With all my strength back I finally was able to hit the lake today. Fishing from 7am-12pm with BCGS guide, Trey Neal, We caught 10 bass, including 4 keepers for around 14lbs.
When we launched it was 25 degrees with 15mph north winds…….brutal! The water temperature was 46 degrees with 1ft visibility. After idling out passed the No Wake buoys we noticed tons of seagulls at the mouth of Stewarts Creek. So, I drove over and started to scan the bottom. I found a lot of bait with some larger fish at the hump like to fish in the summer 100 yards to the left of the red main channel buoy. I grabbed my A-rig with 5″ and 3.5″ Zoom Swimming Flukes(white) and started chucking. I kept the boat in 15ft and made long cast into 6ft-8ft. After 30 minutes and no bites(and 10 FROZEN fingers) I decided to move.
I cruised over the long point on the left at the mouth of Stewart(another popular summer hole) and continued with my A-rig. I fished the point and all the way down to the Stewarts boat ramp cove and then finally caught a 3lb in 10ft way off the left point. The wind was blowing perfectly on that point and there was bait all over the screen. We fished all the way down the next bluff wall without another bite and decided to make a long run up lake.
We stopped at the Smyrna pump house and fished the rip rap with our A-rigs. The water was becoming clearing and now 47 degrees. I kept the boat in 15ft-20ft and make long cast to the rocks. We fished down past the build with no takers and hit the road.
Next we stopped at the Jefferson Pike bridge and fished the right bank where the mud/rock transition starts. Same lures for 200 yards….nada! Finally Trey switched to Strike King 2.5 shad color crankbait and caught a 1lb. We fished the remaining of the bluff without a sniff and saddled up.
Our last and best spot was in the West Fork past the West Fork boat ramp on the rocks after the first right bend. The water was now almost 50 degrees with 2.5ft visibility and current! I was still casting my A-rig while sitting in the middle of the channel(12ft) and making long cast to the rocks. Half way down the rock bank there is a big tree that lays in the water off the bank. I made a long cast to the side of the tree, let it sink for a few seconds and started retrieving slowly with a little pop in my handle every few turns. Half way back to the boat…POW….2.5lb largmouth. 5 minutes later another bass, but this one was short. 10 minutes later….SLAM…3+ smallmouth! We caught a few more small fish in the next 30 minutes before we trolled(with the trolling motor) up to the rocky point on the left. 5 cast on the that point and I caught my arm ripped off! I knew I had a big fish so I took my time getting him to the boat. I swung him over the rail and starred at a 5+ largemouth!!! That fish was just a little off the bank in around 4ft as I sat in 12ft in the middle of the channel. We fished up further for a little while longer without another bite and had to head back to the ramp.
All and all, great morning! We did not get a ton of bites, but we got the right bites! The A-rig usually works best when you commit to it, although it can be hard if you go an hour or two without any action. Also, the West Fork seemed to be the place. The water was warmer with just a little current.
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