Hello again folks--figured I would check in as we are leaving for the lake this Sunday! Feeling very excited to be back on the water. From what I have heard it seems like the beginning of the fall bite is on. Anyone been out lately and have anything to report? Maybe I'll see some of you out on the water next week!
Cheers, wishful thinking aside I have been planning on summer pattern all along. Tight lines all and thanks for the advice.
Hey y'all--checking back in with a post trip report. A great Labor Day week at the lake and the fishin was dam good! Caught a total of seven keeper largemouths and one surprise channel catfish. Here is a brief rundown of the catches along with pictures:
Fish #1 came Sunday night around 940pm on a whopper plopper. There is a stump in about 8ft of water right off our dock and this fish was hanging out underneath it. Good fighting fish.
Fish 2 also came Sunday night about 25 mins later on the plopper! Another great fish that was hanging out under the same stump. Both fish bit on a stop and go retrieve with the plopper. My brother did not catch anything that night while fishing with a walking bait and a buzzbait. Here is Fish 2:
Monday (labor day) we didn't catch anything. It was a bit of gray rainy day and more time was spent drinking and swimming in the rain. Which was ok because Tuesday ended up being the best single day of fishing I have ever had in my short career. It started out with Fish 3 which was caught around 1130am in one of the wooded coves nestled up against Smith Mountain. I threw a squarebill crank right up next to the biggest fallen tree in the cove and sure enough this guy hit it as soon as I dragged the bait past one of the splits in the branches--here is Fish 3:
Fish 4 came on Tuesday evening around 730pm. I was throwing the same squarebill crank along the riprap shoreline off our dock and hooked my PB largemouth--3.8lbs. Not massive by any means but pretty amazing for someone like me who just took up bass fishing again in 2020. Here is Fish 4:
Fish 5 came Tuesday evening about 5 minutes after Fish 4. Same bait and same location. Slightly smaller bass so maybe this was her boyfriend? Idk here is Fish 5:
About 15 minutes after Fish 5 on Tuesday night I got a surprise channel catfish! Again on the same squarebill crankbait. This guy was hanging out underneath the aforementioned stump near our dock:
That was a wrap for Tuesday. On Wednesday we got up early for a striper charter trip with the famed Cap'n Travis of cats n stripers. He got us on some great fish and we caught our limit quickly. Went back out on our own boat in the evening and caught Fish 6--a smaller largie (maybe about 1.5lbs) in a haunted cove about halfway up Craddock Creek (LMK if you know the spot). Didn't get a pic of him but he was caught on a hard plastic jerkbait about 5feet off a riprap shoreline.
Fish 7 was caught on Thursday around 515pm off the riprap shoreline near our dock (same place as Fish 4 and 5) and again with the squarebill crankbait. Great fighting fish and at that point I was ready to renounce my beliefs and pledge myself to the church of the squarebill. Here is Fish 7:
Still glowing over a great week and feeling more addicted to fishing than ever. Using the squarebill along riprap shorelines and fallen trees was my ticket to success and has cemented this as one of my biggest confidence baits. There was the one night (Sunday) where I caught two nice fish on topwater (whopper plopper) but they didn’t seem to want to eat topwater any of the other nights of the week (or mornings). Couldn’t get on much of a dock bite even though I tried with a wacky worm and T rig. But the squarebill delivered for me from noon til evening as long as I threw it in the right places. It was great building up my confidence with how to work the bait through cover without hanging up. All in all a great week of fishing. Boat traffic dropped off dramatically after Labor Day so the lake is ours—time to get out there and enjoy the fall bite! Tight lines
Glad you had a good experience. Nice looking green fish you caught for sure. Congrats on the new PB. Thank you for the follow up post. These SML boards have been quiet.
Thanks! Definitely a bit quiet here but I do appreciate the few people who have chimed into this thread with advice or words of encouragement. It has been a big help to me. SML is certainly not an easy place to catch good fish. I remember taking a trip in late August 2020 (early in my bass fishing journey) and I got skunked literally the whole week even though I fished a lot. Just had no clue what I was doing or where to find em. Took lots of studying and firsthand experience to get to this point and that’s why the accomplishment feels so good! Excited to continue to learn and grow as an angler.
Hey y'all figured I would resurrect this old thread yet again as we will be visiting the lake the first week in June this year. I am very excited and looking forward to fishing a good bluegill spawn pattern during the days and shad pattern at night. Maybe I will see some of you out there! Lately I have been slaying them on my local pond with a weightless zoom super fluke on medium spinning tackle.