Having fished saltwater for the past three months fairly consistently, I decided to change things up a bit and target freshwater this week. My first outing happened to be in support of a scheduled Veterans event in Smithfield, VA. This event is a large scale outing where members of the VA, Wounded Warriors, Heroes On the Water and other local active and retired military-based groups gather for a day of socialization and recreation. The activities included: a driving range, a chip shot golf target, walking tours of the facility, a herding dog demo, an archery range, presentations on kayak fishing and fishing. Fishing options included: fish off the bank, in a boat or a kayak.
For these all day outings, volunteers arrive throughout the morning, but we were afforded the opportunity to get on the water and pre-fish in preparation for the outing that began at 11am. I launched at 7:30am into what I would consider a perfect morning: picture this if you will.....a slight haze over the water as the early fall temperatures begin to assert themselves creating just the slightest fog as the sun creeps slowly towards it's zenith pushing through the clouded barriers on the horizon. The slightest whisper of a breeze traces a path across the nose on your face bringing with it a virtual bouquet of crisp, clean air..........peaceful and serene......
I decided the best approach today would be two primary presentations - a soft plastic and a small beetle spin. I started with the beetle spin to try and locate some smaller active fish. On this body of water, the depths are constantly fluctuating with deep holes up to 14' in some spots and several depth transitions throughout the lake with brush piles and other submerged structure creating prime target areas for the anxious angler in us all.. I was able to locate an aggressive bluegill almost immediately. A good sign......
I continued to work the areas 20-30 feet in front of me and was rewarded consistently with good pullage from the hungry bass. When I didn't find brush piles, I targeted exposed wind-blown points and the primary depth transitions 3-5' off of the banks. These transitions were everywhere on this lake and consistently held fish all day long.
As I approached this one exposed point, I saw three pockets of exposed grass staggered along the bank. I fired a cast at the furthermost grass outcropping thinking I would cover all three pockets by passing in front of each one first, then I would go back and work each pocket if need be. As I worked my soft plastic in front of the first pocket, I felt a solid take and the line started to move quickly away from me. I reeled down and quickly was rewarded instantly with a drag ripping run straight behind me. I caught a glimpse of the bass as it raced past me and realized I had a good one on. Fortunately, she decided to just run back to the portion of the shoreline where there was no structure to get tangled in or possibly break the line.
I turned my Hobie around and leveraged the proper angle on her to turn her and start working her in. She made a couple more drag ripping runs trying to escape, but I could see the hook was buried good and I knew I had a good chance of getting this beast in. I finally got her close enough and quickly netted her not wanting to waste any more time. She ended up being the best fish of the day measuring in at 19.75".
The event was a success yet again with smiles and laughter all around. I was able to help out some friends experience the kayak fishing lifestyle and help them get on some fish. A successful day on the water if you ask me. Sometimes is pays to take a fresh approach.
Here's a video of the highlights of the day - enjoy!!
Tight lines and be safe!!