Post by homerunhomejack on Apr 28, 2018 15:22:08 GMT -5
Hey guys. Amateur fisherman here. Been having a heck of a time catching much of anything so far this year. Besides a few random little ones I haven't been able to put together any sort of pattern.
I'm limited to a kayak usually and I fish down by the dam area. I'm running light fluorocarbon and have tried everything from natural colored 1/16oz Ned rigs up to large swimbaits. Mainly using a small paddle tail swimbait in shad color and a natural colored sanko on the other rod.
I've fished the docks, points, drop offs. From 2ft - 20ft in depth.
Is the lower end of the lake not as good as up the rivers or is my approach wrong? Sorry for the long post. Appreciate any advice.
There are plenty of good fish down lake. You're doing the right kinds of things. Just a matter of time until you connect all the dots. Recommend reading thru some of the bass fishing reports on this site to get a feel for where people are fishing and what kind of structure and cover they're targeting. Much of it is accessible by 'yak.
Consider trying shallow and medium running crank baits, a spinnerbait, a chatter bait, and a Carolina rig. Don't be bashful about going up to 12 or 15# fluoro for applications where you'll be in brush or rock.
Smith Mountain Lake has some really tough bass fishing in my experiences. Granted, I am mostly limited to fishing off a dock most of the time I'm there. You just have to keep plugging away. It took me forever to catch one on an artificial bait of any kind there. I only make it down about 3-5 times a year. I was on a two year streak where I caught atleast one bass on an artificial each trip. I have had a couple good weekends mixed in where I caught several bass. That streak ended in 2016, but I haven't given up. I've seen the bass there run away from artificials and live night crawlers, real finicky fish. Bass cruising in schools of 3 or more? No luck. Cruising alone? Get bit. That was the one pattern I ever put together on SML one weekend. I caught some nice bass that weekend off the dock once I put that together. Just keep trying, and eventually you will have that trip where it hits you and things all come together and you will have a great day fishing...
Post by flintster55 on Apr 30, 2018 13:34:28 GMT -5
You're on the right track for that end of the lake. Craddock and that area has some of the clearest water on the lake so light line and finesse style baits are the way to go. Bass should be up shallow either cruising or spawning, so I would focus the majority of your attention on 10ft of water or less. Docks are great producers this time of year with a senko or a drop shot. The kayak can be an advantage this time of year since you are more stealthy than a 20 ft bass boat. Get a good pair of polarized glasses and keep an eye out.
Consider trying shallow and medium running crank baits, a spinnerbait, a chatter bait,
honestly, i think for this time of year this is some great advice. ive never had much luck using soft plastics anywhere when the water was still a little chilly, no matter how slow i fish them. but i have had luck using stuff like squarebills, red eye shads/rattletraps, jerkbaits, and manns 1-minus. i would definitely try some crankbaits...
Post by homerunhomejack on May 1, 2018 1:04:22 GMT -5
Thanks for the information everyone. I did notice the last 72 hours that the bass have pulled up under the docks at the end of the cove. I saw bluegill for the first time too. I'll keep you posted on any catches. Thanks again
I fished a tournament on 4/21 and all but 2 of the 16 or so keepers we caught came off of docks. Definitely where you want to be focusing your attention this time of year. Half of those probably came from lower lake areas in Craddock, so keep at it. You'll get them figured out soon!