hybrids or white bass. The water back in the cove had cleared substantially and warmed up a lot from the previous day. Clarity where we fished was at least 5ft with water temps running 66-68. Nothing was biting back there. So, I took my wife back to the ramp, and my son and I set out to catch some fish.
We fished both sides of the marina in Elm Hill. The water was pretty clear on one side and murky with pollen and algae blooms on the other. Water temps changed throughout the day with one side of the marina [the right side when leaving the ramp] being much cooler than the other. By the time we left, there were temps closing in on 70 in the backs of the pockets. We also fished the pocket in the back of Elm Hill Summer ramp cove. Water back there had cleared up a little overnight, but the algae clumps were thicker. Temp in the very far back was 71 degrees. We caught a couple of white bass on crankbaits and a little boo-rig with a swimbait trailer [my 5yo isn’t big enough to throw an umbrella rig].
Throughout the day, I threw a couple different Lucky Craft squarebills in sexy shad [thanks to the other reports about the color!]. The best action was by burning the bait through water 0-4ft deep with scattered large rock and scattered stumps. I also caught a keeper pitching a jig to a stump. I had another take off with my bait and I missed the hookset [bedding fish?]. By the end of the day, I had 3 keeper largemouth, 5 short largemouth, and a couple small white bass. I also had a big smallmouth shake my wiggle wart off in Elm Hill marina close to the end of the no wake zone.
Since I was fishing with my little one, I didn’t do as much running around or experimenting as I usually would. What I can say is that every fish n the lake seems ready to spawn NOW. We saw small male bass ALL OVER the shallow pockets in the marina. They were all skittish, and cruising. It also seemed that the shad are trying to spawn. On multiple casts with the umbrella rig, it came up with shad schooling on it [5-10 shad balled up around the swimbaits]. We saw tons of drum, shad, gar, carp, bluegill, bass, suspending on the surface or cruising the shallows. The one thing that was visibly missing were female bass. All of the bass we found were smaller males. I heard several similar reports at the ramp too for what it’s worth.
I wish that I had a chance to fish by myself for a couple of hours. I think I could have been quiet and found some bedding fish in a little deeper water that would have been catchable. 5yo’s are not known for their stealth in the boat. 🙂 This week should be great.
lake area – Lower End :: Shallow Flats, Pockets, Main Lake Points and Bluff Transitions
Water Temps :: 59-71
Water Clarity :: Variable – some areas were ultra clear, some had stain, some had balls of algae and pollen clumps. Lots of snot grass up shallow.
Successful Lures :: Umbrella Rig w/ variety of swimbaits, Flat Sided Crankbait in Sexy Shad, Squarebill in Sexy Shad, Wiggle Wart in craw pattern.
Successful Cover :: Stumps, Larger Rocks with scattered smaller rocks, pea gravel with scattered cover.
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